Dr. Rufus Spain to Head BU Retired Faculty Program

Sept. 22, 1998

by Alan Hunt

Dr. Rufus B. Spain, emeritus professor of history, has been named director of the Baylor Retired Professors/Administrators Program.

He takes over from Dr. W.J. Wimpee, who has served as director since 1990. Wimpee, 80, officially "retired" from Baylor in 1989 after serving in a variety of leadership roles as a student, educator and administrator at the university.

Spain, who will maintain an office on the fourth floor of Pat Neff Hall, said he is looking forward to serving his retired colleagues. "I believe Baylor is unique in having a program like this," he said. "Some of my retired faculty colleagues at other schools were quite envious when I explained our program to them."

The Retired Professors/Administrators Program was started in 1973 to maintain contact with retired Baylor faculty and administrators. The organization, which has about 230 members, is open to retired faculty, executive staff, administrative assistants, and spouses of deceased retired faculty and executive staff.

Spain's duties as director will include visits to retired faculty and administrators who are in hospitals, retirement residences or confined to their homes. He also will prepare a monthly newsletter for retirees.

Born in Alabama, Spain taught his last history class at Baylor this spring. A graduate of Mississippi College and Vanderbilt University, he joined the Baylor faculty in 1957 and taught on a full-time basis for 31 years, specializing in late 19th and 20th century history. He also taught a course on the history of religion. For the past 10 years, he has been teaching on a part-time basis.

A World War II veteran, he was recalled for Army service during the Korean War. His teaching career included high schools in Jackson, Miss., and Hebbronville, Texas, and Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., before coming to Baylor.

His wife, Carol, is the daughter of the late Dr. Ben Hanna, who taught in Baylor's School of Education for many years. The Spains have four children, all of whom graduated from Baylor.

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