The Williamsonian Spring 2022 - Page 2

2 A Message From President Michael J . Rounds

There is a lot to be excited about at Williamson !
The 2021-2022 school year at Williamson College of the Trades is rapidly coming to an end ! I would like to bring you up to date on some exciting new improvements and changes here at Williamson .
For the first time in over 30 years , we are introducing a new program to the curriculum - the Electrical Program . Mr . Brent Ebner has been hired as the first program director and the three-year curriculum has been approved and accredited . The Class of 2W2 will graduate the last class of Paint and Coatings Technology students and the Paint Shop will be renovated over the summer and transformed into the new Electrical Shop . Electrical Program applicants tied carpentry applicants for the most popular choice of the incoming freshman class this year , so there is great excitement and anticipation as we get ready to welcome this new program to Williamson this fall .
The other five programs are undergoing significant changes and upgrades . The Machine Tool Technology Program will require $ 1.2 million worth of new equipment over the next couple of years . Thanks to your generosity , we have raised 80 percent of the money needed and are working hard to raise the rest . Thanks to an articulation agreement with Rowan University , our construction trades seniors will have the option of choosing a construction management track that will include dual enrollment with Rowan University in several courses . Along with our continued progress in achieving Middle States Accreditation , this will allow our graduating seniors to complete their bachelor ’ s degree in construction management at Rowan with only a few additional courses required .
The Joseph and Marion Wesley Student Center is moving towards completion at a rapid pace . We expect it to be ready for use by the beginning of spring semester 2023 . The steel is going up and we are starting to see what a wonderful addition to our campus it will be . It will provide our students with a world-class facility to exercise , lift weights , compete in eSports , hold intramurals and pickup basketball , conduct meetings and classes , cheer for our teams competing on
Harvey field from our new bleachers , and just hang out and relax . It is something we have dreamed about for a long time and we offer a heartfelt thank you to Joseph and Marion Wesley for making it a reality .
Another dream that is becoming a reality is the William and Judith Strine Dormitory . It is close to completion and will allow us to increase our enrollment . It will look like the original dormitories designed by the famous Victorian-era architect Frank Furness . We are deeply indebted to Bill and Judy Strine for providing the resources to build this new dorm that allows us to start increasing our enrollment beginning next year ! When the Class of 2W5 enters in August , it will be the largest freshman class in our history . We will admit 124 students – 23 more than we have admitted in the past . Being able to offer this Williamson opportunity to an additional 23 young men every year is something we have worked hard to achieve and is only made possible by the generosity of our donors .
The construction of the Thomas and Agnes Heenan Chapel Mezzanine is another critical piece of assurance that we have the facilities needed to accommodate our increasing student population . The mezzanine , and other renovations in the chapel , will increase the chapel ’ s capacity by over 70 . The mezzanine is scheduled to be completed in August . We are grateful to John and Bernadette Heenan for their generous investment in making this project possible
August 2024 will mark the third year of bringing in a freshman class of 124 . Based on our projected graduation rate , we will run out of dorm space and will need another new dorm to house all of our students . I am happy to say we are already working on this new project . This new dormitory will be a three-story building , similar in size to Byers Dorm , and will house 72 students . The design and site selection are complete and we recently received a pledge for 70 percent of the money needed for this new triple dorm . We are working hard to raise the rest of the money so we can move forward and have the new dorm ready for use by August 2024 .
Our biannual Career Fairs continue to be a great success story – attracting more companies
every year . We held two-day Career Fairs in November and March with a total of 206 companies from 15 states in attendance . These companies pay to attend our career fair and compete with each other to hire our seniors full time and underclassmen for summer employment and internships . The revenue generated from these companies was over $ 100,000 . Most of our students have the difficult choice of choosing which job offer to accept from several companies . There is no other college in the country that can compete with our employability . It is a testament to the great training and education they receive in their shops and classrooms and the character they develop in our chapel and leadership programs . We are blessed to have such a talented and dedicated faculty and staff that produces these amazing outcomes for our students .
Eight of our students competed at the SkillsUSA state competition , with seven winning gold medals and one silver . What a great way to show the skill level of our students . All gold medalists will compete at nationals from June 20-24 in Atlanta , Ga .
For the first time , our Landscape Construction students took part in the threeday annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition ( NCLC ), at North Carolina State University in Raleigh , N . C ., in March . Three of our students took first-place in competitions and several placed in the top ten in their categories . This great event gave our horticulture students the chance to attend seminars , meet other students in their field , learn about the latest equipment in their field , and meet with over 100 employers in their field . We look forward to participating in this event every year . [ A full article on NCLC is on page 7 .] Our landscaping students also completed a capstone project on campus - a landscaped area with a fire pit behind the old “ Pigeon Palace .” It will provide a great place for outdoor recreation . I encourage you to check it out the next time you are on campus .
Finally , another new and exciting development is the creation of the new Williamson Association of Alumni , which goes into operation July 1 . This new alumni organization
will develop an engaged and active alumni community and get more alumni involved with the students on campus . We hope our alumni will become active members of this new and exciting organization . [ A full article on the Williamson Association of Alumni is on page 6 .]
Williamson continues to move forward with many positive changes ! We remain diligent in following the vision of Mr . Williamson reflected in the deed of trust that founded this school over 130 years ago . Producing skilled tradesmen and leaders of character , equipped for success in life , is our primary focus .
We cannot continue on this path of improvement without the continued support of our many friends and alumni . It is your gifts of time , talent , and treasure and your belief in us that makes it all possible – we can never thank you enough for your commitment . We are committed to doing what is necessary to help Williamson grow and improve , providing this unique opportunity to an even larger group of young men for generations to come . Mary Nell and I consider it an honor and privilege to serve here at Williamson . We ask for your continued prayers and support and look forward to seeing you on campus soon ! May God continue to bless you and your families and Williamson College of the Trades !
For Williamson ! Michael J . Rounds

Former Williamson President Barry Schuler Passes Away

Barry G . Schuler , Williamson ’ s president from 1987-1996 , died Feb . 3 at the age of 89 .
President Michael Rounds said , “ We were saddened to hear of the passing of Barry Schuler , Williamson ’ s former president , and are grateful for his service . He served Williamson for nine years with great dedication . During his tenure several new buildings were constructed and a new trade program was added . He hired Rev . Mark Specht 7W7 as chaplain , who is still our chaplain and part of Barry ’ s legacy . Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family .”
During Schuler ’ s presidency the Horticulture , Landscaping , and Turf Management Program was added to Williamson ’ s trade offerings , the Lipp Education Center was built , the Restall Sports Center was built , and the chaplaincy was established .
His wife , Ruth , in her 2018 book , A Light in the Heather , from Nazi Germany to Minnesota , wrote “ While at Williamson we made lifelong friends and when it came time for us to retire we did so with great sadness . But all our happy memories are still with us and every so often we fly back to Williamson and all the wonderful people who made that place special . In all of my husband ’ s career , I believe those years at Williamson were the happiest of our life .”
Prior to coming to Williamson , Schuler was president of North Idaho College in Coeur d ’ Alene , Id ., from 1968-86 ; and at the University of Minneapolis , Minn ., he was an admissions officer , dean of students , and dean of instruction , from 1962-68 .
Earlier , he was senior administrative assistant at Control Data Corp ., Bloomington , Minn ., from 1962-64 , an administrative intern at the Navy Dept . in Washington , D . C ., for the summer of 1960 , and a civil service technician at the Minnesota Civil Service Dept ., in St . Paul , Minn ., from 1957-58 .
At the University of Minnesota , he earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with a minor in political science , magna cum laude ; a master ’ s degree in public administration ; and completed advanced graduate work toward a Ph . D . in political science . He earned a certificate at the Harvard University-Institute for Educational Management .
He served in the U . S . Army ’ s Medical Corp . in Germany from 1955-57 .
In retirement , he moved to Bainbridge Island , Washington state , where he was an active member of Cross Sound Church . He also was known for his large collection of electric trains .
Barry G . Schuler