Looking beyond the Z

January 18, 2012

PLAINVIEW – Drawing inspiration from Dr. Seuss, Wayland Baptist University President Dr. Paul Armes addressed students at the school’s annual heritage chapel on Wednesday, challenging them to go beyond the Z.

In his children’s book “On Beyond Zebra” published in 1955, Dr. Seuss’ characters look at a world that doesn’t stop with the end of the alphabet. As Dr. Armes shared parts of the poetry, he challenged students not to stop with current knowledge and world views, but to experience a “whole other world that exists in creation -- the world of faith.”

Dr. Armes said it was faith that has shaped Wayland Baptist University.

“Faith led James Henry Wayland to donate $10,000 and 25 acres of land for a Christian school in Plainview,” Armes said.

He said school administrators and faculty stepped out on faith in 1932 when the bank holding the school’s assets closed and faculty members chose to stay with no guarantee of compensation. He said the school acted on faith when it voluntarily integrated in 1951, and that faith has been the guiding force as Wayland has continued to grow and develop campus sites in 14 locations with even more teaching locations. Dr. Armes explained that faith has led the school in many of its decisions to start programs, build buildings and expand its academic offerings.

“Faith has led Wayland to live beyond Zebra,” he said. “And to be honest, that is an exciting place to be.”

Dr. Armes encouraged the students to understand the past but look toward their future.

“Don’t stop with the letter Z,” he said. “Move beyond discovered truth to encounter the revealed truth of Jesus Christ, our Lord.”