William Woods launches Show-Me Gold program

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FULTON - William Woods University's president and the Major General of the Missouri Army National Guard (MOARNG) signed into a partnership Wednesday. Students, faculty and service members attended the event.

The partnership involves the Show-Me Guard Officer Leadership Development, or Show-Me GOLD, program at the university.   

The program starts this fall and is a pathway for students interested in becoming officers. Students will finish school with a bachelor’s degree, a minor in Military Science and be commissioned officers in the MOARNG.

Ashley Pendleton, a senior at William Woods, has close military ties through her grandfather, father and two uncles. The launch of this program means a lot to her and her family.

“Having this opportunity to develop the military and to have this opportunity at a private school in Missouri is just absolutely incredible. I know my family would be very proud to hear that such a opportunity is going on,” Pendleton said.

The Show-Me GOLD program started in 2013 at Southeast Missouri State University and over the years has gone to Missouri Southern, Northwest Missouri State, and now William Woods. However, William Woods is the only private university in the state to launch a program like this. 

Major General Stephen Danner said that this is will help more students enlist. 

“As our demand for more officers has increased, we have expanded the program to allow more students to join the GOLD program and be part of receiving their GI bill benefits,” Danner said.

William Woods President Jahnae Barnett said that students are happy and that this will be good for the school.

“It certainly will help William Woods University in terms of enrollment and we are excited about that because we will be welcoming the men and women of the caliber that we would like to serve and would like to have on our campus, but also be helping the guard in terms of commissioning their officers,” Barnett said.

To be eligible, students have to already be a member of the Missouri Army National Guard and are accepted to enroll at William Woods.