William Jewell College: Wikis


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William Jewell College
William Jewell College
Motto Deo Fisus Labora (Trust in God, Work)
Established 1849
Type Private, liberal arts college
President Dr. David Sallee
Undergraduates 1,050
Postgraduates None
Location Liberty, Missouri, U.S.
Campus Suburban
Mascot Cardinal
Website www.jewell.edu

William Jewell College is a private, four-year liberal arts college of 1,050 undergraduate students located in Liberty, Missouri, U.S. It was founded in 1849 by members of the Missouri Baptist Convention and other civic leaders, including Robert S. James, a Baptist minister and father of the infamous Frank and Jesse James. It was associated with the Missouri Baptist Convention for over 150 years, and it has a large collection of materials from Baptist history. Well respected in its field, Jewell was chosen by Time Magazine as its 2001 Liberal Arts College of the Year.[1] The school maintained ties to the Missouri Baptist Convention until severing them over a dispute concerning evolution[2] and homosexuality[3] in 2003.





William Jewell

The college is named after Dr. William Jewell, who in 1849 donated $10,000 to start a Baptist school. It was the first four-year men's college west of the Mississippi River. Jewell, who was from Columbia, Missouri, had wanted the school built in Boonville, Missouri. However, Liberty resident Alexander William Doniphan argued that donated undeveloped land in Liberty would be more valuable than the proposed developed land in Boonville, and Liberty was eventually chosen. Judge J.T.V. Thompson donated the hilltop land on which the campus sits. In the American Civil War during the Battle of Liberty, the main building on campus, Jewell Hall, was used as a hospital, infirmary, and stables for the United States Army. Union troops were buried on the campus. After the war, two sons of co-founder Robert S. James, Jesse James and Frank James, staged the first daylight bank robbery at the Clay County Savings Association four blocks west of the campus the James-Younger gang inadvertently killed George Wymore, a student who was across the street from the bank.

Gano Chapel

Gano Chapel on Jewell's Quad

In 1926, the John Gano chapel was built, based on a donation from Gano's great-granddaughter,[4] Elizabeth Price, who lived in Kansas City. Price gave the money for the chapel with provisions that the chapel be named for Gano, that the school take over maintenance of the Gano family cemetery between Liberty and Excelsior Springs, and that it hang a painting of Gano baptizing George Washington in the Potomac River during the American Revolutionary War. The college says the painting is one of the school's most popular tourist destinations and takes no stance on whether the baptism of Washington (who was Episcopalian) actually took place. The story is rejected by many historians who question whether Gano was even stationed with Washington and note there is nothing in his Gano's personal correspondence about the event.[5][6]

Other Gano artifacts in the chapel include a painting depicting Gano leading the troops in a prayer of Thanksgiving in 1783 at the conclusion of the Revolutionary war and a sword that Washington was said to have given Gano (which in turn had been given to Washington by Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette).

Recent history

Curry Library and Yates-Gill College Union on Jewell's Quad

According to the school's website, Luciano Pavarotti made his international recital debut at the campus in 1973. Perspiring before the debut, he asked for a handkerchief and only a white dinner napkin could be found. The napkin became a signature part of Pavarotti's act.[7] During that time, William Jewell College also played host to the Kansas City Chiefs as their pre-season NFL Training Camp. However, their training camp was moved to River Falls, Wisconsin in 1991.[8]

On May 4, 2003, at the height of a debate over whether the Missouri Baptist Convention should continue to fund the school, an F2 tornado that was part of the May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence hit the campus damaging virtually every building, ripping roofs off dormitories and separating the landmark clock tower from the chapel. Considerable damage was also done to the campus radio station, KWJC, 91.9 FM. Although damage was estimated at between $15 and $20 million, nobody at the school was killed or injured. The Baptist Convention followed through on its threat and pulled the financing. Nonetheless, classes resumed the next fall with the school relying on other private sources.

Its library included at one time the 5,103 volume library of the Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon. The college bought the library from Spurgeon's estate for $500 in 1906.[9] The Collection was sold in 2006 to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.[10]

In the fall of 2008, President David Sallee announced that the school's endowment lost 35% of its value due to the stock market collapse. As a result, President Sallee implemented several cuts to the College's programs and resources aimed at reducing costs by $2 million over the next two years.


William Jewell College is also known for its distinctive Oxbridge Honors Program.[citation needed] Oxbridge majors take tutorials in their major, study abroad in Oxford or Cambridge, and take comprehensive exams during their senior year. The college has also sent many students and professors to the University of Evansville's satellite campus at Harlaxton Manor.

Notable alumni


William Jewell College's official mascot is the Cardinal. Its athletic teams compete in the Heart of America Conference of the NAIA. Jewell's basketball team competes as a NAIA Division I school; the NAIA divides the sport into Division I and Division II categories. William Jewell College will become a member of the NCAA Division II in the 2011-2012 school year. They will join the Great Lakes Valley Conference at the time[12].

Varsity sports

Greek life




  1. ^ "William Jewell College - Office of the President". Jewell.edu. http://www.jewell.edu/william_jewell/gen/william_and_jewell_generated_pages/Office_of_the_President_p393.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  2. ^ William Jewell College Upholds Evolution - National Center for Science Education - August 8, 2003
  3. ^ "Missouri Baptists Defund College". Atheism.about.com. 2003-11-16. http://atheism.about.com/b/a/043002.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  4. ^ The William Jewell website says she was Gano’s granddaughter. The Time magazine article says she was Gano’s great-granddaughter
  5. ^ "Rupert Hughes' rebuttal of the Gano baptism legend in Time magazine". September 26, 1932. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,744421-3,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  6. ^ "Franklin Steiner's refutation of the Gano baptism legend". http://infidels.org/library/historical/franklin_steiner/presidents.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  7. ^ "Jewell History". Jewell.edu. http://www.jewell.edu/william_jewell/gen/william_and_jewell_generated_pages/A_Brief_History_m21.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs History 1990". Kcchiefs.com. 2009-08-20. http://www.kcchiefs.com/history/90s/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  9. ^ Jewell.edu: "Charles Haddon Spurgeon Collection"
  10. ^ "Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary article on Spurgeon Library". Mbts.edu. http://www.mbts.edu/library/spurgeon_collection.html. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  11. ^ "William Jewell's Cissell Wins National Coach of the Year". Nscaa.com. 2006-10-05. http://www.nscaa.com/articles/20070104200732163.php. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  12. ^ http://glvcsports.com/news/2009/10/8/GEN__wjc_1008094145.aspx

External links

Simple English

William Jewell College
Motto Latin: Deo fisus labora
"Trust in God, work"
Established 1849
Type Private
President David Sallee
Undergraduates 1,274
Place Liberty, Missouri, United States
Campus Suburban
Athletics NAIA
Colors Red and white
Nickname Cardinals
Mascot Cardinal
Fight song Fight William Jewell
Memberships HAAC
Website www.jewell.edu

William Jewell College is a private, four-year Christian liberal arts college. It has around 1,274 undergraduate students. It is located in Liberty, Missouri, United States

Other websites


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