"This is an exciting time for us," said Angela Seymour, Crowder College Cassville Center director. "The new campus will give us the space needed to offer new degree programs, including a nursing program, which should begin in January.
"Our last site visit from the State Board of Nursing will be in December, and then we will start accepting students," said Seymour. "We have had 40 students apply for the 25 spots that will be available during the first year."
Seymour thanked members of the local medical community who have helped support the new nursing program by donating equipment and offering information.
"We have also added an addictions counseling degree program," said Seymour. "That program is taught by Dr. Heidi Henderson, who is a state certified substance abuse counselor. Dr. Henderson has worked very hard for that program.
"There is a heavy need for substance abuse counseling in our community, and we are proud to be able to offer the program," said Seymour. "We hope as we grow we are able to offer even more degrees. It is exciting to be in a new facility where we have the space to add new things."
In addition to the nursing and substance abuse programs, the Cassville Center offers two-year degrees in general studies, teaching, child development, business and psychology.
During the dedication ceremony, Dr. Alan Marble, Crowder College president, acknowledged several members of the Cassville community attending the event, including Crowder College Cassville Center Foundation Board members John Starchman and Richard Asbill.
Attendees also heard remarks from Andy Wood, Crowder College Board of Trustees president.
"Ten years ago this started as an experiment," said Wood. "Now, look at where we are at with a fully functional campus. We are proud to be a part of this community and this project. This is a wonderful, wonderful thing."
Wood and Dr. Marble presented Jerry Watley with a plaque in recognition of his contributions to the Crowder College Cassville Center.
"Crowder College has a very important mission," said Wood. "It is a service and leadership institute. Jerry has been a true servant leader. He is a humble and unassuming man with great dreams to see something bigger.
"Through his generosity this wonderful facility was made possible," said Wood. "We want to recognize the investment he has made into this community and the students who will be served here."
After the dedication ceremony, Crowder College Cassville Center students led guided tours around the new campus, which offers a one-stop enrollment area, three computer labs, a bookstore, a student lounge, offices and an assortment of new classrooms.
The Crowder College Cassville Center, which was previously located on 13th Street in Cassville, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Over the last decade, over 2,240 students have completed 32,793 credit hours at the local college.
The new Cassville Center is located at 4020 N. Main St. across from Barry Electric Cooperative's headquarters.