by Clem Boyd, Communications Content Manager
Cedarville University will open one new residence hall in August — Walker Hall — and name a recently constructed townhouse — Rooke Hall — at the start of the 2018-19 academic year. Cedarville University has built several residential halls in recent years because of its rising enrollment, and 2018-19 is expected to be the largest enrollment in school history.
The university's first townhouse, constructed in 2012, has been named Rooke Hall after the late Rev. Wilbur C. Rooke, a member of the Cedarville Board of Trustees from 1954 to 1974.
Rooke pastored seven churches and served four churches as interim pastor during 55 years of ministry. He also served as secretary with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) and on the GARBC’s governing council. He was a board member of the Baptist Christian School of Cleveland, Ohio, and the Baptist Bible Institute (BBI). BBI and Cedarville College merged in 1953.
“Wilbur Rooke was one of my heroes of the faith,” said Dr. Murray Murdoch, senior professor of history, who has taught at Cedarville since 1965. “He took a strong stand on the great doctrines of the Scripture, but always in a godly, gracious way.”
Rooke Hall has been a popular housing option for graduate students and upperclassmen. The 12,000-square-foot facility has eight six-person units each with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, washer and dryer and a furnished living room. Rooke Hall was constructed at a cost of $2 million.
Walker Hall, set to open in August, is named for Richard G. Walker, a longtime Cedarville employee who made a lifelong impact on students through his various staff roles.
Walker began his tenure at the university (then, Cedarville College) in 1970 in intramural recreation and food services. From 1975 until 1984 Walker served as the dean of men for the university, and in 1984 became the director of campus activities, the position he held until 2006. Walker then served families and alumni through his roles as dean of community and family life programs then coordinator for alumni engagement until his retirement in 2012.
“I think Dick Walker has probably made some of the most significant contributions of anyone who’s been at Cedarville,” said chancellor and former president Dr. Paul Dixon. Walker is a familiar name and a service role model to nearly four decades of Cedarville graduates.
Constructed at a cost of $3.3 million, Walker Hall features four 16-person units. Each of the spacious units includes eight bedrooms, a large living space, a kitchenette, a study lounge and a bathroom with built-in laundry.
According to Dr. Jon Wood, vice president for student life and Christian ministries, two significant goals of the university’s residence life program are discipling students and building community. “We view our residence halls as places for our students to live out biblical principles in their relationships with each other,” he said. “We bring that perspective into the way we design each of these unique living spaces.”
Both Walker and Rooke Halls will be officially named and dedicated as part of the university’s homecoming festivities in October.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.