Anonymous Donor Honors Payne Family


Four people holding a plaque.
Joey Payne, Tammy Payne Aten and Sherman Aten stand with President Dr. Bobby Hall of Wayland after the plaque marking the Rev. Hollis and Jo Payne Endowed Scholarship is unveiled.

PLAINVIEW – Tammy Aten still is in awe. The shock at learning that someone who loved her parents provided an anonymous $25,000 gift to establish an endowed scholarship at Wayland Baptist University has barely worn off.

Aten and other family members joined friends of the family on Friday, Aug. 25, to dedicate the Rev. Hollis and Jo Payne Endowed Scholarship, the culmination of a special gift in memory of two longtime teachers and bivocational ministers.

Held at Wayland’s Mabee Learning Resources Center atrium area, the dedication included the reading of the plaque by Dr. Bobby Hall, Wayland president, and words of appreciation for the Paynes and their love for people from several friends and their son-in-law, Sherman Aten. Granddaughter Brooke Aten sang a worship song with her guitar in honor of her grandparents, who loved music.

Rev. and Mrs. Payne lived for many years in Floydada, Texas. Hollis served in World War II as an Army Staff Sergeant and began his teaching career in Floydada in 1951 after earning his degree at Baylor. He later earned a master’s degree at Southwestern Seminary and become a pastor, spending 16 years at Calvary Baptist in Floydada. Jo earned her bachelor’s degree at Wayland in 1959 and joined her husband as a teacher in Floydada. She would later earn an award for Outstanding Teacher. Hollis Payne died May 18, 2002. Jo Payne died December 5, 2016.

Wayland has been significant in the Payne family, as Jo’s parents attended the college; daughter Tammy earned a music degree in 1985 and granddaughter Breanna Payne also attended recently. Son Joey Payne lives in Plainview, while the Atens live in Granbury. The Paynes also have grandchildren Joshua and Brooke Aten and Kristen Payne.

The family directed the scholarship to benefit four areas of the academic arena that were special to the Paynes, in a rotation to include education, languages and literature, music, religion/ministry. Students will receive scholarships based on interest off the endowment in perpetuity.

For more information on the endowed scholarship program at Wayland, contact Amber McCloud, director of development, at (806) 291-3430.

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