Wayland to recognize alumni during Homecoming 2012

October 16, 2012

PLAINVIEW – As part of the Homecoming 2012 activities at Wayland Baptist University, several alumni will be recognized for their successes and contributions in their fields, and for their support of Wayland. The official recognition will be held during chapel service at 11 a.m. on Friday morning in Wayland’s Harral Memorial Auditorium. The public is invited to attend the chapel service.

The following will be recognized:

Distinguished Alumni Award –Dr. Estelle Owens, B.A.’71
An “icon” at Wayland for most of the past 45 years, the recipient of the University’s highest honor for an alumnus knows her history – family and otherwise.

Dr. Estelle Owens says: “I am your basic American American but Baptist preachers, Italian sailors, French fur trappers, English pickpockets, Scottish and German farmers, explorers, and soldiers who served with Sam Houston are all in my background.”

Coming to Wayland from the small town of Jasper, near Beaumont, the sixth-generation Texan received the Outstanding Freshman Award and went on to earn a B.A. with honors in history in 1971.

She received a Master of Arts from Baylor and a Ph.D. from Auburn University in Alabama. In 1992, she was named an Outstanding Female Graduate of Auburn.

She joined the Wayland faculty in 1974 and is the second-longest-tenured current full-time faculty member. In addition to serving as Dean of the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences for 30 years, she holds the rank of Professor of History and the title of University Historian.

Estelle is working on a definitive history of the university and provided much of the material for a “coffee table” history book of stories and pictures – “The Wayland Century” – compiled during the Centennial year of 2008 by one of her former students, Jonathan Petty, of the Public Relations staff.

She has been voted Teacher of the Year several times by the student body and Students’ Choice Chapel Speaker; received the Outstanding Faculty Award from WBU trustees, the Faculty Scholarship Award, the University Faculty Service Award and the University Service Award; is a multiple nominee by the faculty for the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, received the Maloney Faculty Award and served as president of the Wayland Faculty Assembly.

Estelle received the Wayland Legacy Leadership Award in 2008, and was honored in 2009 by an endowed scholarship in her name.

Dr. Owens has presented scores of scholarly papers, has been widely published in historical publications and has served as president of the Texas Oral History Association and served on the executive board of the Texas Baptist Historical Society and the board of the Texas Baptist Historical Collection.

She is a member of First Baptist Church of Plainview where she is an offering bearer and has served on a number of committees.

Distinguished Alumni Service Award – Dr. Veryl Henderson, B.A.’65

Born in Shamrock, Texas, but raised in Grand Junction, Colo., Veryl Henderson since 2003 has been Executive Director-Treasurer of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention that serves congregations in Hawaii, American Samoa, Samoa, Guam, Saipan, Okinawa and Seoul, South Korea.

Veryl received his degree in religion with minors in speech communications and English from Wayland in 1965. He also has degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Henderson did extensive continuing education in church planting and leadership and served as an adjunct professor for Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has ministry experience in resort missions and church planting in Colorado; was a pastoral missionary for the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for a church and two missions in Maui, Hawaii; and through the Colorado Baptist General Convention helped start churches for recently released inmates and for language groups without a church.

In Hawaii, he and his wife were involved in multiple ministries with five worship services every Sunday in various places.

While at Wayland, Veryl was a Volunteer Mission Band leader for weekend dramas and revivals and led a children’s ministry for a Hispanic mission in Plainview.

He and his wife, the former Cheryl Lynn Owen, EX’94 from the Hawaii campus, live in Honolulu. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award –Dr. Clyde Cain, B.A.’58

A native of Canadian, Clyde Cain serves as Coordinator and Professor for the Shawnee, Okla. campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from which he received his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1989. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Wayland in 1958. He also has two other degrees from Southwestern and a doctorate from Luther Rice Seminary.

Clyde has served as pastor, transitional pastor and interim pastor of several churches in Texas and Oklahoma. He has held many denominational posts for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma including Associate Director of Evangelism, Annuity Consultant, Leadership Development Specialist and Director of Continuing Education.

Dr. Cain served as president of the Annuity State Representatives and Church Minister Relations Directors of the Southern Baptist Convention, has contributed to convention periodicals and has led crusades and lay evangelism schools.

At Wayland, he was a campus photographer for four years, a member of the Mission Band, was a class favorite , served as head cheerleader with his future wife and was SGA president his senior year.

He helped organize and support the Class of 1958 Endowed Scholarship honoring international students.

Clyde and his wife of 55 years, the former Kay Archer, B.A.’58, live in Edmond, Okla. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Distinguished Young Alumni  Award: Greg Brown, B.M.’92, M.Ed.’98

Principal at Plainview’s Hillcrest Elementary School since 2001, Greg Brown graduated from Wayland in 1992 with a Bachelor of Music degree and received his Master of Education from Wayland in 1998.

A native of Farmington, N.M., Mr. Brown graduated from Moriarty (N.M.) High, participating in choir and athletics. He was a member of the All-State Choir for three years and was honorable mention all-state in basketball as a senior.

At Wayland, he was a member of the International Choir for four years, president of the choir for two years and also was involved in Phi Mu Alpha and Student Government.

Greg was the choir teacher at Coronado Junior High for six years. Under his direction, the choirs received the school’s first-ever Sweepstakes in vocal performance and sightreading in the annual choir competition.

Greg is president of District 17 of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association and has been active in the Plainview Lions Club for 12 years.

Over the past 20 years at Harvest Christian Fellowship, he has led home groups, served as Kids Pastor, has done parent training, and helped with marriage counseling.  He currently leads worship teams, plays the drums and serves on the Elder Board.

He and his wife, the former Jill Boudreaux, B.A.’92, have two sons.

Distinguished Benefactor Award: Charles and Mary Abercrombie

Wayland will present three awards to Charles and Mary Abercrombie of Amarillo – the Distinguished Benefactor Award, the Keeper of the Flame and an endowed scholarship given by their children.

Charles was born near Erick, Okla., graduated from Vinson (Okla.) High School in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He graduated in 1949 from pharmacy school at Southwestern State University and practiced pharmacy for 40 years. He owned S&H Pharmacy in Amarillo for 30 of those years.

Mary LouIta Campbell was born in Harmon County, Okla. and grew up on a farm near Hollis, Okla. She graduated from Arnett High School in 1947 and attended Oklahoma Baptist University and then Southwestern State University.

Charles and Mary were married in 1948 in Harmon County, Okla. They moved to Amarillo in 1950 and have attended Grand Avenue Baptist Church since that time. He has been a deacon for 48 years and she has been church pianist for more than 47 years.

They have four children, including Dr. Gary Abercrombie of Plainview, a Wayland alum who is chairman of the Wayland Board of Trustees and a board member of the Association of Former Students. They also have three daughters, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

As trustee for the Lee and Alma Anderson Estate, Charles Abercrombie has directed more than $300,000 to Wayland, including the Barton and Harriett Abercrombie Endowed Scholarship that has benefited many students.

The Keeper of the Flame is given to donors who have contributed $100,000 or more to Wayland.

Lifetime Service Award – Dr. Gary Manning, Professor of Religion

A fixture in the School of Religion and Philosophy for 30 years, Dr. Gary Manning continues to serve Wayland as a professor for the San Antonio campus, after moving to nearby Bandera over the summer. He holds the rank of Professor of  Religion and Professor of Religious Education.

A native of San Antonio, he received a B.S. in Religious Education from Howard Payne University as well as a Masters in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1982, also from Southwestern where he majored in psychology and counseling.

At Wayland he served as chairman of the Division of Christian Ministries, was honored for Outstanding Contribution to Faculty-Administration Relationships, Outstanding Faculty Award from the board of trustees and the Maloney Faculty Award.

With experience as a pastor and minister of education, youth and music, Dr. Manning led many Sunday school conferences and youth, leadership and church retreats as well as marriage enrichment events with his wife.

He also was interim pastor of several West Texas churches. A talented vocalist, he was interim music minister for several churches, including 20 months at First Baptist-Plainview.

Dr. Manning wrote discipleship training curriculum for youth for the Baptist Sunday School Board and also authored a reader-friendly textbook for use in his Spiritual Formation classes.

An outstanding golfer himself, Gary was instrumental in starting the Pioneer golf program in the early 1990s. He served as the coach for six years.

He also was instrumental in several current and past faculty and staff members coming to Wayland.

Gary and his wife Paulette, M.Ed.’86, a longtime school teacher and administrator and recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, have two children and two grandchildren.