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Three years later, three national sororities were established on campus: Alpha
Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, and Chi Omega. A chapter of Delta Gamma was
introduced in 1977.
“You got thrown in Senior Lake when you got pinned. I was a Chi Omega and
I got pinned to a Sigma Chi. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt when I got
thrown in, and it was chilly. I had to walk back to the house dripping wet and
covered with duck stuff,” recalls Marsha Wardlaw Clevenger ’79.
In the late ’60s, Amy Shelton “Momma Mac” McNutt, a 1907 graduate,
member of the board of trustees and owner of a famed 10,000-acre ranch in
Texas, provided a generous donation to construct a building that would bear
her name, although students often refer to it as “the dome.”
The first minor in equestrian science was offered at William Woods College in
1968. Four years later in 1972, the college established a baccalaureate degree
in equestrian science, the first in the world. This attracted more women
to campus.
During the 1980s, for the first time in the college’s history, a woman was
elected by the faculty to be commencement marshal, a position that is for life
or the remaining tenure at the college. Dr. Florence Krause was later followed
by Dr. Mary Spratt and, most recently, by Dr. Linda Davis.
In 1990, Dr. Jahnae Barnett, then vice president of admissions, retention and
development, became the first-ever female president of the college. Her
influence propelled the college through a name change, the addition of
graduate programs, widespread growth, the inception of the LEAD program
and the switch to being a coeducational institution.
“We had no previous experiences to draw upon and had to figure things out on
our own,” explained Evan Orr, one of the first male graduates of WWU.
“We were the men. We were it. There were no upperclassmen to act as role
models or guide us in the right direction.”
William Woods University has long dedicated itself to the ideals of ethics,
self-liberation and lifelong education for its students. Now, 142 years after its
inception as a school for female orphans, female students are still the
majority, as they are at most universities today.
But the legacy of the university lives on through all of its students. Perhaps
Hamlin put it best when he wrote:
“The story of William Woods College is written not in a book but in the lives of
those who come within the orbit of its influence. The story of William Woods
College is like an unfinished symphony, ever-awaiting another chord to
compliment the one that has come before it.”
the Hoot
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