Midwestern State University

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Midwestern State University
MottoPer Scientam ad Excellentiam
Motto in English
Through Knowledge to Excellence
TypePublic liberal arts
PresidentSuzanne Shipley
ProvostJames Johnston
Location, ,

33°52′26″N 98°31′16″W / 33.87389°N 98.52111°W / 33.87389; -98.52111Coordinates: 33°52′26″N 98°31′16″W / 33.87389°N 98.52111°W / 33.87389; -98.52111
CampusSuburban, 255 acres
ColorsMaroon and Gold[1]
AthleticsNCAA Division IILone Star
MascotMaverick T. Mustang
Midwestern State University.png

Midwestern State University is a public liberal arts college in Wichita Falls, Texas. In 2015, it had over 6,000 students. Midwestern is one of four independent public universities in Texas unaffiliated with a state public university system. It is the state's only public liberal arts college.[2]


Founded in 1922 as Wichita Falls Junior College, it was renamed Hardin Junior College in 1937, when it moved to its present location off Taft Boulevard. In 1946, a senior division was added and it was renamed Hardin College. In January 1950, the name changed to Midwestern University, with the junior college division remaining Hardin Junior College. In these years, wider recognition came to the school. In March 1948, the university became a member of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In January 1959, the university added a graduate school which received full approval from the State Board of Education in August of that year.[3]

Midwestern State University Hardin Tower
Midwestern State University Hardin Tower

A further change in the school's status came September 1, 1961, when by action of the 56th session of the Texas State Legislature, Midwestern University became part of the Texas Colleges and Universities System and the junior college division was dissolved. In 1975, the Texas Legislature changed the name to Midwestern State University.[3]

From its beginnings as a municipal junior college housed in a high school building, Midwestern has become a state university whose campus of 255 acres and 70 buildings offers a wide variety of academic programs in liberal and fine arts, mathematics, sciences, business, and applied sciences.[3]

On March 9, 2015, the university announced that Suzanne Shipley was selected to become its next president, following Jesse Rogers' retirement after 48 years of service to the school.[4]

On December 13, 2016, the university broke ground on a new campus in Flower Mound, Texas. The two-story facility shares space with North Central Texas College and opened in June 2018.[5]


Midwestern State University is organized into seven colleges with 16 undergraduate programs offering 43 majors and 30 minors, and 9 graduate programs offering 28 majors and 15 minors.

MSU is the only university in Texas with membership in the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges and was the first public university in Texas to establish a core curriculum. The university is also a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Association for Core Texts and Courses.

Dalquest Desert Research Station[edit]

The Dalquest Desert Research Station[6] is located on 3,000 acres of West Texas soil north of the Big Bend Ranch State Park. The land was a gift from the late Dr. Walter W. Dalquest, a professor at MSU, and his wife, Rose, on the condition that it be used for scientific research by biologists and geologists. Today, the site is used by professors, students, naturalists, scientists, and educators. The facility was designed by BYSP Architects of Wichita Falls.

Dalquest Desert Research Station
Dalquest Desert Research Station


Midwestern State fields 13 intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic teams. MSU is a member of the Lone Star Conference (LSC). Men's Soccer competes in the Heartland Conference. The school mascot is the mustang.

The basketball and volleyball teams play at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The football team plays at Memorial Stadium (Wichita Falls). The soccer teams play at the MSU Soccer Field. The softball team plays at Mustangs Park. The tennis teams play at the MSU Tennis Center.

Mustangs Park
Mustangs Park was redesigned with turf for the 2016 season.
MSU Mustangs celebrate late goal.
The Midwestern State University Mustangs celebrate after scoring a late-goal during the 2016 playoffs.

Student life[edit]

The university's campus covers 255 acres (1.0 km2) with over 50 buildings uniformly built of red brick with tiled roofs and arched facades.

Students are members of 16 nationally affiliated fraternities and sororities. Sororities on campus include Kappa Delta Chi, Sigma Kappa, Chi Omega, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Phi, Kappa Delta Chi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Lambda Alpha. Fraternities are Tau Kappa Epsilon, Sigma Nu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, Omega Delta Phi, Kappa Sigma, Alpha Phi Alpha, and Kappa Alpha Order.

More than 100 other student organizations are on campus, such as the Association for Computing Machinery, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, several musical organizations, and sports clubs such as MSU Rugby. Air Force ROTC is also offered with a cross-town agreement with the University of North Texas.

The campus has a newspaper, The Wichitan, and a student-run television channel and production studio, M&G Media. The campus newspaper and production studio are housed in the Mass Communications wing of the Fain Fine Arts Center.[7]

Housing and dining services[edit]

Midwestern State has four residence halls, Legacy Hall, McCullough-Trigg, Killingsworth Hall, and Pierce Hall, and two apartments, Sundance Courts and Sunwatcher Village.

Dining services went through a major remodel in 2016, adding new storefronts. Dining halls include the Mesquite Dining Hall and Maverick's Corner. New storefronts in the Clark Student Center include Chick-fil-A, Grill Nation, and Burrito Bowl. Einstein Bros. Bagels is located in the Dillard College of Business Administration. A cafe serving Starbucks coffee is located in Moffett Library.

Legacy Hall
Legacy Hall


The University Seal is housed inside the Clark Student Center in the atrium. Legend says that if students step on the seal, they will not graduate in four years. Students actively avoid the seal when walking through the center.

Homecoming, an annual tradition at Midwestern State University, is normally held in October. Activities included during the week are the Cardboard Boat Race, Fish Fry, Lip-Sync Contest, Bonfire, Torchlight Parade, and the football game.

Students parade around campus the Thursday before the big homecoming game with torchlights at night. Students line up near Killingsworth Hall and parade down the street and towards the D.L. Ligon Coliseum parking lot, led by the Golden Thunder Band, which is the official marching band for Midwestern State University. They perform during the halftime of home football games. A smaller pep band performs during home basketball games.

Live at the Lake is a concert series held during the summer months at the Priddy Pavilion near Sikes Lake. The concert series is sponsored by the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU.

The MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday lighting display organized on the Hardin lawn.
The MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights is an annual holiday lighting display organized on the Hardin lawn.

On the Monday before every Thanksgiving, the university welcomes the community to the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Light opening ceremony. The Fantasy of Lights is a holiday light display organized on the Hardin Lawn in front of the Hardin Administration building every year. The tradition dates back to the 1970s, when the Fantasy of Lights was given to the university on the condition that the holiday displays always remain free to the public and are taken care of by the university.

Notable alumni[edit]

Arts and entertainment[edit]


Business and nonprofit[edit]


Journalism and literature[edit]

Science and education[edit]

  • Dr. Mark Puder — professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School[21]
  • Mark Rippetoe — author, strength-training coach[22]

Notable faculty lecturers and staff[edit]

Twin universities[edit]


  1. ^ "Web Style Guide". Mwsu.edu. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  2. ^ "MSU: Texas' only public liberal arts school - The Wichitan". The Wichitan. 2016-06-22. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  3. ^ a b c History
  4. ^ Dave Emke (March 9, 2015). "Shipley chosen to become next president of Midwestern State". The Journal. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  5. ^ "MSU Flower Mound campus celebrates grand opening".
  6. ^ "A Love Unearthed". Texas Monthly – Featured. 2016-09-21. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  7. ^ Achten, Alex. "MSU Board of Regents members tour latest renovations". Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  8. ^ "Dr. Phil McGraw | HuffPost". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  9. ^ "Jaret Reddick: Punk Soup for the Soul". VOA. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  10. ^ "Jo Anne Worley". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  11. ^ Alper, Josh (2016-09-28). "Rams claim Marqui Christian off waivers from Cardinals". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  12. ^ "Who Is Bryan Gilmore?". Field Gulls. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  13. ^ http://www.invictafc.com/portfolio-item/jinh-yu-frey/
  14. ^ "Russell: Rhodes looks back at MSU career". Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  15. ^ "Quiet resolve drives Amini Silatolu". Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  16. ^ "The Randy Waldrum Era: A Success by Any Account". Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  17. ^ "History - MSU Cycling Team".
  18. ^ Gary Cartwright, Showdown at Waggoner Ranch, Texas Monthly, January 2004
  19. ^ Mark Boulware, U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania
  20. ^ "637 graduate in December - The Wichitan". The Wichitan. 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  21. ^ "Notable Alumni » Alumni » Midwestern State University". mwsu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-14.
  22. ^ "About | Starting Strength". Starting Strength. Retrieved 2017-08-14.

External links[edit]