On Giving Thanks

A campus splashed in the spectacular hues of late autumn, accompanied by those breathtaking Midwestern sunsets that fill our skies at an earlier time each afternoon, tells us that mid November has arrived here at The Woods. Which means we have pretty much arrived at the season of giving thanks.

If ever there was a year that we have much to be thankful for here at our University, 2023 fits the bill. Our record new student enrollment. Our ever-expanding academic opportunities, both traditional and online. Our thriving campus life, from athletics to the arts. Our talented and committed faculty and staff. We have never been more blessed in our 153 years as an institution!

Generous Gift Supports Equine Assisted Services Program

And it is always highly gratifying when, even in the midst of humbly counting our blessings, we receive even more to be thankful for. Which was just the case last week, when we were blessed to announce a groundbreaking $500,000 gift to fund our Equine Assisted Services program. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Dale and Pat Hatfield of Longmont, Colorado, longtime advocates of equine assisted therapy through their support of riders, therapists, facilities and horses in the industry, this gift will provide direct program support for the Pat Hatfield Equine Assisted Services Program at The Woods.

Equine Assisted Services is a powerful tool that allows individuals with physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional challenges to find strength, healing and independence. This amazing gift will enable our already elite EQS program to train future professionals in this critical industry.

Of course, we wouldn’t be in the position to receive incredible gifts like the Hatfield’s if we weren’t innovative and forward-thinking in the first place. Like when we decided to go all-in on our EQS program 50 years ago this year, and established the nation’s first-ever four-year degree in Equestrian Science.

Women’s Flag Football

Or how about just a few months ago, when we decided to add Women’s Flag Football as an intercollegiate sport for the first time in our history. Just a few weeks later, no less than the Olympic Games followed suit, adding Women’s Flag as an Olympic sport beginning in 2028!

William Woods, leading the way once again!

As the days grow continually short and we lean deeper into the season of thanks, I hope everyone in our campus community takes a moment to appreciate just what we have here at William Woods. I am truly thankful for each and every one of you, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters; we simply could not do what we do without you.

Happy Thanksgiving, Owls!