William Woods University celebrated the opening of two new facilities Oct. 13, with dedication ceremonies for a new residence hall and a new arena.
The new residence hall, known as the Dr. Randall B. Cutlip Residence Hall, is across the street from apartments that opened just last fall and down the street from the new equestrian arena, named the Rowland Applied Riding Arena.
The need for additional facilities is the result of increased enrollment at William Woods University, both in overall student population and especially in the equestrian division.
Initial money for the residence hall came from 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. The arena was made possible through a lead gift from Sarah and Landon Rowland of Kansas City, Mo., and other WWU supporters.
“It is only through the support of individuals who are such strong advocates for William Woods that we are able to celebrate these new additions,” said William Woods University President Jahnae H. Barnett.
“While Dr. Cutlip has supported William Woods since assuming his presidency in l960, the Rowlands are relatively ‘new’ to William Woods, and are interested in assisting the quality of the academic programs WWU offers.”
The Rowlands were on hand to cut the ribbon and make remarks at the arena dedication, but Cutlip, who lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, was unable to make the trip.
Cutlip 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. In addition, during his tenure the first equestrian science major in the country was established, as well as the first paralegal program accredited by the American Bar Association.
The former president also serves as a trustee of the Amy Shelton McNutt Charitable Trust. McNutt was a 1907 graduate of William Woods College, a financial supporter of the school, a member of the board of trustees and the first person to receive an honorary doctorate from William Woods. Her many contributions to WWU include the McNutt Campus Center, known to students and the community as “the Dome.”
The new residence hall, home to 62 students, 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.
The Rowland Applied Riding Arena is 103 ft. by 220 ft. The arena is a heated teaching facility with viewing space. The new arena is rectangular, which is the ideal design for instructing hunter jumpers and dressage horses. It benefits all four of the seats the WWU equestrian division offers, however, by providing more space overall. The project also included the conversion of a small back arena into an area with 23 additional stalls, a wash rack and tack room.
William Woods University is recognized as the finest equestrian studies programs in the country—filling a national, regional and local demand for graduates holding a four-year equestrian science degree. WWU, in 1972, was the first school in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in equestrian science. A degree in equine administration was added in 1992.
Sarah Rowland breeds and raises American Saddlebred horses, which she has ridden since growing up in Moberly, Mo. This is not the first time she and her husband have made contributions to the WWU equestrian program. Together they endowed an equestrian scholarship. Landon H. Rowland is chairman emeritus of Janus Capital Group.
Larry Martin, William Woods University director of physical plant, and WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett cut the ribbon to dedicate the new Dr. Randall B. Cutlip Residence Hall while Chamber Ambassadors look on.