Distinguished Alumni

Alumni awards allow Wayland to recognize outstanding service or achievement by its graduates and spotlight the contributions our alumni make worldwide. Nominations are always open for Distinguished Alumni Awards for all campuses in the Wayland system and awards are given at varying times during the calendar year. Click here to nominate a worthy recipient for future awards.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Distinguished Alumni winners should make a distinctive contribution to their profession, serve in exemplary leadership roles in their community and/or demonstrate a strong loyalty to Wayland through service or giving. This honor is limited to graduates of Wayland, whether undergraduate or at the graduate level. Available for graduates of all campuses.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award: Distinguished Young Alumni winners should make a distinctive contribution to their profession, serve in exemplary leadership roles in their community and/or demonstrate a strong loyalty to Wayland through service or giving. This honor is limited to persons who are age 35 or under who have earned a degree from Wayland. For Plainview or WBUOnline graduates only.

Distinguished Benefactor Award: This award honors an individual or couple who have generously given to Wayland through financial support to any programs, projects or special initiatives, either over a long period of time or a short one. This honor is not limited to a graduate of Wayland but preference is given to those who have shown exceptional loyalty to their alma mater.

NEW for 2023! Pioneer Alumni Educator Award: This new award recognizes an individual who has served the community through education, whether working as a teacher or up through district administrator level. This honor is limited to a graduate of the university but can be from any campus. Click here to nominate an individual.

2023 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

None Selected(Albuquerque campus)

James Tudman (Amarillo campus)

Bonnie Flyum (Anchorage campus)

None Selected (Clovis campus)

None Selected (Fairbanks campus)

None Selected (Hawaii campus)

Joe Longway BAS'12 (Lubbock campus)                                                                                   

Regional Director, Texas Department of Public Safety-Lubbock Region, Anton, Texas

None Selected (Phoenix campus)

None Selected (Wichita Falls campus)

Dr. Vernon Stokes, BA'59 (Plainview campus)                               

1959 graduate of Wayland, who went on to earn advanced degrees at Texas Tech and embark on a career in public education. He taught at the elementary, junior high and high school levels, did some college adjunct instructing, and then moved into public school administration. He served as an assistant principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. He came out of retirement to serve Ector County schools as superintendent for four years, retiring again in 2000. He also served on Wayland’s Board of Trustees for 19 years, including three years as chairman.

Patrick Timothy Aland, MA'09 (Plainview Campus)                                                                

Earned a Master of Arts in Counseling from Wayland in 2009 and has served as a counselor at Lubbock Veterans Counseling Center, working with hundreds of combat veterans and their family members to help them deal with depression, PTSD, minimal brain injuries, and more sustained in service to the nation. He has initiated outreach to older veterans in care facilities and used a therapy dog to comfort many. He volunteers with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and serves other veteran service organizations as well as his church, participating in several mission trips to Central America and Vietnam.

Jeremy Bryant, BA'99 (Plainview Campus)                                                                               

Earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Wayland in 1999. He then worked for alumnus Tony Ricketts at KFLP radio in Floydada. Employed since 2001 by Foster Communications in San Angelo, Texas, since 2001, he is a sales executive and sports director. In that role, he sells advertising for four different stations and coordinates coverage of the city’s high school sports games between himself and a small group of broadcasters. Since Foster Communications has had the exclusive rights to Angelo State University sports since 1990, they handle primarily the Rams football, basketball and baseball games on the radio.




2023 Distinguished Young Alumni Award Winner

JR Dunn, BA'14 (Plainview Campus)                                                                                         

Serving as Baptist Student Ministries director at Wayland since August 2020 after serving in church ministry. He earned his WBU degree in 2013 in intercultural missions and then a Master of Divinity degree from Truett Seminary. He was active in the ministry as a Wayland student and now enjoys sharing the gospel with students across the Plainview campus, discipling students, and leading them to reach their peers through mission trips and training endeavors.

2023 Distinguished Benefactor Alumni Award Winner

Ben and Bertha Mieth

Served on the Board of Trustees, and they have contributed to numerous projects through the years in support of Christian education through Wayland. They are serving as chairs of Wayland’s Thrive campaign and made the lead gift of $2.5 million to support the School of Nursing and other needs. Bertha has been an active supporter of Wayland’s Sally Society.

2023 Joe and Freda Distinguished Lifetime Service Award Winners

Freda Province                                                                                                                         

Helped coordinate the Miss Wayland Pageant for many years. She also worked as administrative assistant to several Wayland presidents, retiring in 2007 after 25 years of service. After retirement, she and Joe helped found and lead the Friends of Music (now Friends of the Arts) to support students. They have received numerous honors, including the prestigious President’s Award.

Libby Cleveland                                                                                                                        

Impacted hundreds of Wayland students through more than 30 years of teaching math. After serving 30 years as a public-school math teacher, she came to the college ranks, taking on elementary and intermediate math courses under the Academic Achievement Department. She currently is an assistant professor for the Kenneth L. Mattox School of Mathematics and Sciences and enjoys helping students get past the math hurdle to succeed in completing their college degree.


2023 Alumnus of the Year:

Click here to read more about the 2021 winners systemwide.

Click here for a full list of previous years' winners.