Trustees honored for longtime support, scholarship donations

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University development officers honored three members of the Board of Trustees on Thursday for their financial support of the university, dedicating two scholarship plaques and presenting an award to one longtime trustee.

Gene Owen, who served on the Wayland board since 1972, was honored with the Keeper of the Flame Award, an award given by the president’s office for gifts to the university of at least $150,000.

During the presentation, President Dr. Paul Armes noted that while Owen and his wife Mary Frank have been benevolent to the university throughout the years, their support has gone much deeper. As a partner in the Owen, Lyle, Voss & Owen law firm, Owen served as the university’s legal counsel for several decades, providing much advice and assistance at no charge.

“We’ve not totaled up how much that would have cost over the years, but I know it is well over $150,000,” Armes said. “Words cannot do justice to all the things Gene Owen has done for Wayland.”

In addition, Owen has served on the board for more than 30 years, taking his required year off every nine years and resuming service each time. He’s served as chairman of the board several times and held most every other office on the executive board as well.

Owen is the son of the late Dr. A. Hope Owen, Wayland president from 1953-63. He has been a longtime supporter of the university.

“He has served with unswerving devotion, and he has been a friend to every president of this university,” Armes said. “All of us who know Gene Owen are better people for having known him.”

New trustee Sally Walker of Arlington and her husband Robert were on hand to dedicate the scholarship plaque in memory of her grandfather. The W.D. “Dub” Turner Scholarship was given of the former trustee and longtime friend of the university. Walker earned her bachelor’s degree from Wayland in 1981.

Turner was born in 1910 and with only a sixth-grade education, he owned and operated a highway construction company in Lubbock. He married Gladys Gregory and was blessed with five children and 14 grandchildren. He became a Christian in 1950 and was ordained as a deacon in 1956, serving until his death in 1989. He served both First Baptist Church in Lubbock and helped establish Indiana Avenue Baptist Church, taking roles on numerous committees and service avenues.

He was trustee at Wayland from 1971-80, serving as chairman in 1977-78. The scholarship is given for a religion major with career goals for the pastorate or in missions of at least sophomore status.

Longtime trustee Arnold Maeker of Lubbock and his wife Reuby Tom dedicated a plaque in their name marking donations for a scholarship to assist students attending Wayland who exhibit outstanding leadership and scholarship. The couple are members of First Baptist Church in Lubbock, where both have served as Sunday school teachers. A retired engineer, he is also involved in Rotary Club and CENTERCORP and has served on the WBU board for nearly 14 years.