WT’s generous donors honored at October 13 celebration

Transcript by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, cchandler@wtamu.edu

Canyon, Texas – The West Texas A&M University Foundation honored its generous and loyal supporters on October 13 at the University’s Celebration of Donors.

The event, which took place in the Alumni Banquet Hall on the WT campus, saw the presentation of two important awards, recognition for members of the University’s Circle of Donors, and hands-on demonstrations of research and other scholarly activities by students and faculty.

The evening culminated in the presentation of the Pinnacle Award to the married couple Amarillo Lanna and Bob Hatton, who made significant gifts to Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences and Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.


picture: West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler, left, presented the Pinnacle Award to Bob and Lanna Hatton, center, in recognition of their great support for WT. Also pictured is WTAMU President Jim J. Brewer.

Among their gifts are the creation of two Professor Granted positions and the formation of the Anna and Bob Hutton Education Scholarship Fund, through the planned endowment.

“The Pinnacle Award is given to outstanding donors who support West Texas A&M University,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, Vice President of Philanthropy and External Relations, during the ceremony. “Recipients embody the essence of philanthropy and compassion, as well as inspiring others to invest in WT’s mission.”

Barbara Payne, Helen Bell and the late Geneve Schaeffer were selected joint winners of the President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award by W.T. President Walter V. Wendler. Sheffer was represented by daughter Jackie Burns.

“Tonight, we honor three individuals for decades of service not only to WT, but also to the Panhandle,” Wendler said.

The three families, who collectively provided nearly $20 million for programs across the university, were important leaders in expanding WT’s charitable giving, eventually paving the way to $125 million. one west Comprehensive fundraising campaign.

This campaign – which began publicly in September 2021 – fuels the university’s far-reaching plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. It has raised over $110 million so far.

Twenty-nine new members have been introduced to the old main community, a group founded in 1998 to honor supporters whose total donations to WT and the WTAMU Foundation have exceeded $50,000. In addition, the current 40 members have ascended to new heights within the association.

The old main assembly numbered 373 members.

In addition, five new members have been introduced into the Eternal Flame Society, which is made up of donors who give gifts to the university through their estate planning.

said Jim J. Brewer, president of the WTAMU Foundation. “Your generosity is humbling and inspiring.”

Members of the new old assembly include:

  • Donor ($1 million to $4999,999): Heather, R. Mark Payne, Jackie, Stan Burns, Nancy and Jim Siebert;
  • Sponsor ($500,000 to $999,999): John J. O’Brien’s family;
  • Ambassador ($250,000 to $49,999): Sharon, Larry, Bryson, and Diana Oichger;
  • Resner ($100,000 to $249,000): Mary and Bill Britain, Champion Feeders, City of Amarillo, Dawn Custom Cattle Feeders, Janice and Don Hayden, Karen and Scott Keeling, Diana and Bryson Oichger, Sharon and Larry Oichger, Wellington State Bank;
  • Supporter ($50,000 to $99,999): Mark Adams/A2 Cattle Feeders, Alltech, Cindy and Gary Barnes, Becky and Reggie Boles, Burns Family Foundation/Robin Alden, Carpet Tech, Center City of Amarillo, Debbie and Tim Crown, Marianne and David Doshier, Anna Estevez and Eric Barry, Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Feldmans and Rongway Diner, Judy Fugit, Joanne and Charlie Graham, Barbara and Dr. Greg Harrison, Mary Ann and Bill Hill, Orville Ladhof, Medi-Drive Pharmacy, Patty and Cameron Monroe Judy Morgan, Federal People’s Credit Union, Dr. Collingwood R Ramakrishnan, Jenna and Rodney Rothart, J. Sheehan Engineering, Lewis and Dan Schumann, Louise Powers Slintz Foundation, Texas Farm Office, Heather and Matthew West, Yellowhouse Machinery.

Members of the Old Rising Master Society include:

  • Visionary ($5 million and up): The Barbara and Ray Pine family, Terry and Dick Rogers, the Geneva and Stanley Schaeffer family;
  • Donor: Jackie and Mike Payne, Joyce and Gordon Davis, Buffy and Jerry Schaeffer, and Sherry and David Schaffer;
  • Sponsor: Buffalo Council, Dr. George Eason, Spicer Gripp Memorial Youth Foundation, Myrt and David Wilder;
  • Ambassador: Dr. Andy Cole, Mac Dick, Lana and Bob Hutton, and Louise and Jane Rahl;
  • Sustained: Amarillo Graphic Arts Golf Championships, Janice and Bobby Parker, Britcare Home Medical, Sharon and Jim Bob Brown, Arlene and Roy Bryan, Freona Industries, Charles Koch Foundation, Sally and Dr. Steve Lewis, Ryan Palmer Foundation, Western Builders and Linda and Wayne Woodward.

Recent members of the Eternal Flame Society include the late Phyllis Jane Bridges, the late James De Elsa, Judy Fugate, Nancy and the late Bob Goceran, and Colin and Jason de Sweet.

Donors who have given donations for 20, 30 and 40 consecutive years have also been recognized – nearly 120 total donors.

Previous Pinnacle Award recipients include: Geneva and Stanley Schaeffer (2006), Bill and Joyce Attebury (2007), John Marmaduke (2008), Ray and Barbara Bain (2009), John G. O’Brien (2010), Helen Piehl (2011)), Jack and Helen Hayward (2012), Atmos Energy and Charles K. 2016), Amarillo National Bank (2017), The Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation (2018), Happy State Bank (2019), Cheryl and Alex Fairly (2020) and High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation (2021).

The President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award was created to recognize volunteer and service contributions to an individual or organization advancing to the improvement of the University and the Texas Panhandle in service to the goals of WT 125.

Previous Pioneer Award recipients include: Texas Cattle Feeders Association (2019) and Mike Wartes (2021).

picture: West Texas A&M University President Walter F. Wendler, left, presents the President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award, from left, Barbara Pine and Jackie Burns, representing her late mother, Geneva Schaeffer. The three families are central to WT’s charitable efforts.

About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Founded in 1910, the university has been part of the Texas A&M University System since 1990. A Hispanic-serving institution since 2016, WT boasts an enrollment of approximately 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 undergraduate degrees, Including two doctorate degrees. The university is also home to the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, the largest historical museum in the state and home to one of the finest art collections in the Southwest. The Buffaloes is a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 athletics programs for men and women.


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