Dr. Glenda Payas to chair new Development Council

PLAINVIEW — Dr. Glenda Payas of Tulsa, Okla., has agreed to serve as chair of the newly created Wayland Development Council, a select group of alumni, ex-students, and friends who desire to promote Wayland Baptist University.

Dr. Bobby Hall, President, announced the formation of the Council as well as the appointment of Payas. The inaugural meeting of the Council is set for Thursday afternoon, Oct. 26, following a joint meeting with Wayland’s Board of Trustees earlier in the day.

“The Council will lead a strategic effort to ensure Wayland thrives by focusing on academic schools and majors, external and online programs, missions, capital projects, athletics, endowments and scholarships, matching gifts, and other key strategic priorities,” Hall said. “Glenda Payas will be a marvelous leader in this endeavor.”

Payas, a 1969 graduate, said she is honored to be selected as the chair.

“It will be a joy to join with Dr. Hall, as well as alumni and friends of the university, to promote Wayland,” she said.

Mike Hammack, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, said Payas will lead a group of up to 36 Wayland supporters who will assist the president, as well as deans, directors, and other leaders, in increasing philanthropic support for the university.

“It is our goal to lead a strategic effort to ensure Wayland thrives into the future so students will excel as leaders in academics, missions, athletics, life skills and as adult Christian leaders,” Payas said.

The new chair said she seeks to “kindle a passion for the university.”

“We want to push Wayland’s mission forward,” Payas continued. “To do that, we need to garner support financially, spiritually, and prayerfully to advance in God’s calling for this university.”

Hammack said the Council will take a leadership role in campaigns and, at times, work alongside the President, Board of Trustees and Alumni Board to accomplish strategic financial goals.

Wayland Development Council members will serve three-year terms and a member may serve up to three conservative terms before rotating off for one year. As Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Hammack will serve as administrative officer.

It was a scholarship to Wayland that brought Payas from Albuquerque, N.M., to Plainview in the mid-1960s.

“I was led by the Lord to become involved with the Biology Department,” she said. “Dr. J. Hoyt Bowers, a wonderful Christian man, saw someone with some degree of potential and in need of some major undergirding. He gave me a work-study position and I worked for Dr. Harold Reese, who was the chair of the Biology Department, and later Dr. Gerald Thompson. They sort of helped to groom me through the years.”

Having majored in Biology with a minor in Secondary Education, Payas taught school in Las Vegas, N.M. after graduation. Using a National Science Foundation scholarship, she earned a master’s degree in Natural Sciences and started teaching Chemistry, Physics and Biology. She then got two more master’s degrees by taking evening courses — one in Guidance and Counseling, and one in School Administration.

 “I got married along the way, and tried other things in education,” she said.

At age 35, Payas found her calling. She quit her teaching job in Las Vegas and moved to Tulsa, Okla., with her husband to enter dental school. Graduating in 1985, she immediately began to give back to those who helped her along the way. Serving on various boards for institutions, she gained the experience she will use in her new role as chair of the Wayland Development Council.

“I did quite well professionally. I had developed quite a respected dental practice,” she said. “I began to support Wayland because without Wayland I would not have been in a position of responsibility. We started giving to endowed scholarships. Whoever God laid on our hearts, we gave an endowed scholarship. We took that banner and ran with it.”

In the process Payas became more familiar with what was happening at Wayland.

“I recognized that many of the students there were struggling with the same kind of issues that I had, like lack of finances and a background of parents that weren’t college graduates. I realized that we could help them.”

Payas accepted the appointment as the chair of the Wayland Development Council because of “the shoulders of integrity and education that I stand on,” noting she feels blessed to have been mentored by Wayland professors, like Bowers.

“Wayland is a worthy cause because of its Christian influence on youth attending there,” she said. “It’s a worthy cause to invest in because we are investing in the young Christian for the future. We need to help as many young people as want to attend a Christian university with Christian traditions and Christian values.”

Those students need to be able to get those degrees “so they can really impact the world with their lives through the name of Jesus,” Payas said.