William Woods University dedicated its renovated gymnasium April 11, naming it “Anderson Arena” in honor of major donors, Sue and Dana Anderson of Los Angeles. The ceremony was held inside the Helen Stephens Sports Complex.
Sue Anderson has been a member of the WWU Board of Trustees since 2005. Originally from Topeka, Kan., she graduated from William Woods in 1961. She and her husband, Dana, have four children, one of whom, Jenee, is a current student.
A real estate developer and investor, Dana Anderson is vice chairman of the board and a partner in The Macerich Company, which is the third largest mall owner in the United States with more than 80 regional malls in 27 states. He was the May 2007 Commencement speaker at WWU.
Constructed in the late 1970s, the Helen Stephens Sports Complex was designed to meet the needs of a single-gender institution. Since then, William Woods has transitioned to a co-educational university with 800 students on campus and another 2,200 in its outreach programs statewide.
Men’s basketball was added this year to the 10 varsity sports already offered on campus—baseball, softball, women’s basketball and volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer, golf, cross country and track. In addition, WWU continues to increase its intramural and recreational fitness programs, with a focus on wellness.
Before the start of the fall semester, thanks to the generosity of the Andersons, the Helen Stephens Sports Complex underwent major renovations, both inside and out. These included a new roof and insulation, “floating” gym floor, bleachers, foyer floor tile, carpeting, lighting, landscaping, interior and exterior paint, heating and air conditioning. The locker rooms were painted and renovated with new lockers, restrooms and storage.
The dedication of Anderson Arena included remarks from Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, president of William Woods, as well as Larry York, athletics director, and students representing various sports—Stephanie Burger, a history major from Columbia, women’s basketball; Zach Roling, a mathematics major from Jefferson City, men’s basketball, and Kristina Perry, a physical education major from Springfield, Mo., volleyball.
Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett (center), president of William Woods University, thanks Sue and Dana Anderson, major donors in the renovation of the Helen Stephens Sports Complex. The gymnasium was named Anderson Arena in their honor, and the Andersons received signed balls from volleyball and basketball team representatives.