Missouri State University announced Friday, June 19 that the College of Arts and Letters will be renamed in honor of Judith Enyeart Reynolds, following an eight-figure donation from the C.W. Titus Foundation.
The name change took effect June 19, the day of the announcement, and Wahl said the new acronym for the college will be RCOAL, as in Reynolds College of Arts and Letters.
“This gift makes a transformational statement as one of the largest in our university history,” said College of Arts and Letters Dean Shawn Wahl in a press release on the university’s blog.
Reynolds, a MSU alumni, worked in the English department from 1966 to when she retired in 1994. Her husband, Tim Reynolds, is also a graduate of MSU.
University President Clif Smart said in the press release that Judith, Tim and the C.W. Titus Foundation have been “true partner[s] in supporting public broadcasting in the Ozarks.”
“We’re grateful for their continued support of the arts,” Smart said in a press release on the university blog.
The donation will be used to support scholarships for COAL students, as well as for the creation of a new art park near Craig Hall. The new art park, according to Wahl, will be the new home of Tent Theatre, slam poetry events, jazz festivals, concerts, comedians, guest speakers, and more, and will be complete around 2021-2022.
The scholarships, provided in the amount of $10,000 per student per academic year, will begin being awarded to select students of the college during the fall 2020 semester. Students can apply for the scholarship through the MSU Annual Scholarship Application.
According to Wahl, 17 scholarships have been awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year, totaling $170 thousand in award money, though these scholarships were awarded before the C.W. Titus Foundations donation.
“I can’t think of anything more exciting than a gift that shapes both personal and structural dreams,” Wahl said about the donation.
These scholarships will support select students in all seven academic departments in the college, Wahl explained in an interview with The Standard.
Kendal Blumenthal, sophomore music performance major, said she believes the donation is an amazing contribution to the College of Arts and Letters.
“Sometimes it feels like the work of artists and musicians goes unrecognized or is underappreciated, so this is a really amazing and helpful opportunity for students within COAL,” Blumenthal expressed.
The Standard reached out to the Reynolds College of Arts and Letters for the amount of the donation, but no specific amount was given.