WOU receives $1.4M gift for new College of Education

MONMOUTH — Western Oregon University’s new College of Education building is one step closer to reality, thanks to a $1.4 million donation from former psychology professor and education leader Richard W. Woodcock.

The gift is the third-largest single donation in school history, and will help create the Richard Woodcock Education Center, a 58,000-square-foot facility scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

The $18.6 million facility will expand the university’s academic footprint as part of its strategic plan to meet the growing needs of Oregonians and assist in the state’s 40-40-20 initiative to provide a better-educated Oregon citizenry and improved economy.

WOU’s College of Education, recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Award as the top teacher education program in the nation, currently produces the second-largest number of new teachers in the state and approximately 80 percent of school districts employ its alumni as teachers and administrators.

The Richard Woodcock Education Center will incorporate state-of-the-art teaching tools, and the divisions of teacher education, special education and health and physical education will come together in the new building.

“I am personally grateful for Dr. Woodcock’s investment in Western Oregon University, the WOU College of Education, and its students. ... This action is a testament to his fine work as a world-renowned educator and his commitment to Oregonians,” said WOU President Mark Weiss. “We are proud to have a college of education building named after his ongoing legacy.”

Woodcock served as an assistant professor of psychology and the reading clinic director from 1957 to 1961 at Western Oregon University. His background in education and psychology includes serving as an elementary teacher, school psychologist, director of special education, neuropsychologist, and holding posts at University of Northern Colorado, Vanderbilt University, University of Arizona, University of Southern California, and the University of Virginia.

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