For the second year in a row, William Woods University is opening new student housing for the start of fall classes. A new residence hall has been completed across the street from apartments that opened just last fall and down the street from the construction of a new equestrian arena.
The residence hall will contain a mix of students. Some student athletes moved in today (Aug. 7), new students will arrive Aug. 16 for orientation and upperclassmen will return to campus Aug. 20. Classes begin Aug. 21.
The residence hall, which will house 62 students, is at the southwest corner of 12th and Ewing streets. Initial construction was made possible by an estate gift from Mary Roche, the late sister of WWU President Emeritus Dr. Randall B. Cutlip, as well as an additional gift from the Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust.
Roche’s relationship with WWU began when her brother was inaugurated as president. An honorary alumnus of William Woods, she received her undergraduate degree from Bethany College and her graduate degree from the University of North Carolina.
She worked in several medical libraries in veteran’s hospitals in the south. She then began a highly classified job in the Indian Head Naval Factory, and later served as head of the reference branch scientific library of the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C.
She and her husband, Ray Roche, a patent attorney, retired in 1992. She died in December 2004 and he died in May 2005.
The new residence hall will be named in honor of Dr. Cutlip, who was president of William Woods from 1960 to 1980 and currently serves on the WWU Board of Trustees.
Under his leadership as college president, William Woods transitioned from a two-year to a four-year college, tripled in enrollment and developed from 17 buildings and 122 acres into a 47-building, 160-acre campus.
Also during his tenure, the college’s endowment increased and the first equestrian science major in the country was established, as well as the first paralegal program accredited by the American Bar Association.
Dr. Cutlip also is a trustee of the Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust. “Mamma Mac,” as McNutt was called, was a member of the William Woods Board of Trustees, a 1907 graduate of William Woods College, a financial supporter of the school, and the first person to receive an honorary doctorate from William Woods in 1968. Her many contributions to WWU include the McNutt Campus Center, known to students and the community as “the Dome.”
The new residence hall features suite-style living in a variety of room configurations. Two air-conditioned double-occupancy rooms share a bathroom. A limited number of suites also have their own living room. Residents of the hall have access to lounges, study rooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities.
According to Jahnae H. Barnett, president of the university, the residence halls were a necessity because William Woods is projecting continued growth in its on-campus student enrollment, and a recent report concluded that demand for on-campus housing would soon exceed the university’s ability to supply it.
William Woods currently has an overall statewide enrollment exceeding 3,000, with more than 800 students studying on the main campus in Fulton.
“When we look into the future, we know that we must continue to provide a welcoming and inviting residential campus in order to continue to attract and retain quality students,” Barnett said.