SUMMER | 2013
THE WOODS MAGAZINE
leaves her ‘home,’
William Woods University
By Dani Moritz ’13
Through everything she has accomplished and
everywhere life has taken her, William Woods
University has always played a major role in
Dr. Linda McClaren’s
The professor of equestrian studies and
hunter/jumper instructor at WWU retired this
spring and left the place she calls home.
McClaren grew up in Columbia, Mo.,
taking riding lessons locally and participating
in summer riding programs.
She completed her undergraduate degree,
and later her master’s degree, at The Woods.
After graduating, McClaren helped
Deb Booker manage her farm.
During the ’80s, she worked with Kenny
Burgdorfer—a professional horse trainer,
breeder, and dealer. Together, they won
several championships at the American
Quarter Horse World and Congress horse
shows. Starting in 1992, she spent a few
years working and showing on the “A”
circuit in Omaha.
I was also in and out of William Woods
during most of those years,” she said. “I
feel like I’ve lived my whole life at William
Woods, or most of my life.”
McClaren returned to William Woods in
as a faculty member—and she has been
here ever since.
I love that this is a microcosm of the
horse industry,” she said. “I love that all
kinds of horses live here and all kinds of horse
people, and you can find your niche in a lot of
While at William Woods, McClaren earned
the Missouri Horse Shows Association
Instructor of the Year Award twice (1999,
as well as the Dads’Association-Louis
D. Beaumont Distinguished Professor Award
for Excellence in Teaching in 2005.
More importantly, she’s made a major
impact on students’ lives.
I've known Linda for a long time and I
have always looked up to her,” said
a junior from Fulton, Mo. “She is an
amazing person. She has a great sense of
humor and is such a joy to be around. Linda
teaches you to set your standards high and
never settle for anything less than your best.
I am lucky to have had her as a teacher. She
will be missed by all.”
My education with Linda has not only
made me a better
rider, but a better horse
graduate from San
Diego, Calif. “Her
both on the ground and
under saddle, has had
a profound influence
on me and affected
how I ride and work
with horses. What I have
learned from Linda will stay with me
wherever I go in the horse industry.”
Although it is hard for McClaren to leave
behind her home at William Woods, she looks
forward to new possibilities and plans to do a
lot of traveling, writing, and art.
What we're hootin' about
Professor at WWU
By Danielle Propst ’14
professor of business and
economics at William Woods University,
received this year’s Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s
Association Distinguished Professor Award
for Excellence in Teaching for the fourth
time—more than any other professor.
The award was presented at the
university’s academic honors convocation.
It carries an honorarium and is given annually
to a faculty member who has displayed
dedication to teaching. Easterling also
received the award in 1987, 1991, and 1999.
In addition, Easterling received the
Governor’s Award for Excellence in
Teaching in 2001 and was awarded the
T.A. Abbott award for faculty excellence
from the Higher Education and Leadership
Easterling has been teaching at William
Woods since 1985. He has taught every course
within the economics curriculum and has been
involved in numerous activities on campus,
including being a faculty adviser to Alpha
Chi Omega social sorority and Alpha Chi
honorary society. Easterling also regularly
attends sporting events, art exhibitions,
theatrical performances and other
Easterling has been an active member
of the Missouri Valley Economics
Association since 1985, serving as a director
of the association, and presenting numerous
times. He has been involved in numerous
research projects and has more than 20
research publications. His current research
and consulting interests include
regional economics and applied
Easterling received his Bachelor of Science
degree at Clemson University, his Master of
Science degree at Auburn University and his
doctorate at the University of Missouri.
Ed Easterling (center) with his son, Ralls,
and wife, Lori.
Photo by Mary Ann Beahon