News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 17, 2012

EDITORIAL: Pursuing a goal at SMWC

Community should support college’s effort to improve

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As a small, remote, rural outpost of higher education, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College doesn’t always command the highest of profiles. Yet it is one of those remarkable local institutions steeped in rich tradition that helps define the wider community.

Visiting the beautiful college campus and adjacent grounds where the Sisters of Providence make their home is always a special experience. It is easy to understand how people get so attached to the place.

While the college provides so much positive energy to this region’s image, it rarely asks for much in return. When it does, it only seems right that the community should respond enthusiastically.

It appears that it has. We hope it continues to do so.

SMWC announced last week the launch of the public phase of an $11 million fundraising campaign to construct a sports and recreation center. There currently is not a gymnasium on campus, so this is, as they say, a very big deal.

It’s been a while — many years in fact — since a new building has gone up on the campus of SMWC near West Terre Haute. It would have a large lobby, a regulation-size gym, seating for up to 1,000 spectators, and a practice gym that could be used for intramural activities. There will also be space for training and fitness rooms.

In addition to the fact this effort has been undertaken is the news that $6.5 million has already been raised. As the fundraising campaign gets nearer its goal, construction plans will be finalized.

Through the years, athletics has become a more important feature of student life at SMWC. Yet teams must now travel to a community center gym in Clinton for practice and games. With at least 30 percent of the enrollment at the all-girls school considered to be student athletes, having a new on-campus facility of this type will serve a large segment of the student body. What’s more, college officials believe it will help in recruiting more students.

We commend SMWC President Dottie King and the college’s board for their vision in promoting this campaign to improve campus facilities. It is a worthwhile effort, and we encourage the community to give SMWC its full support as it works toward its goal.