WBU Dedicates Two New Scholarships Honoring Lightfoot Family
September 27, 2017
PLAINVIEW, Texas – During a special family luncheon held Friday, Sept. 22, Wayland Baptist University dedicated two new endowed scholarships to benefit students of the university.
Dr. Glenda and Mr. Brad Payas were honored as the generous benefactors of the two endowments, both remembering her family. Dr. Payas is a 1969 graduate of Wayland, earning a science degree and going on to eventually earn a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and practice dentistry in Tulsa, Okla., for nearly 30 years before retiring recently.
The scholarships are in memory of Payas’ mother, LaNora James Lightfoot, and her grandparents, Alfred Orin and Nancy Hanks Hathcock Lightfoot.
Born in Iraan, LaNora Lightfoot helped raise younger siblings during the depression years and was the first in her family to finish high school and attend college. She finished business college in San Angelo just before World War II, then moved to San Antonio to work at what would later become Kelly Air Force Base as the war began. She would meet her future husband, Owen Lightfoot, who survived the Bataan Death March in Japan, at a social event there.
After they married and moved to Albuquerque, Owen returned to the logging business and the family grew to include three children, Glenda, Gayle and James. All three were college graduates – Glenda and Gayle both earned bachelor’s degrees from Wayland, James from LeTourneau – and have all been successful.
“LaNora was a woman of faith with a firm belief in the value of education,” her family wrote on the scholarship plaque. “She saw to it that their children attended school and church and provided a core of stability within their home.” She died at age 57.
The scholarship is designated to benefit students of great Christian character with financial need.
Alfred and Nancy Lightfoot married in September 1907 and raised nine children while tending a farm and raising livestock in North Anderson County, Texas. “They were a strong, God-fearing pioneer family who had a deep and abiding faith in God and raised each of their children to honor Him,” the plaque reads.
During their lifetime, they witnessed many changes in history and lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Korean War and Vietnam War. Four of their sons served in the military during World War II, primarily in the Pacific Theater. Two of their grandchildren attended Wayland, and the scholarship is given to recognize their love and sacrifice to the family.
The scholarship is designed to benefit students from East Texas or New Mexico with financial need.
Endowed scholarships at Wayland are created with donor gifts and placed in investment. Once the fund reached $25,000, the fully endowed fund can then begin to bless students. Interest is pulled annually to provide scholarships for students in various academic areas. For more information about scholarships, contact Amber McCloud, Director of Development, at (806) 291-3430.