Wayland to launch new project campaign

Wayland will launch two new fundraising efforts with the new year, aimed at improving the campus and memorializing the university founder.

"This effort represents a wonderful opportunity for Wayland both to celebrate its wonderful past and to provide new and exciting possibilities for our current students," said Plainview campus President Dr. Paul Armes. "This campaign will help us to continue blending Christian values with academic excellence to transform lives." The Pioneer Pride Campaign goal is $600,000, which will be used to fund three specific projects.

The first project is a new campus entrance of Fifth Street. The entrance will be located at Smyth Street and provide easy access to the heart of the campus. The proposed boulevard will feature a landscaped median lined with trees. A 15-foot sign constructed from bricks from Matador Hall will stand at the entry, along with a Wayland flag. A brick pillar and cedar fence will border the area.

This project will help establish a presence in the community and make Wayland more easily accessible for visitors from outside Plainview. It will also add to the beautification efforts of the city's major thoroughfare, Fifth Street.

The second project included in the Pioneer Pride Campaign will add lights to the David and Myrt Wilder Field, the home of Wayland's Pioneer Baseball program. A first-class facility with a grass infield, covered bleachers and stunning brick façade, Wilder Field will be available for games in the evening and for hosting other baseball tournaments.

The final Pioneer Pride project involves lighted tennis courts, to be constructed adjacent to J.V. Hillard Field on the edge of the Wayland campus. Four courts with bleachers and lights are planned, providing additional recreational and intramural activities for students and staff.

In honor of the university's founder, a campaign will also be starting to construct a memorial statue of Dr. J.H. Wayland, a pioneering physician who offered the first tracts of land and funding to begin the university in 1908. The project will cost $150,000.

The campaign will encourage area medical and dental professionals to help fund the memorial project. The statue will be a one-and-one-half times life-size bronze image of Dr. Wayland reading. It will be placed in the circle entrance outside Gates Hall.

"The projects contained in the Pioneer Pride Campaign will be a great functional and aesthetic addition to the campus. And constructing a memorial stature honoring Dr. Wayland, our founder, is long overdue," said Dr. Russ Gibbs, vice president for institutional advancement. "I'm excited about these projects and appreciate the community's support. Even though these fundraising efforts officially begin in January, we have already begun receiving donations prior to year-end to take advantage of tax considerations."

Martha Cross, director of development, said the project is exciting because it covers a broad spectrum of improvements.

"It's exciting to have a project that improves the campus look and recreational offerings and honors our founder," she said.

For more information on these projects, contact Cross at 291-3426.