Former WBU librarian honored with lifetime service award

SAN ANGELO - Florrie Conway, Librarian Emeritus at Wayland Baptist University, was presented the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award by Joe Provence, director of Alumni Services, on behalf of the Association of Former Students. The award was presented at the annual Wayland Christmas party at Baptist Memorials Retirement Center in San Angelo, where Conway makes her home.

Conway served as librarian at Wayland from 1955 until her retirement in 1985. She first came to Wayland in the late 1930s and completed her Associate of Arts degree in 1940, later earning her bachelor's degree at Baylor University in 1942.

She served as secretary at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth and Memorial Baptist Church in Temple before returning to Plainview in 1944 as secretary to then-pastor Dr. A. Hope Owen. When Owen was tapped for the presidency at Wayland, he encouraged Conway to earn her library science degree and join the staff at the college. She completed her Master of Library Science degree at the University of Texas in 1955 and made her way back to Plainview to begin her 30-year tenure with Wayland.

In 1957, Conway directed the move of the library from Gates Hall administration building to the beautiful new Van Howeling Library. In the short span of an hour, the books had been moved and shelved in their new home under Conway's expert direction.

In a presentation to Conway the year before she retired, the presenter stated, "She has had a greater influence on every Wayland student than any other person on campus for the last 28 years, for who among us has not spent some time in the library."

According to Provence, Conway has always been an avid and loyal supporter of Wayland Baptist University. She has led an exemplary life and has served as role model for numerous students who have come under her tutelage.

"Because of her unselfish service and loyalty to Wayland and for the impact that she made on numerous students during her 30 years of service, the Association of Former Students chose to honor her with the Distinguished Lifetime Service Alumni Award," Provence said.

Conway is the eighth recipient of the award, which was established in 1999. Others include Dr. Dorothy McCoy and Dr. Audrey House Boles, now deceased; Dr. J. Ivyloy Bishop and Dr. Fred D. Howard, both awarded posthumously; Dr. Charles L. Bassett; Dr. Wallace Davis; and Harley J. Redin.