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Dunbar heir donates $5M to Christian college for 'Glory Hall' construction

The campus of Davis & Elkins College, an academic institution affiliated with Presbyterian Church (USA), is located in Elkins, West Virginia.
The campus of Davis & Elkins College, an academic institution affiliated with Presbyterian Church (USA), is located in Elkins, West Virginia. | YouTube/Davis & Elkins College

A West Virginia college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) has received a $5 million donation from an heir to the Dunbar Armored fortunate to construct a new residential building named “Glory Hall."

Davis & Elkins College, an Appalachian College Association member school based in Elkins, is constructing the new facility expected to open in the fall of 2024.

The small college, founded in 1904, has a student body of less than 700 and offers 45 degree programs. The institution was named after Henry G. Davis and his son-in-law Stephen B. Elkins, who both represented West Virginia in the U.S. Senate. 

College President Chris A. Wood said in comments emailed to The Christian Post that the building was funded by a donation made by alumna Kathy Ramsdell, who graduated in 1974.

“Ramsdell’s father founded Dunbar Armored, known for its iconic red, black, and white trucks. Following Mr. Dunbar’s death, Kathy decided to donate a portion of her inheritance from her father’s estate to D&E, providing the college with needed financial support,” Wood stated. 

In addition to the new residence building, renovations will be done to the preexisting Booth and Gribble Halls, with the three structures comprising a new “Freshman Village” at the campus.

The new resident building will be co-ed, though it will contain pods of three students of the same sex with their own bathrooms.

The decision to name the new “Glory Hall” was made by Ramsdell after she considered naming the building after her late father, who had no direct ties to the college.

“During my years at Davis & Elkins College, I sought Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior,” Ramsdell said in a statement emailed to CP. “God came through for me, in spirit and in truth. … Glory means He shows you who He is … His glory … His miracle.”

Wood said the donation is a testament to Ramsdell’s convictions and her faith in the future of the college.

“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,” stated 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.”

Wood added that 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.”

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