Breaking News: Webster purchases $935,000 university residence

Webster University's Board of Trustees announced the purchase of a $935,000 residence, pictured above, in the Webster Park neighborhood. The residence will serve as home for university president Elizabeth Stroble. Brittany Ruess/The Journal

Since 2008, Webster University has been planning and searching for a place of residence for the university president. Today, the Board of Trustees announced their purchase of a $935,000 property, across the street from Webster.

The home, located at 102 Mason Avenue in the Webster Park neighborhood, boasts more than 3,400 square feet with two patios and a screened wrap-around porch. lists the price of the four bedroom, four bathroom home as $998,000.

The university said in a media release that providing a university home for a president is standard practice. The new residence will eliminate the housing allowance Webster currently pays President Elizabeth Stroble, and allows her to host events for prospective students, donors and dignitaries from around the world in a personal, comfortable setting.

Stroble is expected to move into the home in March, after renovations are made to ensure the home meets the Americans with Disabilities Act standards for access. The last university president to live in Webster Groves was Jacqueline Grennan-Wexler, who served as president from 1965 to 1969.

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  1. $935k? Really?? They’re willing to spend that much just for Stroble? I understand that it’s a good thing to find a home for Stroble in Webster Groves, but couldn’t they have found a more affordable house and used whatever was left of that money for better things, like newer technologies, hiring new adjunct faculty or staff, or even giving back to the community? What a waste of money.

    And how much was her housing allowance in the first place?

  2. The money was not spent “just for Stroble.” The president’s residence will be used for many university functions and needs to be large enough to do so.

    Also, no matter what her housing allowance was, it was money that was paid out each year with no real financial return on investment. We would have needed to pay that allowance every year for as long as the university existed. Now, the money Webster spends on the mortgage each year will be a true investment; eventually, the university will own the property outright and will not have to spend anything per year for the residence (except utilities, if those are not the president’s responsibility, and taxes).

    I am also thrilled that the president will live within walking distance of the university and can, if she chooses, set a great example of sustainable living by walking to work.

    I am also hopeful that having the president living in the Webster Groves community will strengthen relations between the university and the city. That could yield invaluable benefits for Webster in the future, since Webster city council has to approve all our construction plans.

    While this is a lot of money, I think it is a good investment.

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