Today in Milligan History, 5/4

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good Day, Milligan!

Proverbs 4:14-15 – Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it. . .

This is Monday, May 4, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 


1852    Robert Milligan resigned his position at Washington College (Washington, PA) when the school pressured him to become a Presbyterian. Clinton J. Holloway (1995), He Still Speaks: A Literary Biography of Robert Milligan (Privately published, a joint project of Clinton J. Holloway and Milligan College, 2014) , 40.

1984    Dr. Elmer Lewis (1896-1984), who had served briefly as President of Milligan College 1948-1950, died in Fayette City, PA.   Dr. Lewis had taught Bible at the college and had served as chaplain and pastor of Hopwood Memorial Christian Church for years. He oversaw the college’s printing operations. He assumed the presidency out of love for the college following the sudden resignation of Virgil Elliott. Burial was in the Mount Vernon Cemetery, McKeesport, PA. Clinton Jack Holloway (1995), Age Deo Fide et Amore: A History of Milligan College 1940-1966. (Unpublished thesis, Emmanuel School of Religion, 1998), pp. 95-96; additional data from Grace L. Davidson (1950).

1987    Hart Hall lobby was the scene of Milligan College’s first Festival of One Act Plays. Members of Prof. Richard Major’s (1978; Milligan since 1985) Directing Class, including  Amy Snyder (1989), Adam Thornton (1988), Julie Pierce (1988), Randy Landry , Jerianne Seiter (1991), and R. W. Hessler (1988), presented six one-act plays during the week of May 4. Hessler, writing for the Stampede, expressed the hope that the festival would be “the start of a long-lasting tradition in the Milligan Drama Department.”  The Stampede, April 1987, p. 4

2006    Word reached the Milligan College campus that Brian Letendre (2000), an officer in the United States Marine Corp, was killed while serving in Iraq, apparently the victim of a car bomb. He left a widow, Autumn Crane Letendre (1999) and a small child. Letendre had been on his second tour of duty in Iraq.  His commissioning as an officer took place at the college commencement ceremonies in 2000. The family had deep Milligan connections: Autumn’s father Larry Crane (1971), her aunt Diane Crane Chastain (1974), her grandparents Earle (1951) and Ann (1949) Griffith.  Autumn’s college roommate Nikki Hughston (1999) flew immediately to Indianapolis to be with Autumn, and then went with the family to Delaware for the arrival of Brian’s body. Prof. Bruce Montgomery (Milligan since 1995) preached the funeral in Woodbridge, VA. Burial followed at Arlington National Cemetery. The college established a soccer scholarship in Brian’s memory. Campus e-mail from Don Jeanes (1968, Fide et Amore, ΦΑΘ)  May 4, 2006; Lee Fierbaugh (1994, Milligan since 1994) communiqué May 9, 2006.

2012    For the first time, Milligan College separated the graduation ceremonies of its graduate and undergraduate programs.  The forty-five 2012 students from the graduate programs in Business Administration, Education, and Occupational Therapy held their ceremony on Friday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.  Robert L. White, chief public relations officer with the Johnson City Power Board and chairman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, was the keynote speaker.  Undergraduates donned their caps and gowns the following day.

Birthdays:  In 1796 Horace Mann in Franklin, MA . . . in 1826 Frederick Church in Hartford, CT . . . in 1881 Aleksandr F. Kerenski in Simbirsk, Russia . . . and Milligan College Reference and Instruction Librarian Mary Jackson in Phoenix, AZ.


Elsewhere . . .

In 1626 Dutch explorers/settlers bought Manhattan Island from Native Americans for a reported $24.00.

In 1746 the Moravians established the Moravian Women’s Seminary at Bethlehem, PA, the first educational institution of its kind in colonial America.

In 1776 Rhode Island declared its independence from England.

In 1942, because of the needs of soldiers and sailors, food rationing began in the USA.

In 1953 Ernest Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

In 1959 the Pulitzer went to Archibald MacLeish for JB.

In 1965 Willie Mays broke Mel Ott’s record with his 512th home run.


Do you know something that happened on this day in Milligan history?  Is this the birthday of a Milligan personality?  The anniversary of a Milligan event?  If so, send it to Phi Alpha Theta at