Wayland trustees approve funds transfer, honorary degree

PLAINVIEW – During its regular fall meeting on Thursday, trustees from Wayland Baptist University approved a recommendation to use surplus funds toward the student activity center planned for the Plainview campus.

The board’s finance committee recommended that $1 million be moved from a surplus operating fund (quasi endowment) being held in the Baptist Foundation of Texas into the account of funds already raised toward the Laney Activities Center, a project first proposed in 1999.

The project will be completed in two phases, with the first phase involving a double gymnasium, indoor running track, weights and aerobics area, classrooms and student lounge. Total projected cost for that phase is $5.6 million.

To date, gifts and pledges for the activity center total around $2.3 million, and the university hopes to be able to approach foundations and other donors to help secure the remainder needed to fund the center. The added $1 million should make that more of a possibility, say university officials.

The board also approved a recommendation by the program committee to award an honorary bachelor’s degree to Eva Graham, a former board member and former Wayland student who was never able to complete her degree due to life events and was only a semester short of graduating. Graham’s husband, Ervin, served on the board previously, with Mrs. Graham taking over his term after his death in 2001. Graham resigned her place on the board in April due to health reasons.

Based on other recommendations, the board also discussed its membership, approving a motion to decrease the number of trustees from 39 to 36, the minimum stipulated under the Board bylaws. The move was made in order to make it easier mathematically to figure the 25 percent of members elected by the board and the one-third membership rotating off each year.

The board also approved membership for Dr. Tim Powers, a public school administrator in Wichita Falls, to fill the term of Gary Lawrence of Lubbock. Also named to the board were Rose Mediano of Lubbock, a retired school administrator, and Edgar Murphy, who recently finished his first three-year term on the board and is eligible to serve again.

The nominating committee recommended the slate of board officers to serve another one-year term, with the board approving that move. Bruce Julian of Perryton serves as board chairman, with Vernon Stokes of Midland as vice chair, Sally Shaw of Lockney as secretary and Connie McMillan of Lubbock as assistant secretary.