DOROTHY POWELL ELKINS STUDENT CENTER DEDICATE
Dorothy Elkins, a resident of Bell Buckle, who recently began her 61st year of service at The Webb School, was honored on April 22 during the 2017 Reunion with the dedication and naming of the Dorothy Powell Elkins Student Center. “We are bonded here today by our love for a very special lady who has meant so much to all of us. She’s a really, really special lady for Webb, as you know, and for the town of Bell Buckle,” said Head of School Ray Broadhead. He recounted the story of how she came to Webb in March 1957 as a temporary worker helping out in admissions. “She stayed a few weeks as she was supposed to, and she said, ‘they never told me to leave.’” Broadhead noted that Mrs. Dorothy, as she is known, was always an advocate for students especially those who were far away from home. “She was a warm face and a friendly smile as she is today," he said, adding that she served as assistant to five heads of school, secretary to the board of trustees for 29 years and continues to work as part of the Office of Alumni and Development staff. Phil Coop, trustee, former board chair and co-chair of the Moving Our Tradition Forward campaign, explained how the board of trustees approved naming the student center in her honor. He said that often naming opportunities are provided to donors who are willing to offer a substantial contribution. “But the board of trustees had a different idea … that we owed something to Dorothy, and it shouldn’t be based on money but based on the love she’s had for the school for many years. The board voted to name this building after Dorothy Elkins and to raise the money to justify that.” Coop related that he had the task of asking her if it was OK and told her the board wanted to do something in the student center in her honor. He did not tell her the plan was to name the building for her. He thanked all who donated. More than $428,000 has been received from 190 donors making gifts so far to the student center project. Matt Wilson, director of alumni and development introduced the honoree saying, “There are a lot of things that one can say about Mrs. Dorothy, but I just appreciate that she’s in our office. She’s still working hard. It is an inspiration to all of us. We just want to say that we love you.” Responding to the comments, Mrs. Dorothy said, “I certainly feel honored. I never thought this would happen. I want to thank the trustees, Mr. Broadhead and Mrs. Wilson for all their hard work.” She also expressed appreciation to all her friends in the Bell Buckle area and other areas who attended the dedication in her honor and thanked alumni who came to attend the reunion. “I’ve just been so thrilled to see all of you, and I love you.” Finally, she thanked all who contributed to the project. “I can’t ever thank you enough.” Tennessee Poet Laureate Maggi Vaughn, a resident of Bell Buckle who has known Mrs. Dorothy for many years, read a poem that she wrote in her honor – A Tribute to Dorothy. The center is part of Webb’s Residential Village Phase I project that also includes two new dormitories. Last year during the 2016 Alumni Reunion, the $5.4 million Phase I project was dedicated, and the dorms were named Meadows Hall and Wendel Haynes Hall.
The Webb School | 4/22/2017
The Webb School | 4/22/2017