Families dedicate new endowed scholarship plaques

PLAINVIEW – Three area families gathered Thursday to dedicate new endowed scholarships in their names during the Board of Trustees meeting at Wayland Baptist University.

Scholarship plaques were dedicated for the McDougal Endowed Scholarship, the Norman and Louise Wright Endowed Scholarship and the Bill and Nell Hardage Endowed Scholarship.

Established by longtime board member Martin L. Murdock and his wife Linda Murdock, the McDougal Scholarship honors the dedicated service and contributions of Delbert and Carolyn McDougal of Lubbock. Mr. McDougal has served on the Board of Trustees for more than ten years, serving as the chairman and vice chairman of the board and chair of the property management committee. He has provided leadership and vision to the university in the areas of property management and acquisition.

“By combining personal involvement, commitments to serve and financial contributions, the McDougals have impacted thousands of lives in the name of Jesus Christ,” reads the plaque. “Wayland has been one of the primary beneficiaries of the McDougals’ service and generosity.”

The Norman and Louise Wright Scholarship was established by their children in honor of their “legacy of Christian faith and service” and in memory of their granddaughter, Julianne Wright. The Wrights’ children are Walter Wright and Dr. David Wright of Plainview, Susan Jameson of Albuquerque, N.M., and John Wright of Fort Worth.

Longtime members of First Baptist Church in Plainview, the Wrights have been examples of service to many. Mr. Wright was a deacon and Sunday school teacher. He attended Wayland and has served on the Board of Trustees. He worked in banking and insurance and was honored as Plainview’s Man of the Year in 1978.

Mrs. Wright served the church as Sunday school teacher, mentor, committee member, literacy instructor and sanctuary choir member. She was named Plainview’s Woman of the Year in 1991.

Julianne, daughter of Wayland graduates Walter and Sharon Wright of Plainview, was a gifted vocalist with aspirations to be a professional classical singer. A graduate of Plainview High, she began formal music training at age six with Wayland music instructors. She died Dec. 13, 2006, on the eve of her graduation from Arizona State University.

The Bill and Nell Hardage Scholarship was begun with gifts from the couple and completed with memorials at Dr. Hardage’s untimely death in March 2006. Hardage was a part of Wayland for more than 40 years, starting as a student and member of the track and field team. After graduation, he began coaching track at Wayland before moving into different administrative positions, including director of special services, academic vice president, advancement vice president and executive vice president, the position he held at his death.

An active member of First Baptist Church in Plainview, Hardage was instrumental in leading the existing external campuses under his administration and guiding the development of many more over the past few decades. He believed that those campuses represented outreach efforts where students all over the United States could receive a college degree and be exposed to Christian morals and teachings. He was an active member of the Lions Club and other community projects.

His wife, Nell, has worked in the banking industry in Plainview for many years, currently working at American State Bank. She has been an active community member as well and was named Woman of the Year in Plainview in 1996.

Hardage’s children, Tim Hardage of Plainview and Cindy Bessire of Muleshoe, are also Wayland graduates, earning their degrees in 2001 and 1992, respectively. Tim’s wife Stacie is also a graduate.

Endowed scholarships are established with a donation of any size then invested in the Baptist Foundation of Texas, where they begin to accrue interest. Once the corpus reaches $25,000, the fund reaches full endowment and interest is pulled off annually to provide scholarships for students in need. The corpus is never removed. Donors may specify criteria for scholarships or leave them to the university’s discretion.

For more information on endowed scholarships, call the Development office at (806) 291-3425.