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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 sixteen 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.
There are more than one hundred other student organizations on campus, such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 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.
There is a campus newspaper, The Wichitan, and a student-run television channel and production studio, M&G TV.
The University Seal is housed inside the Clark Student Center in the atrium. Legend says that if a student steps on the seal, they will not graduate in four years. Students actively avoid the seal when walking through the Clark Student Center.
Homecoming is an annual tradition at Midwestern State University that 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. The Golden Thunder Band 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.Marqui Christian — National Football League safety for the Los Angeles Rams
Bryan Gilmore — National Football League wide receiver
Chad DeGrenier — American football player
Phil McGraw — Dr. Phil, television host
Mark Rippetoe — author, strength training coach
Lanham Lyne — Mayor of Wichita Falls, Texas, 2005-2010; State Representative, District 69, 2011-2013
Dan Kubiak — State representative from Rockdale, 1969-1983 and 1991-1998
Tony Pesznecker — professional soccer player
Jaret Reddick — Original founder and lead vocalist/guitarist of the popular punk band Bowling for Soup
Dominic Rhodes — National Football League running back
Chad Smith — Professional soccer player (Charlotte Eagles (USL))
Beck Weathers — Motivational speaker and a mountain climber involved in the 1996 Everest disaster.
Daniel Woolard — Professional soccer player D.C. United
Mark Boulware — U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania (2007–present)
Walter Wilson Jenkins — American political figure and longtime top aide to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson
Craig Sutherland — professional soccer player
Andy Tanner — professional football player
Eric Dawson — professional basketball player
Amini Silatolu — professional football player Carolina Panthers
Ray Gene Smith — NFL player
Bryce Taylor — professional soccer player
Albert Buckman Wharton III — owner of the Waggoner Ranch.
JoAnne Worley — Laugh In and many other TV comedy shows
John Tower — United States Senator
Larry McMurtry — American novelist
Environmental Campus Birkenfeld, Germany