Ashley to receive distinguished alumni award at WBU

Release Date: February 8, 2008

PLAINVIEW - Career Army serviceman Travis Ashley of Baltimore, Md., will be honored with the Distinguished Young Alumni Award at Wayland Baptist University during homecoming festivities Feb. 21-24. Specifically, the awards will be presented during the 11 a.m. chapel slated for Friday, Feb. 22.

A native of Coushatta, La., Ashley enrolled at Louisiana Tech University at the age of 16, having graduated early from high school. The experience would not prove positive for Ashley, who said his lack of maturity and teenage parenting responsibilities contributed to poor academic performance.

Ashley opted to join the military in 1988, entering the U.S. Army as a private specializing in Lance Missile System repair. After three years of training, military correspondence courses and participation in the Basic Skills Education Program, he earned the rank of sergeant and raised his technical score to be able to become an officer.

In 1997, at the enlisted rank of staff sergeant, the Warrant Officer Corps accepted and approved his application, appointed him to the position of Warrant Officer-One, and assigned him to Fort Bragg, N.C.

In 1998 and 1999, while assigned to Fort Bragg, Ashley earned his Associate’s degrees in both Missile Munitions Technology and General Studies, respectively, from John C. Calhoun Community State College, headquartered in Decatur, Ala. He would later continue at Wayland.

“In 2001, my family and I relocated to Fort Wainwright, Alaska, where I overheard several airmen talking about a university that was genuinely interested in helping students earn their college degrees. After applying to Wayland, I encountered the same sincere and genuine learning environment, where I too experienced an epiphany similar to Mark 9:23: ‘Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.’”

Ashley earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education degree with a concentration in Technical Management in 2003. During his time at WBU, he noted that several employees helped encourage him along the way.

“During my tenure at Wayland Baptist University in Fairbanks, Alaska, two extraordinary faculty members that served as professional role models inspired me: Mr. Wally Smith and Dr. Tony Strange,” he said. “Consequently, I wanted to follow their example, so I applied to Touro University International, headquartered in Cypress, Calif., with hopes of completing my master’s degree. In 2005, both my spouse and I completed our Master of Business Administration degrees with concentrations in Health Care and Information Systems Management, respectively.”

Ashley is now pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems through Northcentral University, headquartered in Prescott, Ariz.. He is relocating with the military to Baltimore in the coming weeks.

In his 20 years of active-duty military service, Ashley and his family have been to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He plans to retire from a military career in the coming years.

Ashley and his wife Lorraine have three adult children and three grandchildren.

One of five awards presented by the Association of Former Students, the Distinguished Young Alumni Award is presented to a WBU graduate within the last ten years who has shown qualities of leadership or achievement in the area of vocation, civic or Christian service. They must have a lifestyle upholding the values of the university and exhibit interest in community and church service, as well as an individual standard of leadership reflecting Christian character, citizenship and ethics.