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Davis & Elkins College, a PC(USA)-affiliated institution, receives $5 million gift to construct new residential facility

Glory Hall will welcome students in the fall of 2024

by Davis & Elkins College | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood and alumna and donor Kathy (Dunbar) Ramsdell stand in front of the residence hall being constructed at the school. (Contributed photo)

ELKINS, West Virginia — Glory Hall is the chosen name for Davis & Elkins College’s newest residential facility that will stand alongside Roxanna Booth and Gribble Halls as part of the newly established Freshman Village. As an institution originally founded and proudly affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), this new name affirms the college’s faith-based heritage.

Inspiration for Glory Hall comes from alumna and gracious donor, Kathy (Dunbar) Ramsdell, 1974 magna cum laude graduate, who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Her generous $5 million gift to her alma mater provides substantial funding for the construction of Glory Hall and includes the naming rights.

Ramsdell’s father founded Dunbar Armored, known for its iconic red, black, and white trucks. Following her father’s death, Kathy decided to donate a portion of her inheritance from her father’s estate to Davis & Elkins, providing the college with needed financial support for the “Creating Home: It Takes a Village Campaign” to construct D&E’s Freshmen Village.

As Ramsdell was contemplating the name for the new residence hall, she consulted her daughters, Alison and Kate, as she considered naming the residence hall after her father. They advised that since he did not have any direct ties to D&E, she should choose a name that was close to her heart. Kathy thought about the many ways her experience at D&E impacted her life. She prayed about the name, thought of what had brought meaning and purpose to her life, and considered her passions. “During my years at Davis & Elkins College, I sought Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,” Ramsdell said. “God came through for me, in spirit and in truth.” She continued, “Glory means he shows you who he is … his glory … his miracle.” As students make this new residence hall their home, Ramsdell wants “Glory Hall” to serve as a blessing to all who will live within its walls.

Ramsdell’s gift is a testament to her faith and her steadfast belief in D&E’s promising future. “Kathy has chosen to give back to her alma mater in generous fashion because her transformative years on campus included her mind, heart and spirit,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “As a student on this faith-based campus, Kathy’s faith journey led to an encounter with Jesus Christ that has charted her life course. When offered the naming rights to our new residence hall, she opted not for the family name, but rather chose to glorify God and remind future residents of the divine blessings surrounding them. ‘Glory Hall’ reminds all that D&E is a blessed place, and Kathy’s gift is a blessing that will remind D&E Senators for decades to come who they are and whose they are.”

More than 80% of the $25 million goal has been surpassed for the Creating Home: It Takes a Village Campaign, Davis & Elkins announced. Glory Hall will be completed for the fall semester 2024 and renovations to Booth and Gribble Halls will begin shortly thereafter. Learn more here.


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