Pre-Centennial Event to feature descendants of Wayland Baptist University founder

Release Date: January 11, 2008

PLAINVIEW – Billed as the preview for the upcoming Centennial Celebration, Wayland Baptist University will host a special Legacy Chapel event on Wednesday, Jan. 16, in Harral Memorial Auditorium, with guests including descendents of the university’s founder.

Traditionally, the early spring chapel is designated as Heritage Chapel and focuses on some aspect of Wayland history. Since the centennial begins in August 2008, organizers felt a special Legacy Chapel would be a great time to honor the Wayland family and promote the coming events.

“With our centennial celebration around the corner, what better way to kick things off and premiere the year for the community and university than to honor the Wayland family,” said Hope English, chair for the Centennial Celebration.

Dr. James H. Wayland, a pioneer physician who moved to Plainview in 1891, founded the university with an initial gift of $10,000 and 25 acres of land and partnered with the Staked Plains Baptist Association to raise the funds needed to charter a Christian school. The college was named Wayland Literary and Technical Institute and chartered in August 1908, named for Dr. Wayland and his grandfather, also a physician.

Dr. Wayland and his wife, Sarah, had nine children, seven of which lived to adulthood. Of those, five families will be represented at the Legacy Chapel event, including grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, many of whom are traveling from around the country to participate.

The oldest living descendent, Beulah Winn McInnish, 99, will be coming from Amarillo. Though technically a grandchild of Dr. and Mrs. Wayland, she was raised like a daughter after her mother died in childbirth, and she grew up with an aunt and uncle who were only 18 months her senior.

During the chapel, a special video created for the centennial year will be premiered, and family members will be introduced. One family representative will bring a response on behalf of the Waylands, and events of the coming year will be announced to the student body and any guests present.

The chapel service is free and open to the public.