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Jewell trustees approve new mission statement
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
June 4, 2007

Approval of a new mission statement was among the agenda items at the William Jewell College Board of Trustees meeting held in May on the campus in Liberty, Mo.

The newly approved mission statement reads: “William Jewell College promises students an outstanding liberal arts education that cultivates leadership, service, and spiritual growth within a community inspired by Christian ideals and committed to open, rigorous intellectual pursuits.”

Dr. Anne Dema, chief of staff in the President’s Office at William Jewell, said that the language of the mission statement is being updated as part of the college’s strategic plan. The new mission statement had been unanimously supported by both the faculty and the Student Senate in independent resolutions of endorsement during the spring semester.

The mission statement was last reviewed in 1997 as part of an earlier strategic planning process. At that time, the mission statement was updated to read: “The mission of William Jewell College is to provide students a liberal arts education of superior quality; to serve communities beyond the campus educationally, culturally, and socially; and to be an institution loyal to the ideals of Christ, demonstrating a Christian philosophy for the whole of life, and expressing the Missouri Baptist Heritage which is the foundation of the college.” The college’s historic ties with the Missouri Baptist Convention ended in 2003 following an extended debate about academic freedom and self-governance.

In other action, the board approved several improvement projects. A new Wellness Center will be built over the summer on the lower level of Ely Hall to increase the availability of exercise equipment for Jewell students, faculty and staff. The new facility will be constructed in what is now the Student Health Center on the lower level of Ely Hall. The new center, which will include locker rooms, shower facilities and a variety of cardio and strength-training equipment, will be accessible to members of the Jewell community 24 hours a day via card access. Construction is expected to be complete in time for the start of classes in the fall.

Improvements scheduled to take place over the summer to the Phi Gamma Delta and Sigma Nu fraternity houses will bring these two houses into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“The major detriment to our fraternity houses in complying with ADA standards is that students do not have access to all the features of the buildings once they enter,” said Ron Dempsey, vice president for finance and administration at William Jewell. “The installation of elevators this summer is the most important feature in bringing the buildings into compliance.”

In addition, Eaton Hall will receive a makeover this summer, with new paint and flooring in the corridors, entrance and stairwells. Eaton’s residence hall rooms will also get new paint and flooring, as well as a new drop ceiling. Exterior trim will be painted and the second floor of the east wing will be made accessible for disabled students.

The board also approved the election of William C. Nelson to the Board of Trustees. Nelson joined George K. Baum Holdings as Chairman of George K. Baum Asset Management in March 2001. His responsibilities include providing senior level leadership and strategic advice to the management teams of the firm’s subsidiary, Prairie Capital Management, Inc., and the Investment Advisors Division of George K. Baum & Company.

Prior to joining George K. Baum Holdings, Mr. Nelson retired from a 40-year career in banking in March 2000. At the time of his retirement he was serving as Chairman of Bank of America Midwest and President of Bank of America Kansas City Region. Mr. Nelson came to Kansas City in 1988 as President of Boatmen’s First National Bank of Kansas City. In 1990, he assumed the additional responsibility of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Boatmen’s in 1988, he served as Executive Director at First Republic Bank Corporation in Dallas, Texas. Previous experience at Mellon Bank included several years in London, where he was Vice President and General Manager of Mellon’s European Operations.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Yale University. He also attended the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Nelson is a member of the Board of Directors of DST Systems, Inc., Great Plains Energy, Midwest Research Institute, the Auto Club of Missouri and Chairman of the Board of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City. He has served as Chairman of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City Area Development Council and Vice Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He has also co-chaired the Partnership for Children, and was Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, 1998-2001.

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