Category: News

Central Gifts an Allen Organ to William Jewell College

When Central built the Shawnee campus chapel in 2011, board member and longtime friend of the seminary, Linda Roos and the Pillsbury Foundation, gifted the seminary with an Allen Organ for use during worship and special events. This incredible instrument filled the chapel with beautiful music and was a backdrop to countless songs and hymns for the Central community.

In 2024, the great majority of Central’s students learn online, with only a handful of students on campus each week, and the seminary’s chapel services take place on Zoom. As an act of good stewardship, Central’s Board of Directors voted in November 2023 to put the Shawnee building on the market and relocate to a more appropriately sized space.   With the upcoming move of the seminary, Central leadership realized it was time to gift the organ to another institution that would use and enjoy it.  To honor the original intent of the gift of the organ to Central, President Pamela R. Durso contacted William Jewell College, the alma mater of Roos. Dr. Ann Marie Rigler, College Organist and Professor of Music, on behalf of the college, accepted the offer of the organ.

“We are delighted to share this beautiful organ with William Jewell and thankful that the organ will be used by students and loved by the college’s music department,” noted President Durso. “Sharing the organ with a sister school furthers the legacy of Linda Roos and the Pillsbury Foundation in fostering a love for organ music among a student population and ensures that high quality musical programming continues on an educational campus.”

“This gift will be a phenomenal boost to our ability to prepare our choirs to perform significant and important pieces of choral literature. The student experience will be enhanced by working in rehearsal spaces with a robust and effective instrument,” said Dr. Ian D. Coleman, chair of the Department of Performing Arts at William Jewell College.We cannot overstate the importance of this gift – it will be transformative in our work preparing choral masterworks and developing our students understanding of important musical literature.”

Central held a final in-person worship service in chapel on June 25, 2024, in which the organ was a centerpiece of the musical offerings.

The organ was moved by Precision Piano Movers and relocated to William Jewell College on July 9, 2024.