In December 1972, Midland voters approved the establishment of the Midland Junior
College District; however, it would be several years before a physical college campus
would be built. During the early years, college faculty conducted classes at various
locations in Midland, including Lee High School (now Legacy High School) and Museum
of the Southwest. In March 1973, the Midland College Board of Trustees approved the
purchase of 114.87 acres of land for $114,870 located on Garfield Street, just north
of Wadley Avenue. This vacant property consisted of sand and a few mesquite trees.
It is now the sprawling, beautiful Midland College main campus.
In the Beginning
The first five buildings on campus—an administration building, a science building,
a technology training building, a maintenance facility and the Learning Resource Center
(library)—opened in 1975. In addition to those buildings, the Hodge Carillon Tower
also stands as a symbol from the very first days of the Midland College campus and
continues to be a Midland landmark. On October 2, 1975, Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe
was the main speaker at dedication ceremonies held outdoors in front of the Learning
Resource Center. Between 1975 and 1981, Midland College dedicated other campus buildings
including a physical education building, student center and a fine arts building.
In September 1978, a crowd of thousands gathered at the Al G. Langford Chaparral “Chap”
Center’s inaugural event, a live concert featuring The Captain and Tennille. Never
before in Midland had there been an adequate facility to accommodate such a production.
Located in the southeast section of campus, it has approximately 73,000 square feet
of floor space and is home to the Midland College basketball and volleyball programs.
Chap Center also hosts high school basketball games and tournaments, and the community
uses Chap Center for various fundraising events, banquets and other activities. Midland
College also holds its Davidson Distinguished Lecture Series and Phyllis and Bob Cowan
Performing Arts Series events at the facility.
In the 1980s, the college continued its main campus expansion with a dedicated building
for its growing health sciences programs. Also, in the 1980s and again in 1999, Midland
College purchased additional acreage on the north part of the campus yielding a total
of 224 acres for today’s campus.
The Next 20 Years
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Midland College renamed buildings and rooms in honor
of those who gave large donations to the Chaparral Circle Endowment Fund. These include
the Clarence W. & Dorothy Scharbauer Student Center, the Helen L. Greathouse Children’s
Center, the Davidson Family Health Sciences Building, the Pevehouse Administration
Building, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Presidential Suite, the Orpha Olsen Gibson Board
Room, the Harriet and Harvey Herd Faculty Lounge, the Wagner & Brown Auditorium, the
Dr. Arnulfo T. Carrasco Room , the Elizabeth and Herb Blankinship Lecture Hall and
Beal Plaza. This started a tradition of naming buildings on campus, and those constructed
from 1998 through today have names of individuals who gave generously toward each
building’s capital campaign, such as the Dorothy and Todd Aaron Medical Science Building,
the Leona G. and John E. Fox Science Building, the F. Marie Hall Academic Building,
the Dollye Neal Chapel, the F. Marie Hall SimLife Center and Midland College’s newest building—the June and Frank Cowden, Jr. Dining
Since the early 1980s, Midland College had a residence hall for athletes. It was
conveniently located directly across the campus drive from the Al G. Langford Chaparral
Center. In the fall of 1998, Mrs. Donald E. O’Shaughnessy and the I.A. O’Shaughnessy
Foundation committed $1 million to Midland College for construction of a new residence
hall for the general student population. In September 1999, the college opened O’Shaughnessy
Hall named in memory of Donald O’Shaughnessy who was a Midland College Foundation
board member from 1977 until his death in 1993. Construction of Daniel Hall and Craddick
Hall soon followed. Athletes are now housed in one of the three newer residence halls,
and Midland College renovated and repurposed the original athletic residence hall
into housing for students with families.
In May 2005, Midlanders overwhelmingly passed a $41.8 million bond for campus improvements.
The bond provided funding to supplant donations for new buildings and to expand existing
buildings. The first and only other bond, passed in February 1976, approved the construction
of the Allison Fine Arts Building and the Al G. Langford Chaparral Center.
Off Campus Sites
From its earliest days, Midland College offered instruction at various locations in
Midland and throughout the college’s service area. In fact, shortly after the establishment
of Midland College in the early 1970s, long-time Midland College Accounting Professor
Dale Westfall began teaching business courses on a part-time basis in Big Lake, TX
at the request of local residents. Midland College continues to offer classes and
programs at off-site locations and at its branch campus in Fort Stockton.
Williams Regional Technical Training Center – Located deep in the heart of West Texas, Fort Stockton is the county seat of Pecos
County and is the location of Midland College’s only branch campus—the Williams Regional
Technical Training Center (WRTTC), named in honor of Chicora & Clayton W. Williams,
The WRTTC opened in 1996 as a result of a unique partnership among Midland College,
the City of Fort Stockton, Pecos County and the Fort Stockton Independent School District.
The Center symbolizes the Williams family’s commitment to Fort Stockton and the surrounding
area in providing educational opportunities and enhancing workforce development.
The branch campus serves Pecos County residents with over 60 credit, continuing education
and customized training courses each semester. The WRTTC is also available to community
groups and organizations for educational purposes. The facility has a multi-purpose
science lab, a nursing lab, a multi-use computer lab, industrial technology labs,
classrooms, a library, student lounge, advising center and faculty offices.
Cogdell Learning Center - In 1992, retired Midland businessman Bill Pace Cogdell helped the college fulfill
a dream of establishing a presence in South Midland when he donated buildings on Florida
Street to house the Cogdell Learning Center. Today the center serves as an off-campus
outreach site serving residents in the area. Cogdell staff help students apply to
Midland College and complete federal financial aid paperwork. The center also hosts
community events and provides English as a Second Language classes, preparatory classes
for the high school equivalency diploma (GED®) and U. S. citizenship classes. With
its mission of helping people increase credit scores, purchase homes and start or
expand businesses, the Midland College Business & Economic Development Center is also
located at Cogdell and provides free business, credit and housing counseling, and
related classes and workshops.
Advanced Technology Center - In 2001, Midland College completed an ambitious $9.5 million campaign to establish
an Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The establishment of the ATC was an innovative,
collaborative public/private partnership among Midland College, the Midland Independent
School District (MISD), Abell-Hanger Foundation, the City of Midland, federal agencies,
other foundations, corporations and individuals. From the beginning, the ATC’s priorities
were technical training allowing students to gain employable skills while in high
school through graduation and thereafter as college students. ATC graduates provide
a stronger skilled workforce for Midland, thereby aiding in economic stability and
Today, the 85,000-square-foot facility houses the highly successful MC/MISD College
& Careers Academies. The academies provide high school students with opportunities
to learn valuable technological and academic skills. These academies are specifically
designed to meet the current and future needs of the Permian Basin’s thriving industries
and to provide high school students with college credit while training for rewarding
careers in high-growth, high-wage fields. Students regularly experience industry
through hands-on state-of-the-art labs, industry site tours, guest speakers and clinical/intern
placements. An additional training site for the College & Careers Academies is the
Midland College Firefighter Training Facility located at the City of Midland’s Harris
Field Firefighter Training compound.
In August 2020, Midland College closed the Jack E. Brown Dining Hall after moving
its on-campus dining facilities to the June and Frank Cowden, Jr. Dining Hall located
adjacent to the Scharbauer Student Center. Midland College is now repurposing the
old dining hall, which had been in operation for 19 years, into the Jack E. Brown
Conference Hall. The first phase of renovation is currently underway and includes
offices and classrooms for the College’s workforce continuing education department
and the Petroleum Professional Development Center (PPDC).
A major capital project also in progress is the construction of the Pre-K Academy
and Center for Teaching Excellence. This $30 million facility is scheduled to open
in fall 2023. Funding is being provided by Permian Strategic Partnership, Scharbauer
Foundation, Midland College Foundation, Abell-Hanger Foundation, The Beal Foundation,
Henry Foundation, Warren Charitable Foundation and other private entities/donors.
The facility will house a school serving approximately 300 three- and four-year-old
students on the first floor. The Teaching Excellence Center on the second floor will
provide exemplary professional development for educators in the Permian Basin and
will be the home of the College’s new Bachelor of Applied Science program in Early