A Birthday Party for the Namesake of WWU

Nov. 1 will be the 170th anniversary of the birth of the man who “saved”Dr. William Stone Wood William Woods University, Dr. William Stone Woods. A celebration is planned for the campus and Fulton community.


Cake and punch will be served from 3 to 4 p.m. in the lobby of the Gladys Woods Kemper Center for the Arts, which is named for the granddaughter of Dr. Woods. Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, and Paul Clervi, former chair of the arts and science division, will make remarks.


At 4 p.m., Dr. Gary Kremer, professor emeritus of history and now executive director of the State Historical Society, will give a presentation about Dr. Woods in Dulany Auditorium.


Both events are free and open to the public.


In 1892, Dr. Woods was elected to the board of directors of what was then called the Female Orphan School, so named because it provided education for girls orphaned by the Civil War. At that time, it was primarily a school for elementary and high school students.


Believing that the Orphan School name was hindering the entry of more full-pay students, the board of directors petitioned to change the name to Daughters College in 1899. However, debt continued to plague the college until Dr. Woods and his wife paid off the debt of $36,000 in 1900 to put the school in the black again.


In 1901, the institution was renamed William Woods College, in honor of the physician and banker whose interest in the education of young women impelled him to endow the institution with substantial and repeated gifts.