William Jewell College
William Jewell College
MottoDeo Fisus Labora
Motto in EnglishTrust in God, Work
TypePrivate, liberal arts college
PresidentDr. David Sallee
LocationLiberty, Missouri, U.S.

William Jewell College is a private, four-year liberal arts college of 1,100 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 until its separation in 2003 and is now an independent institution. Jewell was chosen by Time Magazine as its 2001 Liberal Arts College of the Year.[1]




The college is named after Dr. William Jewell, who in 1849 donated $10,000 to start a school. 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, on February 13, 1866, two sons of co-founder and Baptist minister, Robert S. James, Jesse and Frank James, along with Cole and Jim Younger staged the first peace-time, daylight bank robbery in the United States at the Clay County Savings Association four blocks west of the campus, thus beginning the notorious history of what newspapers dubbed the James-Younger gang. George C. Wymore, a 17-year old student of the college, who was across the street from the bank was shot to death in the cross-fire as the gang fled with $60,000 in currency and negotiable instruments.[2][3]

Gano ChapelEdit

File:Jewell Quad 1 2008.jpg

In 1926, the John Gano chapel was built, based on a donation from Gano's great-granddaughter Elizabeth Price, who lived in Kansas City. Price gave the money for the chapel with provisions that the chapel be named for Gano 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.[4][5]

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 historyEdit

File:Jewell Quad 2 2008.jpg

According to the school's website, Luciano Pavarotti made his international recital debut at the campus in 1973.[6] 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 1990.[7]

On May 4, 2003, at the height of a debate over whether the Missouri Baptist Convention should continue to fund the school due to a dispute concerning evolution[8] and homosexuality,[9] an F2 tornado that was part of the May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence hit the campus damaging several buildings, ripping roofs off dormitories, and separating the landmark clock tower from the chapel. Although damage was estimated at between $15 and $20 million, nobody at the school was killed or injured. Despite this disaster, 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. Since the separation from the Missouri Baptists, enrollment and the financial health of William Jewell College has steadily decreased.


The college offers more than 40 academic majors and 10 pre-professional programs.[10] William Jewell is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

William Jewell College also provides an Oxbridge Honors Program.[11] 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. The College offers a Journey Grant Program in which students can qualify for a minimum $2,000 grant to use their junior year of school to help create an educational experience like study abroad, leadership and service projects, internships, research, business projects, etc.[12]

In the period from 2006 to 2013, the College claimed two Fulbright Scholar, two Goldwater Scholars, two Rhodes Scholar national finalists, three Truman Scholars, a National Institute of Health Fellow, a George J. Mitchell Scholarship, two Council of Independent Colleges American Graduate Fellowship finalists, a Point Foundation Scholar, a James Madison Fellow, a Gilman Scholar, one USA Today Scholar and seven Teach For America corps members.[13]

Athletics Edit

File:WilliamJewellCards logo.png

The William Jewell Cardinals are the official athletic teams of the college. The college is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level and competes in the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).[14][15] Prior to its transition to the NCAA Division II, the college competed in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a member of the Heart of America Conference.[15][16] During its time in the NAIA, William Jewell football teams lead the NAIA in total wins.[citation needed]

Varsity sportsEdit

Greek life Edit

Fraternities Edit

Sororities Edit

Notable alumniEdit


  1. "William Jewell College - Office of the President". Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  2. The Many Faces of Jesse James By Phillip W. Steele, George Warfel
  3. PBS American Experience, Jesse James' Bank Robberies
  4. "Rupert Hughes' rebuttal of the Gano baptism legend in Time magazine". September 26, 1932.,9171,744421-3,00.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12.
  5. "Franklin Steiner's refutation of the Gano baptism legend". Retrieved 2009-11-12.
  6. "Jewell History". Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  7. "Kansas City Chiefs - Chiefs History 1990". 2009-08-20. Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2011-03-23.
  8. William Jewell College Upholds Evolution - National Center for Science Education - August 8, 2003
  9. "Missouri Baptists Defund College". 2003-11-16. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  11. Oxbridge Honors Program
  14. "New members for 2012-13 could include Association’s first Canadian school". NCAA. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Great Lakes Valley Conference Admits New Member". GLVC. October 8, 2009. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  16. "William Jewell Advances to Year Three of NCAA Division II Membership Transition Process". William Jewell College. July 11, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  17. "50 Most Powerful Women in Business". CNN Money.
  18. "William Jewell's Cissell Wins National Coach of the Year". 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  19. "Riss Cline".
  20. "Jim Davis;".
  21. "Connie Dover biography".
  22. "Opera Star Clifton Forbis appointed chair of voice department". Southern Methodist University. September 26, 2011.
  23. "Richard Harriman, R.I.P.". Artsjournal weblog. July 15, 2010.
  24. "Edward F. Leonard".

Rear Admiral Diane E. H. Webber Headquarters North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command Director, Command Control Systems Rear Admiral Diane E. H. Webber

External linksEdit

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