Pioneer mascot T-shirt give-away part of Founders Day celebration

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University plans to give away a limited-edition commemorative Pioneer Pete mascot T-shirts to the first 200 people who arrive at the university’s annual celebration of the day the institution was establish as Wayland Literary and Technical Institute in 1908.

The Founder’s Day celebration of Wayland’s 115th year takes place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31, on the front steps of historic Gates Hall. The limited-edition commemorative blue T-shirt features the recently updated Pioneer Pete mascot and will only be available at the Founders Day celebration.

Linda Adkins, granddaughter of Dr. James Henry Wayland, will be one of two featured speakers during the celebration. She is scheduled to share memories of her grandfather. Adkins will be joined by Dr. Estelle Owens, Emeritus Professor of History and University Historian, who will offer colorful, historic information about the founding of the institution.

The community is invited to join with Wayland family of students, faculty, staff, and administrators in the celebration. Dr. Lusk, Senior Vice President of Operations and Student Life, is scheduled to welcome guests, and International Choir is slated to perform Wayland’s alma mater. After the formal ceremony, cake will be served, and special photo-ops are planned. Lawn games such as cornhole, can jam and volleyball are also planned outside of Gates Hall.

“Come early, get your shirt, and join in as we celebrate Wayland’s anniversary with a big party,” said Christina Longoria, Digital Media Manager, and primary organizer of the Founders Day celebration. “Everyone is invited. Linda Adkins and Dr. Estelle Owens have great stories to tell, and everyone is going to have a lot of fun.”

Dr. Wayland, a pioneer physician, understood the importance of education, and he was driven to offer faith-based education to the people of West Texas. His vision at the turn of the century for the literary and technical institute he founded remains the vision of Wayland Baptist University’s Plainview campus, nine external campuses, and Wayland’s online campus.