Longtime educator to be honored at homecoming

PLAINVIEW – Kathie Turner Jackson, longtime educator, will be recognized as one of Wayland Baptist University’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award winners during a Feb. 17 banquet held as part of the WBU Homecoming celebration in Plainview.

A native of Hale Center, Jackson followed several siblings to Wayland, earning her degree in 1974 in biology and chemistry with a teaching certificate. She met husband Mike on a Wayland marine biology travel study course while camping along the Pacific coast. The two married in 1972.

She taught in Perth, Western Australia, for two years before the couple returned to the Texas Panhandle, where they both worked in several area schools. During her tenure, Jackson served as a math/curriculum leader at Tascosa High School, where she fell in love with the many refugees who settled in Amarillo. She continues to help with an apartment ministry near the school, and the couple has helped endangered believers they have encountered on overseas travels.

Jackson lost her hand in a farm accident in 1980 and “discovered how deep God’s power and peace can carry a disciple of Christ through life’s most difficult situations.” She said she likes to be asked about her hook “so she can brag on God.” Jackson published a book, So Great a Heritage, in 2006 using 154 letters that her father, Cecil Turner, wrote during World War II, capturing the European struggle through the eyes of a homesick Christian farm boy from Roscoe, Texas.

Now retired, Jackson is an active member at First Baptist Church in Canyon, serving with several ministries. They often travel to visit their children and 10 grandchildren spread around the globe. All three children are WBU graduates: Matt Jackson, BS’99; April Jackson Chancler, BS’05; and Bekah Jackson Schaub, BA’08.

“While she considers herself just a humble servant of Christ, Kathie Jackson has impacted countless lives as a teacher and active church member,” said Jeffrey Vera, director of alumni relations. “Her contributions to her community and beyond, and her long family legacy of Wayland graduates, are points of pride for her alma mater. We are proud to honor Kathie during homecoming as a distinguished alumnus.”

The Blue and Gold Banquet is set for 6 p.m. on Friday on the Plainview campus. It is open to alumni and friends for $15 per person, which includes dinner. In addition to Jackson, honorees include Donnie Brown, longtime campus minister and Director of Spiritual Life; Rick Cooper, longtime college basketball coach; Richard Miller, longtime probation officer and pastor of Happy Union Baptist Church; young alumnus honoree Dr. Hailey Budnick, a neurosurgical resident; and benefactor honoree Sally Dillman Eaves.

The dinner is just one piece of the homecoming weekend lineup that can be found online at www.wbu.edu/alumni-and-friends/homecoming.htm. Registration is available at that site. For more information, contact Vera at (806) 291-3600.