July 23, 2010
Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary Close on Agreement to Enhance Collaboration, Transfer Real Estate and Consolidate Libraries
Webster University and Eden Theological Seminary today closed on an agreement reached last December that ushers in a new era of collaboration for the two longtime neighbors in Webster Groves, Mo. Together, both institutions have been part of the Webster Groves community for more than 180 years – Webster, since its founding in 1915, and Eden, since its relocation to the city in 1924.
The agreement, which involves the transfer of 5.5 of Eden's 22 acres and three buildings – the Wehrli Center, Luhr Library and "White House" – to Webster for $5.3 million, is intended to meet the distinct needs of the two adjoining campuses and to benefit the entire Webster Groves community as a whole. The two schools are committed to continuing and growing their engagement with the Webster Groves community, providing educational and cultural opportunities that support the quality of life for residents.
"We believe the closing of this agreement benefits both institutions and, by maintaining the use of the Lockwood Property by two historic higher education institutions, serves the City of Webster Groves," said Webster University President Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble and Eden Theological Seminary President Dr. David M. Greenhaw in a joint statement.
In the newest development of a 40-plus-year history of library agreements between the two institutions, Eden's Luhr library building has been transferred to Webster. Eden's active collection has been consolidated and integrated into Webster's state-of-the-art Emerson Library. Eden students, faculty and staff now have full access to Emerson's extensive library resources and will continue to do so under a 20-year joint library agreement.
Meanwhile, Webster University will continue to pursue approval for an 18,000-square-foot addition to the Luhr Library building to house its science programs. "We are committed to submitting a revised plan to the City of Webster Groves that responds fully to the questions raised by city staff and Planning Commission members in April," Dr. Stroble said.
Other provisions of the agreement include a seven-year lease of Eden's athletic fields by Webster for recreation and intramural athletic activities, and full access for Eden students, faculty and staff to Webster's Fitness Center.
Dr. Stroble and Dr. Greenhaw emphasized that they plan to maximize the use and enjoyment of the two adjoining campuses while meeting each institution's particular needs. For Eden, it will maintain and improve library services and reduce operating overhead expenses, while Webster will gain sorely needed academic space and access to intramural athletic fields.
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence. Founded in 1915, Webster offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through five schools and colleges, and a global network of campuses. Its 20,000-plus student population represents almost 150 nationalities. Since opening its first overseas campus in Geneva in 1978, Webster has become a recognized leader and innovator in global education. The University’s Study Abroad programs rank in the top 2 percent of the more than 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed in the "America’s Best Colleges" 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Webster is one of just 34 U.S. institutions to share this distinction. The University’s international presence now includes campuses in London; Vienna; Amsterdam and Leiden, the Netherlands; Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu, China; and Bangkok and Cha-am, Thailand. Webster also has educational partnerships with universities in Mexico and Japan.
Eden Theological Seminary, a graduate school affiliated with the United Church of Christ, prepares women and men for lay and ordained Christian ministry. Eden offers four graduate degrees in theology, including Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.), along with a dual degree (M.Div. or MAPS) in conjunction with a Master of Social Work degree from the Washington University George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis. Founded in 1850, Eden has more than 200 students from approximately 18 denominations.
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