WWU Seeks to Raise Money for Housing, Amphitheatre

William Woods University, which has experienced a 71.5 percent increase in on-campus enrollment since 1990, plans to build a new residential complex to alleviate a housing shortage. To be named Sorority Circle, it will house all four existing sororities—Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega and Delta Gamma.


Sorority Circle will not only provide new living space for the sororities, it will also benefit other students by freeing up additional housing.


The fundraising goal for Sorority Circle and an adjacent amphitheatre is $8.2 million. It is one part of a three-part fundraising campaign, which also includes a Center for Ethics and Global Studies and an Alumni and Visitors’ Center. The overall goal for what WWU is calling its Imagine Campaign is $11.7 million.


“Our number one campaign priority is the Sorority Circle and Amphitheatre, which will help all students by addressing urgent housing needs, while also providing a new outdoor campus amenity where all students and the community can participate in plays, musical events and much more,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said.


Sorority Circle

Sorority CircleAccording to Barnett, the need for the Sorority Circle is clear. William Woods must provide additional campus housing to accommodate significant student population growth and to address the decreasing availability of suitable campus housing.


In addition to the large enrollment increases over the past 20 years, WWU welcomed record incoming classes in the fall of 2008, 2009 and 2010, putting the existing residence halls at maximum capacity.


In addition, the advanced age of some existing residence halls makes them no longer appropriate to meet the demands of service as modern residence halls. Atkinson Hall (which houses Chi Omega) and Harmon Hall (which houses Delta Gamma) were both constructed in the 1930s and do not meet the needs of today’s students.


Somewhat unique to the William Woods campus, each Greek organization resides in a university-owned facility that does not increase the cost of room and board for students.


Recent construction has expanded the independent housing on campus; however, the Greek community, which resides entirely on campus and typically makes up 35-45 percent of the university’s undergraduate population, is in need of new facilities, as well.


“Housing all four sororities in one area will help to strengthen the university’s Greek community, which provides an experience well suited to many of our undergraduates,” Barnett said. “It will also ensure our ability to remain competitive among our peers and continue to attract and retain students.”


The individuality of each sorority will be preserved through separate entries and individual common areas for studying, socializing and conducting meetings.


In addition to providing an additional 136 beds, the 14,464-square-foot complex will provide a comfortable, safe, modern living environment for students. Each unit, as planned, will contain

  • sleeping/living units with suite-style restrooms

  • individual meeting and chapter rooms

  • multipurpose room

  • guest restroom

  • laundry room

  • front porch

  • rear patio

  • kitchen


AmphitheatreThe proposed site for Sorority Circle, between McNutt Campus Center and Aldridge Recreation Center, also lends itself to the development of an amphitheatre. The amphitheatre, with a capacity of approximately 250, is intended for use by all students and the Fulton community. It will be designed to be flexible and useful for theatrical, musical and ceremonial events and festivals.


This is “a particular asset that university faculty, staff and students welcomed with enthusiasm,” Barnett said. “The amphitheatre will provide another campus venue for concerts and other cultural events. It will also allow for increased community interaction, which will enrich students’ experiences.”