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Major gift supports Learning Commons project at William Jewell
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
August 22, 2011

A $1 million gift from Juanita Trotter, widow of longtime William Jewell College philosophy professor Dr. Robert S. Trotter, will fund construction and a programming endowment for the Pryor Learning Commons project at William Jewell College.

A current gift of $300,000 will be used to construct the proposed Pryor Learning Commons, the centerpiece project of “Shaping the Journey: The Campaign for Jewell.” Plans call for the multi-function, $15 million facility to anchor the east side of the Quadrangle, on the site where Greene Hall currently stands. An additional $700,000 has been designated to support programming in the new facility through Trotter’s estate plan.

“Dr. Trotter was a beloved professor who influenced several generations of Jewell students through his thoughtful and reflective approach to the study of philosophy,” said President David Sallee. “This significant investment in the quality of the educational experience for a new generation of students extends his legacy.”

Dr. Trotter served as professor of philosophy at William Jewell from 1947 until his death in 1996. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss., and a bachelor of divinity and doctorate of divinity from the Divinity School of Yale University. He served as president of the Missouri Philosophic Association. He was a long-time patron of the arts and an avid supporter of the Harriman-Jewell Series at William Jewell, along with the Lyric Opera and Kansas City Symphony.

In addition to supporting the Harriman-Jewell Series, Juanita Trotter has provided previous gifts to William Jewell to fund the Robert S. Trotter Memorial Scholarship and to provide art work for the campus. 

The Pryor Learning Commons is the centerpiece project of “Shaping the Journey: The Campaign for Jewell.” More than $11.5 million in gifts and pledges has been raised toward projected construction costs of $15 million for the Pryor Learning Commons. The design calls for a three-level, 25,300-square-foot facility featuring flexible and comfortable spaces in a technology-enhanced environment.

William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.

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