Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin Timeline

1865—The Cumberland Presbyterian Church establishes Lincoln University in Decatur, Ill.

1900—Businessman James Millikin challenges the citizens of Decatur, Ill. and the Synods of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to raise $100,000 each by Jan. 1, 1901 to establish a new university in Decatur.

1901—The Lincoln University charter was amended, forming two colleges, Lincoln College and the Decatur College and Industrial School, under the auspices of The James Millikin University.

1902—A groundbreaking ceremony is held at the site of the new university, an area called Oakland Park.

1903—U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt delivers the dedicatory address for the Decatur College and Industrial School.
Classes begin on Sept. 15.

1904— Decatur College celebrated its first commencement with one student, Edward Luther King. Later in the year, Millikin University played its first football game against Illinois Wesleyan, winning 34-0.

1907—The Decatur College and Industrial School graduates its first class of students who had spent all four years at the college. In September, the first women’s dormitory—Aston Hall—opened. (At the time, lunch in the dining hall cost seven cents.)

1910—The first student council organized.

1911—Construction began on the Old Gym and Conservatory of Music, and the river “Sticks,” a small creek that ran behind Mueller Hall and meandered toward what would become the Kirkland Fine Arts Center, was redirected underground.

1918--The Students' Army Training Corps (SATC) was organized on campus. Six barracks, a mess hall, and officers' headquarters were erected behind Old Gym to help train cadets for World War I.

1924—Students voted to walkout or strike after two professors were dismissed by the Board of Managers, the governing board of the college.

1931—The Orville B. Gorin Library is dedicated. The Millikin Dames, an organization of women staff members, faculty and board wives, hosted their first Christmas tea in 1931; the Christmas Tea is an ongoing Millikin tradition.

1943—Millikin recorded its lowest-ever student enrollment because of WWII—303 students, only 54 of them men.

1946—Immediately following WWII, Millikin recorded its largest-ever freshmen enrollment—752 students.

1955—Scovill Science Hall opened.

1960—Mills Hall and the University Center opened.

1965—Blackburn, another women’s dormitory, opened to accommodate the growing number of “Baby Boomers” attending college.

1970—The Kirkland Fine Arts Center opened as did the Griswold Physical Education Center. (The Old Gym would fit in the pool area of Griswold.)

1976—The Millikin School of Nursing became a reality.

1978—The Staley Library was completed.

1979—Renovations to the University Center were finished and the center was renamed the Richards Treat University Center.

1996—Oakland Hall, a co-ed residence hall, opened, its first floor housing the relocated bookstore and a coffee shop.

1997—Millikin’s first freestanding chapel—Pilling Chapel—was constructed and dedicated.

2000—Millikin’s School of Music received an addition and renovations.

2001—Millikin celebrates its 100-year anniversary. The Decatur Indoor Sports Center, a joint venture between Millikin and the Decatur Park District, opened.

2005—Scovill Science Hall was renovated and reopened as the ADM-Scovill Hall, home of the Tabor School of Business.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL