Homecoming weekend includes scholarship dedications

Release Date: February 24, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – Seven families were honored this past weekend at Wayland Baptist University with dedications of new endowed scholarships. Five of the scholarships were dedicated at Saturday’s alumni luncheon, while another was dedicated at a special Friday afternoon reception. The final scholarship was dedicated at the athletic recognition banquet on Saturday evening.

The Harold and Audrey Temple Endowed Scholarship, dedicated Friday, honored a longtime science professor and his wife. Dr. Temple served as professor of chemistry from 1976-2007, with a brief hiatus from 1983-88 to serve as dean of the graduate program. He taught every course in the chemistry curriculum, and more than half of his students went on to attain post-graduate or professional degrees. Wife Audrey taught for 18 years at Edgemere Elementary in Plainview. The Temples led the university Sunday school class at College Heights Baptist Church for several years and have been friends and mentors to many students. It was their friends, family and students that created the scholarship to honor their contributions to WBU.

 Also during the reception, Dr. Joel Boyd, associate dean of the School of Mathematics and Sciences, introduced Kassandra Hughes as the first Temple Scholarship recipient. Students will receive the award as sophomores and be eligible to continue the grant through their four years at WBU. Hughes is the daughter of Randy and Sandi Hughes of Plainview and is the pre-pharmacy chair for the Pioneer Health Service Corps.

Saturday’s luncheon included the dedication of the Cary and Sally Dillman Eaves Endowed Scholarship, the Estelle Owens Endowed Scholarship, the Christa Kunkel Smith Modern Language Endowed Scholarship, the Class of 1958 International Student Endowed Scholarship and the Jeane Lee and Barbara Evans Browning Endowed Scholarship.

Sally Eaves is a 1975 Wayland graduate who served on the board of the Association of Former Students and worked full-time at the University Store for several years. She also volunteered on campus and served as trustee from 1991-2000 and 2001-02, holding the office of secretary at one time. She is the granddaughter of previous board member and chairman Darrell Wiggins. Cary Eaves attended WBU and earned his degree at West Texas State University. A Realtor, he has owned Eaves Real Estate since 1975. The couple has three children and are dedicated to the support of many WBU endeavors.

Given by an anonymous donor, the Estelle Owens Scholarship honors longtime history professor and university historian Dr. Estelle Owens. A native of Jasper, Owens earned her undergraduate degree from Wayland in 1971, then earned graduate degrees from Baylor and Auburn University. She joined the WBU faculty in 1974 and has been the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences for several years. Owens has received many honors as a student and teacher, including Teacher of the Year five times. She received a first-place award from the Texas Baptist Historical Society for her history of the Panhandle-Plains Pastors’ and Laymen’s Conference. She is a longtime, active member of First Baptist Church Plainview.

The scholarship is to be awarded to a female student majoring or minoring in the behavioral sciences who is dedicated to scholarship and academic excellence and personifies Christian leadership and witness.

Christa Smith was raised in Germany and came to the U.S. first as an exchange student. After returning to Germany, she met her husband and the couple returned to Plainview for their education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1963 from Wayland, then earned master’s degrees in English and German from Texas Tech in 1967 and 1969. For more than 40 years, she has been a mentor to students in her classes of English and foreign languages and is a supporter of many other WBU programs including athletics and the fine arts. She and husband Don, longtime members of First Baptist Church, Plainview, have three children and three grandchildren.   

The Class of 1958 chose to endow their scholarship in support of international students and in honor of the many international students they befriended during their days at Wayland. Specifically, they noted Dr. Samuel Akande of Nigeria, who came to WBU in 1959 at age 33 and graduated with honors in 1961. He received three graduate degrees, was general secretary for the Nigerian Baptist Convention, established the International Institute of Evangelism and was a candidate for president of Nigeria. He and wife Comfort, who attended WBU as well, have five children, two of whom are WBU graduates. He and his son both have received Wayland’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Jeane and Barbara Browning married in 1957 and lived in Plainview their entire married life. Jeane farmed and ranched in Hale and Swisher counties, while Barbara managed their real estate properties and was a homemaker. Jeane graduated from Baylor University in 1954, while Barbara earned her undergraduate degree in 1957 from Wayland. The couple have four children and 10 grandchildren and are active members of First Baptist Church, where Jeane serves as deacon and both have been Sunday school teachers. Jeane formerly served on the Plainview City Council, is active in the Gideon ministry and is past president of Knife and Fork Club. Barbara has served in various offices of her PEO chapter, Gamma Delphin Study Club and Gideons’ Auxiliary.

Established by her husband, Robert, upon her death in June 2007, the Mauriene Smithson Matthews Scholarship honors a former Flying Queen and will benefit the women’s basketball program. A standout player at Dimmitt High School, Matthews spent four years at Wayland, helping the Queens amass a 120-15 record, two AAU national titles and a national runner-up title her second year. She won four letters for the Queens and was co-captain her final two years. She also played on the U.S. National AAU champion that won the Pan American Games in 1955 and was inducted into the WBU Athletic Hall of Honor in 1996.

A longtime teacher in the Plainview school system, Matthews received numerous teaching honors and was awarded a Lifetime Membership in PTA. She retired in 1995 and was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church at Providence. She and Robert have one daughter, Robin.         

Endowed scholarships are created with gifts of any amount, then invested with the Baptist Foundation of Texas. Once the funds reaches $25,000, the interest is pulled annually to create scholarships for students at Wayland based on the donors’ criteria, leaving the corpus of the fund intact for perpetuity. For more information on endowed scholarships, contact the Office of Advancement at (806) 291-3425.