mayer foundation gift funds heritage plaza

Release Date: August 14, 2008

PLAINVIEW – In just another to the list of projects supported on the Wayland Baptist University campus, the James and Eva Mayer Foundation has given $50,000 to complete the plaza which will centerpiece the statue of founder Dr. James H. Wayland.

        The statue and the James and Eva Mayer Wayland Heritage Plaza will be dedicated Aug. 21 in a 5 p.m. ceremony to kick off the university’s centennial celebration and in conjunction with the Plainview Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours open house.

         The Heritage Plaza features a curved brick half-wall constructed of bricks from Matador Hall, the women’s dormitory built in 1909 and removed in the late 1990s due to deterioration. Two stone benches with carved tops will bear the name of James and Eva Mayer, whose gifts to the university over the years have helped make significant campus improvements.

“Certainly the Mayer Foundation has been so faithful in its support throughout the years, and we are indeed grateful,” said Hope English, director of development. “I trust that Mrs. Mayer would be pleased to know something truly beautiful will grace the Wayland Baptist University campus for the next 100 years because of Gene’s wise counsel, her generosity, and the thoughtful decisions of her trustees.”

        The James & Eva Mayer Foundation was established in the Last Will and Testament of Eva Mayer. Mrs. Mayer and her husband, James, an industrialist, lived in Philadelphia for many years. Following his death in the early 1960s, Eva moved to Plainview, Texas, to care for her mother, Elizabeth P. Hoyle.

         After Mrs. Hoyle’s death, the Mayers had no immediate family, and in 1977, Eva, with the counsel of her attorney, the late Gene V. Owen, wrote a testamentary plan to create a private foundation whose earnings would be used exclusively for charitable purposes. Thus, the James and Eva Mayer Foundation became effective at Eva Mayer’s death in May 1982.

        The foundation’s current trustees are Paul Lyle, David Wilder and Rudd F. Owen.

              Most recently, the Mayer Foundation contributed to the new Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center, providing the student lounge area, and funded a large part of the façade work outside Harral Auditorium, including the circular drive on its west side. They were also instrumental donors to the Mabee Learning Resources Center completion.