Gates Hall graces first ornament in Historical Commission series

PLAINVIEW – Calling all local history buffs! The Hale County Historical Commission has kicked off a series of commemorative ornaments with one bearing the likeness of Wayland Baptist University’s stately administration building, Gates Hall.

A fundraiser for the Historical Commission, the ornaments will be added each year, each in commemoration of a special aspect of county history. Since the university will celebrate its centennial in 2008, the commission felt their first piece would coincide perfectly with the occasion and make a perfect collector’s piece for the centennial celebration.

“The historical commission would like to join Wayland alumni, faculty, staff and community supporters around the world in celebrating the first 100 years of Wayland Baptist University,” said Alice Sawayer, president of the commission. “Dr. Wayland would be proud – as are we – to see what his dream has become.”

The ornament was created by Nelda Laney, wife of former Texas House of Representatives Speaker Pete Laney of Hale Center, who has developed quite a reputation for her creative ornaments for the state beautification committee and other entities over the past years. The piece features a gold filigreed border with Wayland and the centennial dates, framing the maroon brick three-story building with its six white columns.

The ornaments are being sold through the Museum of Llano Estacado, housed on the Wayland campus under a partnership between the city and the university. The Historical Commission formed the original focus group that resulted in the museum built during America’s 1976 bicentennial celebration. The organization continues to office in the museum and provides financial support for many museum projects that help preserve Hale County history.

Ornaments are available for pre-ordering through January 4, 2008, at a 10 percent savings, with a total cost of $24.36 ($22.50 plus tax). After the ornaments arrive at the museum in mid-January, they will sell for $25 each plus tax, a total of $27.06. Shipping is available to any location for an additional $2.50, but ornaments can be picked up at the museum once they arrive. They will also be offered for sale at the University Bookstore at some point.

Persons wishing to pre-order an ornament should send a check or money order for $24.36 per ornament to the Museum of the Llano Estacado, 1900 West 7th St., CMB 299, Plainview, Texas 79072. The museum will be closed for two weeks in conjunction with Wayland’s holiday break, but orders received by mail postmarked by January 4 will be included in the early price offer.

For more information, contact the museum at 291-3660.