Wayland campus in Alaska dedicates auditorium to administrator during centennial event

ANCHORAGE – Wayland Baptist University’s campus in Anchorage celebrated the school’s centennial, honored a former leader and others in a banquet event held recently at its Parkside Center located on East 32nd Avenue.

With the centennial theme of “Dreams to Reality,” the banquet featured a gathering of more than 150 alumni, students and employees and featured a keynote speech by Dr. Bobby Hall, executive vice president of the Wayland system. The campus honored Centennial Scholar Scott Bleeker at the banquet, along with Centennial Faculty honorees Lane Olsen and Reggie Chambers.

At the close of his presentation on a historical perspective of Wayland, Hall then raised a sword to make the first cut in the centennial birthday cake for banquet guests. He also led in a dedication ceremony for the campus’ auditorium, renamed Hardage Auditorium in honor of Dr. Bill Hardage, a longtime Wayland employee who was serving as executive vice president at his untimely death in April 2006. Hardage’s son, Tim, was present at the dedication and banquet along with wife Stacie. Both are WBU graduates of the Plainview campus.

Hardage’s relationship with Wayland began in the early 1960s as a student, then as a coach of the school’s track and field program. He then worked his way up to a director and eventually to an administrator, serving in nearly every vice presidential position Wayland had before being named executive VP. His work as director of special services put him in charge of the external campus work for the university, which at the time only included a few additional locations outside Plainview. Eventually, though, he would oversee the opening of several more campus locations and nurture them to their current status. He maintained a close relationship with the campuses and their executive directors as he visited the locations frequently.

The Anchorage campus was opened in 1985 as the fifth extension location, with classes also held in Fairbanks, and eventually that location became its own campus. The campus has four 11-week academic terms each year, offered primarily in the evenings and on weekends to assist working adults and military personnel with completing their degrees. With an enrollment of around 500, the Anchorage Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a variety of fields. Dr. Eric Ash serves as executive director for the campus.

Headquartered in Plainview, Texas, the Wayland system also includes a campus in Hawaii, two in Arizona, two in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and four others in Texas. The school was chartered in August 1908 by the State of Texas and began offering classes in 1910. It was founded by a gift of $10,000 and 25 acres of land from pioneer physician Dr. James H. Wayland, who had a medical practice in Plainview and served a 300-mile radius by horse and buggy.

For more information, contact the campus at (907) 333-2277.