Williams dedicates Belle Hall

J.R. Cox (from left), chairman of the Williams Baptist College Board of Trustees, visits with Jim Tom Butler, Connie Belle Butler and Lois Ann Butler following the ribbon-cutting for Belle Hall, which is named in Connie's honor.

The ribbon has been cut and Belle Hall, the newest residential facility at Williams Baptist College, was officially dedicated on Friday. The ceremony was held at the conclusion of Williams' regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting.

The 43-bed women's residence hall has been housing students throughout the fall semester.

"Belle Hall is not only necessary and useful for our growing campus, it is also beautiful," said Dr. Kenneth Startup, interim president at Williams. "The wonderful facility elevates our entire campus, and we are blessed by the new structure."

Belle Hall was made possible in part by a $500,000 gift from the Jim Tom Butler family of Harrisburg. Butler has been a member of the Williams Board of Trustees, and his family has supported the college for many decades. The name for Belle Hall comes from his wife, Connie Belle Butler, and her family, and has a rich history that extends many generations.

"The Butler family's support and generosity for this institution reaches back decades," Startup said. "Now, the latest expression of their support and generosity carries the Butler family legacy into future generations. We are deeply, profoundly grateful."

Members of the Butler family, local elected officials, and Williams board members were present at the dedication.

The $2.3 million project was constructed by Clark General Contractors of Walnut Ridge, and Brackett-Krennerich & Associates Architects of Jonesboro designed the building.

Williams, a Christian, liberal arts college, and will formally become Williams Baptist University in July of 2018.

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