WBU honors Gabriels as Distinguished Benefactors

September 15, 2014

PLAINVIEW – As part of this weekend’s homecoming activities, Wayland Baptist University will recognize a longtime Plainview businessman and his wife as Distinguished Benefactors to the university.

As residents of Plainview for more than 50 years, Max and Marcheta Gabriel have always been active supporters of community organizations, First Baptist Church and Wayland Baptist University.

The Distinguished Benefactor award is presented to a person or persons who have made generous gifts to the university. The gift of time, energy and personality may also be considered. The nominee should exhibit personal character, integrity and traits in which the University may take pride in honoring. The Gabriels will be honored during Wayland’s chapel service at 11 a.m. Friday in Harral Memorial Auditorium.

In addition to providing the beautiful stained glass windows and the prayer room in the chapel of the Mabee Learning Resources Center, the Gabriels have an endowed scholarship in their names as well as one in the names of their children, Tiffany Wright and the late Kyle Gabriel. They also assisted in endowing a scholarship in the name of his father, George Gabriel.

Max served as a trustee for Wayland for 18 years, chaired the board and also served for 10 years on the Executive Board. He also served on the finance, presidential search, property management and sports committees and was a strong proponent in starting the football program.

Max, who was co-owner of Gabriel’s Department Store in Plainview for more than 30 years and has his own real estate development company, was named Plainview’s Man of the Year in 1989 for community service; was a longtime Lion, served as a deacon at First Baptist Church and a member of the Remodeling/Renovation Committee, and was an organizer, charter member and first president of the Pastor’s Class.

The Max Gabriel Conference Room at Covenant Hospital in Plainview is also named in his honor.

Marcheta (pronounced Mar-kee-tuh), a former home demonstration agent, has taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School and chaired and served on many church committees.

The Gabriels, who moved to Amarillo earlier this year, have two grandchildren.