Wayland to kick off centennial officially with dedication of founder's statue

Release Date: August 8, 2008


Statue of Dr. WaylandPLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University will kick off its year-long Centennial Celebration officially with the community on Thursday, Aug. 21, with the dedication of the statue of founder Dr. James H. Wayland.

              The dedication ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Plainview Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours, which WBU will host that day. The event begins at 5 p.m. with refreshments and mingling, and the program will begin around 5:15.

              After welcome and comments from BAH committee chair Linda Morris, Mayor John Anderson will bring a special proclamation from the City of Plainview to officially start the celebration. Then a brief ceremony will include the unveiling of the statue, which will be the centerpiece of the James and Eva Mayer Wayland Heritage Plaza, funded by the Mayer Foundation. Afterward, the first special Centennial cancellation will be unveiled by the local branch of the U.S. Postal Service, kicking off a 60-day window to get the special commemorative mark.

              The work of Lubbock artist Eddie Dixon, the statue of Dr. Wayland is one-and-one-half-times life-size and features the seated doctor reading a book, his doctor bag beside him. The statue is the larger version of a two-foot statue Dixon created in the 1990s and simply titled “The Book.” The bronze piece was funded by numerous donors, specifically adopted by the Classes of 1955 and 1956 as a pet project to complete.

              “We are so excited that the centennial celebration is finally here and we get to enjoy this anniversary with the community and other Wayland friends,” said Martha Cross, executive director of institutional advancement. “It’s exciting to see this beautiful piece of art and tribute to our founder completed after raising money for the project for the past few years. This is truly a ‘dreams to reality’ story for our university in many ways.”

              The plaza is located in front of the south wing of Gates Hall inside the circular driveway. Set off by a curved half-wall made of bricks from Matador Hall – the first building on campus which was removed in the late 1990s due to safety issues – the plaza includes a paved area with two stone benches, landscaping and bronze plaques marking the structure and the Mayers. The statue is mounted on a base of Matador brick.

              The public is invited to attend the event, and drawings for door prizes will be held as part of the Business After Hours tradition. The circular drive will be closed for the event, but parking will be available outside Nunn Auditorium, around McClung Center, and along 8th Street by Van Howeling Education Complex, the Flores Bible Building and the Museum of the Llano Estacado.