“Home” is a powerful concept that nurtures and forms who we are. For children, a healthy home is crucial for maturation. With age comes wisdom, and as adults we realize that nothing is more important than the home … not the house … we build with our family.

For every Davis & Elkins College student, they are searching for a home away from home where they can pursue their dreams and discover purpose for their lives. It is appropriate to say that we are all about “Creating Home.”

In 2018, Davis & Elkins College completed a comprehensive capital campaign titled “Secure the Future” and that is precisely what we accomplished. Gifts to this campaign primarily supported the doubling of our endowment, the elimination of the College’s debt, and funding for deferred maintenance of our academic buildings and grounds.

The Board of Trustees approved a Campus Master Plan in 2019 to guide our growth and so began a new era for this beloved institution. The first phase of the Campus Master Plan was completed in 2020, thanks to June Myles, with the extensive renovation of Myles Center for the Arts.

Having “Secured the Future,” our task is now to “Create Home” for the next generation of D&E Senators. With vision and enthusiasm, the Board of Trustees once again steps forward in its leadership and approves embarking on a $25 million capital campaign aptly named “Creating Home: It Takes a Village” which will construct a Freshman Village for Davis & Elkins College. Not only is this project the next phase of the Campus Master Plan, but it is also essential for D&E to continue moving forward, remain financially sound, and attract students to our beautiful “home among the hills.” As colleges and universities across the country experience enrollment challenges for multiple reasons, it is imperative that we do all we can to make D&E attractive to current and future students.

D&E’s new Freshman Village, the second phase of the Campus Master Plan, will include a new residence hall constructed above Gribble Hall, followed by the complete renovation of both Roxanna Booth Hall and Gribble Hall. The three new or renovated properties will be streetscaped together and form a living and learning community for first-year students at D&E. Planning is now underway to provide new and upgraded housing alternatives for upperclassmen which will be addressed in Phase III of the Campus Master Plan.

Early gifts to this campaign effort have already provided two-thirds of the campaign goal, and I am confident D&E alumni and friends will get us over the finish line in the coming months. Why? That is a simple question. The educational experience Davis & Elkins College offers is transformational and worth the investment of our dollars, passion and prayers.

Alumni and friends of D&E will find a Fast Forward publication coming to your mailbox in the next few days describing the “Creating Home” campaign and making the case for the Freshman Village. This exciting new effort is one more tangible sign of a college planning and growing toward a bright future … all built upon the solid foundation of the past. Among these beautiful mountains, we continue to “Create Home” for today’s Senators and tomorrow’s leaders.

The journey continues….

Chris A. Wood
Davis & Elkins College