Wayland alums to be honored with awards

PLAINVIEW -- Wayland Baptist University will honor five alumni for service and career accomplishments during homecoming festivities Nov. 19-20 in Plainview. The Distinguished Alumni awards will be presented during the Homecoming Chapel at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 19.

Honorees include healthcare consultant Linda Pickens Price, screenwriter Anne Rapp, former NBC producer Ray Cullin, Fulbright Scholar Jerome Stueart and benefactors James and Yvonne Franklin.

Linda Pickens Price, a 1969 graduate, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. A former Flying Queen, Price was an All American her senior year and was named Outstanding Freshman of the Year. She earned her degree in psychology in three years and has a Master of Social Work degree from Tulane University. Price is a certified mental health administrator, a certified social worker and an advanced clinical practitioner and served as administrator for the Harris County Psychiatric Center in Houston for 11 years. She was also assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, specializing in coursework about administration, mental health regulations and policy.

Since 1993, Price has served as Chief Executive Officer and owner of Pickens-Price Enterprises, Inc., a company that evaluates a healthcare or academic institution's business office outsourcing needs. She also previously served as board chair and president of Questa Youth Ranch, where she directed and coordinated the startup of the not-for-profit therapeutic ranch for troubled youth.

Price has authored and co-authored publications dealing with the needs of the mentally ill and has given many presentations concerning psychiatric healthcare issues.  She received the Helen Farabee Community Leadership Award from the Texas Mental Health Association of Texas and was named as one of the “Most Powerful Women” in Houston by Houston City Magazine. She served for several years as chair of the Mental Health Needs Council, Inc., a Houston consortium of public and private organizations.

A 1973 Wayland graduate, Anne Rapp will receive the Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award. Rapp came to Wayland to play for the Queen Bees after graduating from Estelline High School. She was active on campus and graduated with a degree in mathematics. After graduate school, Rapp moved to Dallas and began working for a film crew, gaining new responsibilities as time progressed.

In 1981, Rapp became script supervisor for Tom Hanks’ film “Tender Mercies,” and for 15 years she worked in that area on more than 40 feature films, ending with “That Thing You Do” in 1997.  Among the many movies she worked as script supervisor are “Marvin’s Room,” “Last Dance,” “The Firm,” “Death Becomes Her,” “Crimes of the Heart,” “Places in the Heart,” “The Color Purple,” and “Three Amigos.” Rapp then began writing short stories, which led to a job writing for director Robert Altman. Altman later directed two of her screenplays, “Cookie’s Fortune” and “Dr. T and the Women,” as well as an episode for the ABC series “Gun.” Rapp has written other television specials and published short stories and is currently working on a book adaptation. Her original screenplay “Double Wide” has recently been optioned by Blue Collar Productions with Rapp as director. She lives in Austin.             

The winner of the Distinguished Service Alumni Award, Ray Cullin spent two years at Wayland, leaving in 1951 to enlist in the Air Force during the Korean War. He began his broadcasting career in Plainview, working at KVOP radio station as disc jockey and sports announcer. During his military service, he served with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, then returned to West Texas to continue his journalism career at KCBD-TV in Lubbock and KGNC-TV and radio in Amarillo.

Cullin began working for NBC News in Burbank, Calif., and retired after more than 33 years as a correspondent, show producer, political field producer, bureau chief, White House producer and West Coast producer for NBC Nightly News. During his time at NBC, Cullin covered nine presidents and every election from 1968-2000, and from retirement he helped coordinate the newscast of President Ronald Reagan’s funeral, having been active in covering Reagan’s administration as California Governor, his campaigns and his presidency. Other notable events Cullin has covered include the Alaska earthquake of 1964, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. During his career, Cullin has received a local TV Emmy in Los Angeles for a story he produced on the city’s drug problem; the Abe Lincoln Award of Merit for service during the Reagan years and other honors. He and wife Barbara have lived in Sun City West, Ariz., since 1994 and are active in their church.

A 1992 graduate, Jerome Stueart is the recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English, history and theatre and was active in musical organizations and theatre productions. He earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Missouri in Columbia and began working toward a doctorate in English and creative writing at Texas Tech University.

During his doctoral studies, Stueart was appointed a Fulbright Scholar and chose to study the Yukon Territory. His love for that region grew and he extended the fellowship to two years. He plans to return to Canada after graduation. Currently, Stueart teaching creative writing adjunctly at Wayland while teaching at Tech and serving as editor of the Iron Horse Literary Review. He has also taught at Yukon College, Newman University in Kansas, Friends University in Kansas and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

A multitalented individual, Stueart is also a cartoonist and published his first collection of cartoons in 1994. He has done numerous presentations on his various areas of interest and has adjudicated in writing, poetry and the arts. He has also worked as an interim church music director and as director of religious education.

The Distinguished Benefactor Award will be presented to James and Yvonne Franklin of Amarillo. Active members of First Baptist Church, the Franklins are involved in community, area, and statewide projects and have been very benevolent to Wayland. An endowed scholarship was recently dedicated, marking their desire to benefit students who require financial assistance in achieving their educational goals.

Mrs. Franklin served on the Board of Trustees at Wayland for 12 years, and the couple has supported WBU over the years. They were major donors to the Jones-Franklin Music Technology Lab dedicated in September, are donors of a wing in the Wallace and Patsy Davis Hall and provided the Franklin Family Music Library in the Mabee Learning Resources Center. For a number of years, Mrs. Franklin has provided a yearly advertisement for Wayland in the Amarillo Symphony program book. In addition, the Franklins were donors to the Janis Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund and provided a major challenge gift for the Student Opportunity Fund phone-a-thon. 

During her tenure on the Wayland Board, Mrs. Franklin was given the Keeper of the Flame Award for major contributions to the university. In addition to her service on the board, Mrs. Franklin is a member of the Wayland Advisory Council.

A luncheon will be held in honor of the alumni award winners and their families following the chapel service.