Wayland receives $2.5 million gift, names Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing

PLAINVIEW – A $2.5 million gift from Ben and Bertha Mieth has prompted Wayland Baptist University’s Board of Trustees to recognize the longtime supporters by naming the university’s nursing school in San Antonio in their honor.

“In celebration of this generous gift, Wayland is thrilled to officially recognize the naming of the Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing,” said Dr. Bobby Hall, university president.

The gift, which was announced during a Board of Trustees meeting in Plainview Thursday, includes $25,000 set aside to establish the Irene Wilson George Endowed Scholarship in Nursing. The scholarship honors Bertha’s mother, who was a nurse. It will be awarded annually to a student selected by the faculty of the Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing.

“We love Wayland Baptist University and are thankful to God to be able to share the resources He has given us to help ensure that future generations can benefit from a Christ-centered higher education,” the couple said. “Recruiting and retaining today’s students and then caring for them throughout their educational program requires more resources than ever before. Together we can make a real difference in strengthening Wayland as it pursues its mission to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education.”

In accepting the generous gift, Hall expressed personal thanks, as well as the thanks of the university.

“In every aspect of their lives, Ben and Bertha Mieth are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and we are humbled by their love for Wayland Baptist University,” he said. “Their story is one of trusting God throughout all of life’s circumstances, both good and bad, and they will be the first to give God the glory for the blessings they have been able to bestow upon Wayland. Even before Ben became a Wayland trustee, he and Bertha supported our Mission Center, provided scholarships and a professorship, and quietly met the needs of many individual students and many other WBU initiatives.”

The couple’s understanding of the world’s need for Christ and the transformational power of Christian higher education has always found them willing to lend their support.

“Their prayers, presence, and generosity have already changed the lives of many Wayland students and employees, including mine, and this gift ensures that they will continue to have such an impact for generations to come,” Hall said.

The Ben and Bertha Mieth School of Nursing already offers both undergraduate and graduate nursing education degrees.

“This transformational gift will provide funding for facilities and equipment needs as well as the creation of additional nursing programs to be announced soon,” Hall said. “We look forward to following today’s announcement with an official unveiling and celebration of the Mieth School of Nursing in the near future.”

Ben Mieth, who resides with his wife in Glen Rose, is a former member of Wayland’s Board of Trustees, having served from 2018 to 2022. He has owned or operated several companies through the years.

More than 50 years ago, he and his wife founded International Commission with their pastor, former Wayland trustee Gene Hawkins. International Commission is a nonprofit organization that focuses on church-based evangelism projects around the world. International Commission focuses on developing relationships with churches in other countries to ensure each new believer is connected to a church for discipleship. Wayland’s trustees recognized Mieth’s Kingdom work with International Commission during their 2021 summer retreat.

Bertha Mieth has been active in Baptist mission endeavors for many years, serving at churches in Seminole, Lubbock, and Arlington as well as at First Baptist Church of Glen Rose. She is involved in Women’s Missionary Union, sings in the choir, and plays handbells at her church. Mieth worked with the Texas State Department of Welfare for several years and has supported Ben through almost 70 years of marriage.

Wayland presented the couple with the Keeper of the Flame Award in March 2014 for their support for the university through the years. Their support has included establishing an endowed chair in missions for the School of Christian Studies, and they have bolstered other scholarships and endeavors.