Athletic Family Continues Support for Program with Giving

PLAINVIEW – Following up on literally a lifetime of support for the Wayland Baptist University Flying Queens basketball program, Marsha Hutcherson George made one final show of support in the form of a $100,000 gift to the university shortly before her death in December 2006. The donation brings the fund for scholarships in her name to full endowment level.

Fans of the Flying Queens know the longtime connection of the late Claude Hutcherson and Harley and Wilda Redin to the athletics program. But their families have been equally supportive over the years, and Marsha was an example of that.

“She participated in everything we did with the Queens, even from an early age,” said Wilda Hutcherson Redin. “She very much grew up around the Queens and Wayland athletics.”

That love for Wayland continued into her young adult years as she attended the university after graduating from Plainview High School. Afterwards, she continued to be one of the biggest Queens fans, coordinating the Queens Court hospitality room and arriving early to many home games to sell t-shirts for the booster club. Up until five years ago, due to health problems, Marsha George attended every home game in Hutcherson Center.

“We didn’t miss a game when I was growing up,” said her daughter, Cynthia George Gerber of Hart. “She was a very avid fan and had a strong love for the Flying Queens. She kept in touch with the Queens over the years, and she’d have them out to the house and cook meals for them.”

Like the Hutchersons and the Redins, Marsha took a personal interest in the lives of the student athletes on the basketball court, encouraging them academically and personally as they pursued their education and prepared for careers. But her support didn’t end when they earned the Wayland diploma.

“She stayed a part of their lives while they played and afterwards too,” Gerber noted.

Since she first established the scholarship in 1986, the Marsha Hutcherson George Scholarship has been awarded annually to a member of the Flying Queens who shows dedication, sportsmanship and loyalty to Wayland. According to those who knew her best, the award perfectly exemplified her attitude.

“She was so involved in helping young people, and she loved selling the t-shirts for the booster club so she could have contact with the students,” recalls Wilda Redin. “She always came early and was so dedicated to it. Her attitude was one of the most fabulous things about her.”

Longtime supporters since her days as co-sponsor and his as coach, Harley and Wilda Redin closed out 2006 with a $100,000 donation to Wayland as well. A portion of the gift goes to the scholarship in their name, established with seed money from American State Bank and other funds accumulated over the years from former Flying Queens, honoring the couple for longtime support of the program as friends, mentors, coach and advocates of women’s basketball for many years. That fund already provides for scholarships for WBU students.

The remainder of the donation goes to the Claude Hutcherson Family Memorial Scholarship established in 1977 in memory of Hutcherson, a 1925 graduate of Wayland and a longtime sponsor for the Queens from 1950 until his death in 1977. His family picked up the support at his death and has continued that pattern. The award is given to a Flying Queen who exhibits leadership on the court, Christian spirit in sportsmanship and loyalty to and love for the university and the program.

Endowed scholarships are created with donations that are invested through the Baptist Foundation of Texas. Once the principal reaches $25,000, interest is pulled off each year for scholarships for Wayland students in need. For more information on endowed scholarships, contact the office of advancement at (806) 291-3425.