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2010 Marked by Change at Midland

2010 Marked by Change at Midland

Dec 29th , 2010

Midland's Busy Year

Fremonttribune.com
 
Posted: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 11:10 am
 
There was a new president, new name, new sports programs, new logos and an influx of new students.
 
Yes, 2010 has likely been one of the busiest in the more than 125-year history of Midland University.
 
"It definitely has been a busy year, but I think we knew it needed to be," Midland president Ben Sasse said. "Midland is a great place for Fremont and a great place for students, but there were places where we knew we needed and still need to strengthen our game."
 
In late March, Sasse took over as president from interim president Stephen Fritz, who had been at the institution since 2007.
 
At the end of June, it was announced Dana College in Blair was closing its doors after 126 years because its request to transfer its accreditation to new for-profit owners was denied.
 
Midland responded with the Dana@Midland initiative, where students who had attended Dana could receive such things as free room and board and matching financial aid from Midland.  Sasse also led informative sessions with students who were enrolled - or planned to enroll - at Dana.  That led to 321 Dana students coming to Midland in the fall.
 
Midland also had a freshmen class of 231 - its largest in four years - and nearly doubled the number of non-Dana transfer students from the previous year.
Businesses and community leaders joined together to welcome the new students to campus with events such as the Back to Business Bash and Back to School Bash - featuring a concert by the LoCash Cowboys at Memorial Field.
"It was an incredibly effective event and immediately made our new students feel welcome," Sasse said.
 
In July, Midland also announced that it would offer men's and women's bowling, competitive dance/cheer, women's lacrosse and wrestling this year.
All of the sports - other than bowling - were previously offered at Dana.
 
On Sept. 13, Sasse announced that Midland Lutheran College was becoming Midland University and unveiled a new institutional logo. The new name officially went into effect on Oct. 20.
 
Sasse said the new name was designed to give Midland a better marketing position as it seeks to attract new students.
 
In October, Midland also unveiled a new athletic logo that features a Nordic warrior.
The year culminated earlier this month when Sasse, a Fremont native, was officially installed as Midland's 15th president.
 
Sasse, who came to Fremont in November 2009 as president-elect, has been impressed with the way people in Fremont and Midland have embraced him.
"I'm excited and gratified about the team spirit of the Midland community that I got to join almost a year ago," he said. "We're incredibly appreciative about how people in the community have stepped in to help us."
 
As eventful as this year was for Midland, Sasse said he is looking forward to 2011.
He said there continue to be developments in the university's academic, athletic and fine arts programs.
 
"I think that we have started to add a bunch of programs that can give our students a broader array of opportunities," Sasse said.