Ribbon cutting

MSW program in Missoula relocates to newly remodeled facility

The Walla Walla University master of social work (MSW) program in Missoula, Montana, relocated during spring quarter to a property purchased by the university. An open house was held in May at the new location, which is centrally located on Mullan Road and has a beautiful view of the Clark Fork River.

The open house featured some familiar faces from WWU, including Vice President of Academic Administration Bob Cushman, dean of the School of Social Work Susan Smith, and President John McVay. Missoula City Council Representative Julie Armstrong was also present and offered a few brief comments at the building’s opening.

Laurelle Warner, associate professor of social work and Missoula program coordinator, says “The remodeled and renovated building conveys warmth and an inviting atmosphere combined with the professionalism of graduate education. Students have commented on how much they like the new space. They like its openness and its close proximity to the river.”

In addition, Warner says the new building and its location will provide more opportunities for MSW students to interact with community organizations in Missoula. “The purchase and renovation of the building represents the WWU commitment to the MSW program in Missoula,” said Warner. “This translates to a sense of permanence and security for the program.”

For the last 10 years the university leased space for the Missoula program in an unused elementary school. The local school district plans to reopen that elementary school this fall and could no longer continue the lease. This prompted WWU to purchase and restore the Mullan Road building to permanently house the Missoula program.

The WWU Missoula MSW program was the first MSW program in Montana. The program enrolled its first cohort of 25 students 18 years ago in 1997. Walla Walla University also offers MSW programs in Billings, Montana, and on its main campus in College Place, Washington. The university also offers a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in sociology.

To learn more about the WWU School of Social Work and Sociology, visit wallawalla.edu/socialwork or call (509) 527-2273.

Posted July 7, 2016.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new MSW building in Missoula took place in May.
Remodeled building
"The remodeled and renovated building conveys warmth and an inviting atmosphere combined with the professionalism of graduate education, " said Laurelle Warner, MSW Missoula program coordinator.
Ribbon cutting ceremony
A large crowd enjoyed refreshments, live music, and a beautiful Montana day at the ribbon cutting ceremony.