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Midland University to Inaugurate Jody Horner as 16th President

Jody Horner

Midland University will celebrate its record-setting growth and proud legacy as it officially installs Jody Horner as the sixteenth president in the institution’s 133-year history as part of the institution’s formal Inaugural festivities in March.

The formal installation of President Horner will occur as part of a series of special events in the Fremont community occurring Sunday, March 13, and Monday, March 14. Sunday’s events include a worship service at Sinai Lutheran Church, as well as an Alumni and Community Lunch at the Fremont Opera House. On Monday, activities will include campus tours and a presentation of Midland history prior to the formal installation ceremony and Presidential Welcome reception.

“Midland sought out a proven leader, capable of sustaining our growth while enhancing our ability to fulfill our mission of service when we selected Jody. In her first year of service, the university has achieved significant milestones, and we are thrilled to formally celebrate her presidency,” said Midland University Board of Directors Chairman Steve Pribnow. “The inauguration of a president is a remarkable moment and we are looking forward to sharing it with the community that has helped build this special place.” 

Following her unanimous selection by the Board of Directors, President Horner began serving Midland In February of 2015. Since her arrival President Horner has guided the university’s continued growth trajectory. Since 2009 Midland has seen enrollment more than double with enrollment driven by the university’s Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, expanded opportunities for student engagement, and the addition of innovative graduate programs. During President Horner’s first year, Midland has added its first dedicated Greek housing, reached an agreement that will bring a million dollar renovation to the campus dining hall, expanded opportunities in the performing arts, and strategically focused on enhancing student success. 

In her initial months at Midland, President Horner has focused on strategic planning that will allow Midland to serve the next generation of students while helping to establish connections with the business community to ensure high-quality internships, and connect students with employers at graduation. She selected Dr. Susan M. Kruml as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Brandon Van Marel as Director of Campus Ministries. She also has invested in enhancing the university’s strong athletic reputation with the hiring of Jeff Jamrog, a former University of Nebraska assistant, to coach football and rising star Oliver Drake to coach men’s basketball.

President Horner arrived at Midland from a successful career with Cargill that included service as President of Cargill Meat Solutions, Cargill Case Ready, and Cargill Salt. Most recently, she led more than 3,000 employees, and was responsible for a multi-billion dollar business that supplies some of the world’s largest retailers. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Titan Machinery and H.J. Baker. 

In addition to extensive corporate success, Horner has applied her leadership skills to higher education.  As a lifelong Lutheran, she serves on the Board of Regents for St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and has been active in exploring strategies to reduce student debt.  A featured classroom speaker, she draws on previous experiences managing college recruiting at Cargill to help match student preparation with employer needs. 

Founded in 1883, Midland University is a private liberal arts college located in the heart of Fremont, Nebraska, and just 20 minutes from Omaha. With 27 varsity athletic programs and 12 levels of junior varsity competition, Midland is home to Nebraska’s largest athletic department with more than 800 student-athletes. Midland is recognized as a leader with its growing performing arts program that provides more than 250 opportunities for students.

Midland offers more than 30 majors and academic programs, and two graduate programs, including the area’s first hybrid MBA program. 

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