WBU Alums Return to Vie for Coming Home Queen Honors

PLAINVIEW – Ten ladies from Wayland Baptist University’s past will return for Homecoming 2006 to compete for the title of Coming Home Queen. The nominees represent the honor classes for the weekend event, classes ending in 5 and 6, with twice the nominees this year due to a double homecoming event.

Visiting alumni vote for their choice for Coming Home Queen, with the winner announced at the Saturday luncheon and all nominees introduced at the homecoming basketball games Saturday afternoon.

The nominees are as follows:

Corrine Cook Shields of Abilene is representing the Class of 1955. A native of Amarillo, Shields served as head librarian at Howard Payne University while husband James was professor of theology and Baptist Student Union director, then was associate director of university libraries at Hardin-Simmons University until her retirement. She is active in Women on Mission and City Lights Ministry at First Baptist Church of Abilene. The Shieldses have a son and daughter and three grandchildren.

Faye Wilson Gould of Dallas is representing the Class of 1956. A member of the Hutcherson Flying Queens while at Wayland, Gould was a flight attendant for Continental Airlines until her marriage to husband Oliver in 1966. The couple retired in 1995 from American Rockwool, a privately-owned corporation. Faye is an active volunteer and has served on the boards of the Dallas Symphony Association, The American Heart Association, Dallas Fort Worth Ballet, Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra and others.

Representing the Class of 1965 is Ethelyn Burris Garnett of Lockney. Garnett taught school for 30 years after graduating from Wayland, retiring in 1997. She is active in the First Baptist Church as an assistant Sunday School teacher, a co-librarian and director of a weekly sewing group. She is a member of the Quilt Guild of Plainview. The Garnetts have three children and three grandchildren.

The Class of 1966 is represented by Judy Smith Langley of South Fork, Colo. A children’s author and Christian speaker, Langley wrote and published six mission picture books for children while her husband Phil served on the staff of the California Southern Baptist Convention. She taught school in New Mexico and Oregon and served with Phil as missionary to West Africa. She directed California Christian Writers’ Fellowship and served as Stateside Mobilization Coordinator for the Celtic Languages Team, and she trained and led prayerwalking teams to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Langleys have two sons and four grandchildren.

Carol Bashaw Dozier of Broken Arrow, Okla. is representing the Class of 1975. A teacher in Levelland, Houston and Dallas, Dozier earned her Early Childhood Montessori Certification in 1982 and was a private school administrator in Tulsa and Dallas. She received her Oklahoma real estate license in 2005 and is an associate with McGraw Realtors. She is co-founder of a company that buys, remodels and sells houses. Carol and husband Bill have a daughter and a granddaughter.

Representing the Class of 1976 is Valerie Wright Ritchie of Burnsville, Minn. An active student at Wayland, Ritchie worked for the Traveler for four years and was a member of the Wayland Handbells ensemble and Delta Chi Delta sorority, was a cheerleader, class officer, APO Sweetheart and a summer missionary. She taught for six years after graduation and currently substitutes in her children’s school. Valerie and husband Bob have two children and are active in school and church activities.

Linda Kay Nunn Rapstine of White Deer represents the Class of 1985. Rapstine worked as a CPA before becoming a homemaker to husband Chris, a math teacher and farmer, and their three children, Becca, Thomas and Jacob. She stays busy with the activities of her children and volunteers regularly, serving as an FCCLA Parent. She also is active in her church, serving as organist, youth leader, member of the liturgy committee, a home Bible study leader, member of the Homemakers Club and president of the women’s ministry.

The Class of 1986 is represented by Tara Younger Mercer of Bentonville, Ark. Married for 20 years to Joe Mercer, also a WBU graduate, Tara was a cheerleader at Wayland. The family moved from Texas to Oregon, and they now live in Arkansas, where Joe is regional personnel manager for Wal-Mart. Tara has worked in the teaching field for three years and also does consulting with Bentonville vendors. The couple is active in their church, teaching Sunday School, serving on the worship team and coaching Upward Basketball. The Mercers have four children, Shae, Sheridan, Seth and Samuel.

Tracy Burkhart of Nashville, Tenn., represents the Class of 1995. Coming to Wayland from Buckner Baptist Children’s Home in Lubbock, Tracy served as class president before her graduation. She continued her education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning master’s degrees in Christian education and in church and community ministry. She served as a children’s minister and writer in North Carolina and now does motivational speaker and writing in Nashville. Her speaking targets children and youth as well as adults who serve children in foster care, churches, adoption or children’s home settings.

The Class of 1996 is represented by Amy Gray Conley of Lubbock. After serving as class president at Wayland, Conley earned a master’s degree in counseling and human development at Hardin-Simmons University and worked in a residential substance abuse facility in Abilene for three years. She moved to Lubbock in 2000 and began providing individual and group therapy to those released from prison-based substance abuse treatment programs. She and husband Shane are active members of Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, where Amy sings on the praise team.