Family dedicates new endowed scholarship, awards first student

Release Date: April 29, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – Members of the Sanders and McFerrin families remembered their loved ones with the dedication of a new endowed scholarship at Wayland Baptist University, unveiled while honoring the first recipient of the award.

The Joe W. and Mildred McFerrin Sanders Scholarship award was presented to Plainview sophomore D’Anna Kellum after the plaque was dedicated with help from Martha Cross, director of major gifts, and President Dr. Paul Armes at the university’s annual Recognition Chapel held Wednesday in Harral Auditorium.

Dr. Ted Sanders, a WBU alumnus and nephew of Joe and Mildred Sanders, and Joe McFerrin, also a nephew, represented the family in making the presentation. Following the chapel service, a lunch was held for the family, honorees of the new scholarship and the Sanders Family Mathematics Scholarship as well as faculty members in education and mathematics.

A native of Benjamin, Joe Sanders served in the Army Air Corps for five years during World War II, serving as flight engineer with a crew assigned to patrol the Panama Canal area. He then joined the Texas Highway Department as an engineering aide and worked there until his retirement.

A Madison County, Ark., native, Mildred completed her bachelor’s degree at West Texas State University and was a teacher in Panhandle, Plainview and Kress.

The couple met on a Greyhound bus as Joe was returning home on furlough and Mildred was visiting her parents. As the bus was full, Joe placed his coat on the top step of the bus entryway and the couple shared the seat for the entire bus ride, visiting all the way to their destination. That trip sparked a love that lasted 55 years. The two married in July 1946.

The Sanderses were longtime members of Parkview Baptist Church in Plainview, where Joe served as a deacon and helped design the current facility. They shared a passion for education, teaching and the public schools, and the endowed scholarship is designed to assist young men and women seeking to become a public school teacher.

Joe Sanders was a regular part of recognition chapel for many years, enjoying presenting the family’s mathematics award to a Wayland student at the event. He died in 2008.