A Renaissance Campus

1 decade 5 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, June 21 2007 Jun 21, 2007 Thursday, June 21, 2007 6:15:46 PM CDT June 21, 2007 in News
loading

Just five years ago at Stephens College, buildings sat empty, enrollment was down, and the music that now fills the halls could have been silenced forever.

"There just wasn't that vibrancy in the classroom that existed before," Dean for the School of Design and Fashion, Monica McMurry said.

The school was looking for a new president, and the empty campus was enough to scare away another candidate.

"He just kind of looked at the numbers and looked at the job and realized it was a lot to try and overcome and to turn this school around," McMurry said. "I always say it took a woman to really do that."

And when that woman came to campus, she did it in her own unique way.

"She came and she stayed in one of the dorms the summer before she actually started," McMurry said.

After quietly moving into town, Stephens President Wendy Libby made a splash by talking publicly about the college's grave situation.

"By the time it was late September, we had described the worrisome situation to our faculty and our staff and students," Libby said.

In a few months president Libby led a wave of changes on all levels. Construction, in many ways, was underway.

"Our choice was to make a difference or to cease to exist," Libby said.

Part of the rebuilding process involved cutting faculty and academic programs. Now the school has a strategic plan, reviewed every summer by Libby and her senior staff, to make sure the college builds on a solid foundation.

The Renaissance Plan, as officials call it, takes a three dimensional approach: Raising enrollment, cutting expenses, and ramping up fundraising.

Libby says the title fits the project perfectly.

"I just believe that it's the right word because it connotes a place where art and science and performance and creativity has blossomed," Libby said.

Many changes are already visible. LRW was finished earlier this year and now houses Stephens' administration.

Enrollment is up, now around 650 students. The goal for 2009 is 900.

"There's so much energy and vitality associated with Stephens. She's been around for 175 years and when you've got that much history and people wrapped up into the culture, she is a living and breathing entity," Vice President Amy Gipson said.

Having completed her first four years at Stephens, the college gave Libby the 'Four Fold Girl' award at May's commencement.

"To recognize as it did back in the 1921 when it was given, the senior who best captures and lives out the qualities of the ten ideals," Gipson explained.

After four years on campus, Libby's influence is obvious.

"People want to be around her and follow her," McMurry said.

And Libby is loving every moment.

"In student language, I say I'm having a blast," she said.

The on-campus award wasn't the only one president Libby's won this year.

The Columbia Women's Network gave Libby its Athena Award for saving Stephens College.

Libby says the school is well on its way to meeting the goals set four years ago.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Power was restored to 1,922 Columbia customers, according to Columbia Water & Light. The outage affected customers... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 10:35:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A Cape Girardeau man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 8:00:30 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Three years after picking up a disc for the first time, Cynthia Riccotti is thriving in her quest... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 6:25:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
TIPTON - A family is trying to recover after losing everything in a house fire, and with help from the... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:20:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A boil advisory is in affect for Water Supply District No. 10 in Boone County. According... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 5:18:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Kansas City woman has been arrested in connection with a fatal car crash in Camden County... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:48:00 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Area educators are opening up the topic of teen suicide for discussion after seeing deaths rise... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 4:07:38 PM CST December 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The first ever "Christmas Countdown" Sunday is giving Jefferson City an opportunity for some last minute Christmas... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 9:21:00 AM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man charged in an August quadruple homicide that occurred in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An event in Columbia today addressed the prevalence of gun violence and misuse of firearms by offering gift... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:04:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A new roundabout may be coming to Columbia on one intersection that may cause drivers trouble. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
2am 42°
3am 42°
4am 42°
5am 42°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:05a
Meet the Press
2:05a
Paid Program
2:30a
Paid Program
1:00a
Family Guy
1:30a
Paid Program
2:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Ellen's Game of Games
7:00p
Popstar's Best of 2017
8:00p
The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors 2017
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld