Board of Trustees Elects Officers, Adds Members

Charles W. James of Fulton has been elected to chair the William Woods University Board of Trustees. A former major league baseball player, James was chief executive officer of Central Electric Company in Fulton for 20 years.


Others elected to the executive committee at the fall board meeting are: Nancy Waller Thomas, a realtor for RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia, Mo., first vice chair; Charles Kuergeleis of Kuergeleis Consulting in Chesterfield, Mo., second vice chair; Richard W. (Rick) Gohring executive vice president of Callaway Bank in Fulton, secretary, and Joan Firley, past president of Casualty Indemnity Exchange in Jefferson City, member at large.
They join existing executive committee members Dale LaRue, owner of Central Missouri Vault Company of Fulton, treasurer, and Bernie Weitzman, an attorney with Friedman, Weitzman and Friedman of St. Louis, and Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr. of Cape Girardeau, chief justice of the Supreme Court, both members at large.


In addition, St. Louis residents Cheryl Hall and Michael E. Kennedy have been added to the board.


Hall is a graduate of William Woods. She succeeds her father, Melvin Hall, who has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1962 and has now been granted honorary status. Cheryl Hall has been a member of the President’s Advisory Council, a group of select individuals who visit campus on a regular basis to advise the president on various issues.


She has assisted with the management of her father’s numerous businesses, including the ownership of several financial institutions and, more recently, business ventures pertaining to the entertainment and tourism industry in Branson, Mo.

Melvin Hall was instrumental in arranging performances at WWU, first by Wayne Newton and later by Chinese Acrobats, benefiting student scholarships. The scholarship sponsored by the Hall family is the largest endowed scholarship at the university.


Kennedy is the founder and president of Kennedy Associates Incorporated, a St. Louis firm providing architecture, interior design, MEP engineering and construction services. Under his direction, the firm has participated in such notable projects as the St. Louis Metro Link system, the Trans World Dome and the Kiel Center.


A native of St. Louis, he received a B.A. in sociology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis. He worked as a project architect and manager for various firms before founding his own firm in 1979.


He received the Howard B. Woods Award as the best African-American entrepreneur in the St. Louis area and his firm has received numerous awards, including the Laclede Award from the St. Louis Business Journal as the Most Family-Friendly Workplace. Active in civic affairs, Kennedy serves on the board of directors of numerous organizations.


Kennedy was the commencement speaker at William Woods in May.