Flying Queens Foundation Breaking Ground on Museum

PLAINVIEW – The Hutcherson Flying Queens Foundation (HFQF) will break ground on the Flying Queens Museum at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 19 at the Mabee Regional Heritage Center on the Wayland Baptist University campus. The museum will tell the story of the Hutcherson Flying Queens and the women involved who were successful in all walks of life thanks to the opportunities they had for competition and education at Wayland.

The Texas Historical Foundation will also be on hand to present the HFQF with a with a commemorative check for a grant to digitize game films from the 1950s-1980s.

The public is invited to the event that will take place at the Llano Estacado Museum at 1900 W. 8th St. Plainview Mayor Dr. Charles Starnes, HFQF President Linda Price and current Queens Coach Jason Cooper will be on hand to say a few words, along with Wayland President Dr. Bobby Hall. Artist renderings will show the renovations that will be made to parts of the existing Llano Estacado Museum space to accommodate the new museum.

The HFQF is collecting memorabilia that tells the Queens’ story. Wayland will provide the space and properly catalog and preserve the pieces that will appear in the museum. Plans include interactive videos, memorabilia donated by former Flying Queens and unique story boards that chronicle the Queens beginning, rise to international success and the impact they had on the game of basketball and women’s athletics.

The museum will also stress the role Wayland played in providing educational opportunities for women. Wayland was the first college to offer women four-year athletic scholarships, and while the success on the court was legendary, the story of the Queens goes far beyond the gymnasium. Dr. Hall is working closely with the HFQF, hoping people will see the museum as something more than just honoring the athletic legacy.

“This is intended to capture the legacy of the program and so many facets within it that relate not just to national championships and wins and losses, but to the program’s role in creating opportunities for women,” Hall said. “From the U.S. State Department wanting our coaches and players to be part of trips intended to improve international relations with the Soviet Union and others to our role in expanding opportunities for women, these women didn’t just play basketball, they went on to very successful careers that impacted hundreds of thousands of other lives in all types of professions.”

The Flying Queens, WBU’s women’s basketball team, have won more games than any women’s program, at any level, in the nation with more than 1700 victories. The program from 1948-82 was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. The groundbreaking for the museum will take place as part of Wayland’s homecoming activities scheduled for Feb. 18-19.