Former Science Prof Honored as Distinguished Alum

August 24, 2019


Head shot of Dr. Vaughn Ross
Dr. Paul Vaughn Ross will be recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming 2019.

Dr. Paul Vaughn Ross, professor emeritus of biology at Wayland Baptist University, will be one of five honored as Distinguished Alumni of the university during the fall 2019 homecoming festivities. The awards will be presented at the homecoming banquet at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 at the Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center.

Ross graduated from Wayland in 1967 with a degree in biology and religion. He then earned a master’s degree in biology from West Texas State (now West Texas A&M) and his doctorate from Kansas State University. He married wife Johnene, a 1969 Wayland graduate, in 1967.

After teaching high school science and working as a field biologist, the Rosses took their skills to the mission field in 1975, with him serving as director of community health for the Nyanza Baptist Clinics in Kenya. He later served as coordinator of human needs ministries, serving the clinics for 19 years. Johnene provided discipleship training in their home.

In 1994, the couple returned to Plainview, where Ross joined the Wayland biology faculty, also holding the office of Dean of the School of Math and Sciences for four years. During his tenure, Ross provided missions leadership, helping Wayland establish a partnership in Kenya to educate bivocational pastors and serve the community. He led several mission trips, taught in Kenya and served as the Kenya Campus director until 2008. Ross also guided the development of the School of Nursing at Wayland.

“Dr. Ross’ career has been one of continuous service with a heart-felt desire to better the communities in which he’s been planted,” said Teresa Young, director of alumni relations at WBU. “Both on the foreign mission field of Kenya and on the home mission field of the Wayland campus, his gentle humility and desire to improve lives was felt immensely, and we could not be more pleased to honor him in this way.”

Ross retired in 2009 to Waxahachie, Texas, where he serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church and provides leadership for the church’s ministry to Kenya. The couple has two daughters, Staci Medina and Renae Russell, and five grandchildren.

Tickets to the homecoming banquet are $15 per person and can be secured by calling Young at (806) 291-3600 by Oct. 25.

Ross will also be the guest lecturer for the School of Mathematics and Sciences during Friday’s activities on campus. The lecture will take place at 1:30 p.m. in the Moody Science Building auditorium and guests are welcome to come here Ross share about science and ministry in action.

Homecoming at Wayland starts on Friday morning with the traditional chapel service and includes guest lectures, theatre performances, honor class reunions for years ending in “9” and various athletic events, including the Athletic Hall of Honor induction of the Flying Queens from 1948-82, the same group being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September. The weekend caps off with a celebratory outdoor concert at Harral Auditorium featuring food trucks and free live entertainment.

For more information on Wayland’s homecoming and links to register, visit the website at www.wbualumni.com/homecoming .

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