Second Century Campaign progressing well at centennial's halfway mark

Release Date: January 2, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – Halfway through its Centennial Celebration, Wayland Baptist University’s campaign for campus improvements and endowments is well past the halfway mark in gifts.

Titled Embracing the Dream: The Second Century Campaign for Wayland Baptist University, the effort has already garnered just over $10 million of the $14 million goal in gifts, pledges and potential gifts over the next two years.

While the major projects of the campaign are expected to exceed the $14 million campaign goal, Wayland officials believe the support for the projects and the university will bring the actual totals over the mark enough to cover all the projects.

“In spite of the economic downturn, our donors and friends have been faithful to support us, which is not unusual, really,” said Martha Cross, executive director of institutional advancement at Wayland. “People typically continue to support things they know have a lasting legacy and long-term impact, even in harder financial times.”

The campaign was officially launched in the summer as the university began its year-long celebration marking the 100th anniversary of its chartering in August 1908. A $1 million gift from Plainview native and former country singer Jimmy Dean and wife Donna Dean kickstarted the campaign, which has included several small events.

“We have many other prospects and efforts ahead of us, but we’re very pleased at the progress of the campaign so far,” said Dr. Paul Armes, Wayland president. “We look forward to reaching the initial goals of the campaign in the not-too-distant future.”

Armes and the rest of the university development team – headed by Executive director of Advancement Martha Cross – have been busy traveling and meeting with donors, alumni and friends garnering support for the campaign. All report that despite the struggling economy, giving has been strong for Wayland as friends shared the vision for the university’s future and see the importance of the campaign in continuing that vision.

The campaign’s major objective is to raise funding for a new religion building and mission center, replacing the current Flores Bible Building that is tapped to capacity in terms of classroom and office space. The new 36,000-square-foot facility will not only add to those spaces but will also incorporate a new chapel with capacity for 300-350 and a mission center to further aid the expansion of Wayland’s mission outreach efforts.

The new building will still bear the name of Mr. and Mrs. S.F. Flores, who donated the initial construction funding in the late 1950s and then made the largest gift in Wayland history by donating a large expanse of farm and ranch land in Moore County from which the university still benefits. However, additional naming opportunities are available for the facility, including the chapel, lecture hall and missions center among others.

Another major campaign objective is to renovate Harral Memorial Auditorium, originally built in 1968 and which serves the community as a major entertainment and meeting venue. Those updates will include repaired seating, upgraded sound and lighting systems and installation of new lighting above the audience seating.

In that same facility, an expansion of the fine arts complexes on either side of the auditorium is planned as another objective of the campaign. In particular, renovations are needed to the instrumental rehearsal hall and the current recital hall, with plans to convert that space into an opera/musical theatre workshop area. A new recital hall with seating for 500 is in the plans, as well as an outdoor pavilion and amphitheatre, labs for music technology and keyboards, a recording lab, additional classrooms and offices, lounge areas, a laboratory theatre space and replacing the stage floor in the Harral Studio Theatre.

The campaign also has aims for additional campus enhancements, including updated instructional technology in most classrooms – including projectors, digital presenters and computers – and interactive equipment and connectivity to allow courses to be shared with other campuses and videoconferences to be held. Construction projects include the completion of the unfinished underground space at Mabee Learning Resources Center to provide for additional classroom and office space. Improvements to the heating and air conditioning systems, sewer system and restrooms in select buildings on the Plainview campus are also on the slate, as well as new percussion equipment for the band program.

The university endowment is also in focus during the campaign, with goals for increasing the endowed scholarships for students; endowed academic chairs to enhance recruiting of quality faculty; and endowed professorships and lectureships for rich learning experiences. The university also desires to create an endowment for a Christian Leadership Program to provide programs and activities focused on building leadership skills and service learning opportunities.

Finally, the campaign aims to generate additional dollars for the Annual Fund, an undesignated account that allows the university to make unexpected repairs to facilities and technology upgrades and continue to provide university-funded scholarships such as the Pioneer Scholarship and Wayland’s portion of the United Way’s Plainview Education Partnership grants for first-year students graduating from Plainview schools.

Pledges are encouraged over a three-year period and any amount of gift is appreciated and needed for the campaign. To make a pledge or visit with a development officer about gifts of stock or other giving options, call the Advancement Office