Central’s newest residence hall is named to honor a longtime professor who felt so strongly about the university that he established three endowments during his lifetime and donated a large portion of his estate to the school after his death in 2018.
The professor was William Owen Dugmore (he rarely used his first name), who began teaching psychology at CWU in 1968 and continued to do so until 2014. In addition to his teaching, Dugmore also provided personal counseling services to students in the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic for many years.
Dugmore was born in a small town in southern Utah in 1931. After graduating from Millard High School in Fillmore, Utah in 1949, he enrolled in the pre-med program at the University of Utah, graduating with honors. He taught high school for several years before returning to the University of Utah, where he earned a master’s degree and PhD in educational psychology with a concentration on counseling.
Dugmore said he decided to take a job at Central because he enjoyed the small-town feel of Ellensburg. In an interview, he noted that “after experiencing Central for five or six years, I began to realize that I probably wouldn’t find another place where I would like the town or the students any better.”
At Central, his classes included courses in relationships, personal development, and counseling.
Dugmore enjoyed musical performances, especially opera, and for many years had season tickets to the Seattle Opera. He also admired CWU’s music department and its students and was a regular at recitals and performances on campus.
In 2007, he established the William Owen Dugmore Endowed Music Scholarship to support students pursuing degrees in music. Additionally, he established the William Owen Dugmore Endowed Psychology Scholarship to support students pursuing a degree in psychology and the William Owen Dugmore Counseling Center Endowment, which supports counseling programs.
Following his death in January 2018, Dugmore designated CWU as the sole beneficiary of his estate. His donation of nearly $1.2 million is one of the largest gifts in recent university history.
In May 2018, work began on a new $40 million residence hall to be named in Dugmore’s honor. The 105,000 square foot building, located on the corner of East Dean Nicholson Blvd. and Wildcat Way, opened in September 2019 and houses 402 students.
The four-story building was designed by Mahlum Architects of Seattle and built by Lydig Construction of Spokane.