Baylor Alumni Association to Present W.R. White Meritorious Service Awards at Homecoming

Oct. 22, 2009

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The Baylor University Alumni Association will present the W. R. White Meritorious Service Award to five individuals during the association's annual membership meeting at Baylor Homecoming. The meeting will be held at the Powell Chapel of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

The award, named for Baylor University's ninth president, has been given annually since 1977 by the association to recognize individuals who -- like Dr. White -- have rendered outstanding service to the university. This year's honorees include Dave Campbell of Waco, D. M. Edwards of Tyler, Lanella Spinks Gray of Brenham, Ruben and Barbara Ann McLeod Santos of Waco, Dr. Raymond Vickrey of Richardson, and John Wilkerson of Lubbock.

A native of Waco, Dave Campbell is the renowned founder of Texas Football magazine. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Baylor in 1950, and three years later he became the sports editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald, a position he held for 40 years. In 1960 he founded Texas Football magazine, now the most widely read sports publication in Texas. Campbell's success continued in 1993 when he began his 15-year tenure as editor-in-chief of the Baylor Bear Insider, a publication for the Baylor Bear Foundation.

He has received honors from the Football Writers Association of America and the College Sports Information Directors, and he was named a Baylor Distinguished Alumnus in 1992. Currently, he assists in selecting members for the Heisman Trophy, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the High School Football Hall of Fame.

Campbell and his wife, Reba Weaver Campbell, also a Baylor graduate and former writer for the Waco Tribune-Herald, have two daughters, one of whom graduated from Baylor, and three grandchildren. The couple will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in December.

D.M. Edwards is a 1976 Baylor business graduate whose service and generosity have helped many alumni. He is the founding president of the East Texas Baylor Club, and he currently serves as the chair of the group's scholarship committee, helping more than a hundred East Texas residents earn Baylor degrees. Edwards served as chair of the Board of Advisors of Baylor University Libraries and was also involved in the formation of Baylor's Old Main Society, which honors those who give to the university through estate planning.

Edwards's community service reaches well beyond Baylor. He has been president of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra and the Rotary Club of Tyler, and he was chair of the Board of Trustees of East Texas Baptist University.

Edwards is the founder of Edwards Investments, which includes extensive real estate holdings and businesses in Tyler, Shreveport, Houston and Odessa.

Lanella Spinks Gray has served as an unofficial ambassador at Baylor's original campus in Independence, Texas, since 1992. She earned a bachelor's degree in theater and education from Baylor in 1954. When Baylor re-acquired the land where the school's original male campus in Independence was located, the groundwork was laid for Gray's active role in celebrating Baylor's heritage.

Baylor started bringing incoming freshmen to Independence a few years ago as part of the Line Camps program, and since then Gray has helped welcome hundreds of students and educated them on the history of Baylor University. She continues to serve on the Board of Library Advisors, in addition to being a life member of the Baylor Alumni Association and a member of the Baylor Bear Foundation.

Ruben and Barbara Ann McLeod Santos -- members of the Classes of 1959 and 1961, respectively -- served the Baylor community for more than three decades. Every year, they gave up their Thanksgiving holiday to decorate the splendid two-story Christmas tree in the Bill Daniel Student Center. After Ruben's death in March 2008, Barbara continued to be active in Baylor activities, including the Baylor Round Table.

Ruben Santos began his Baylor career in 1967 at the Student Union Building, where he served as director for 35 years and received the Outstanding Staff Award in 1995. He served on the Waco City Council from 1983 to 1990 and was mayor of Waco in 1985. He was also the executive director of the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair.

Barbara Ann McLeod Santos was a registered nurse for many years and held teaching and administrative positions. She was also the chair of the Waco Health Board and served on the Texas Ranger Museum board and the Waco 20-20 Commission.

The Santos family has established an endowed scholarship at Baylor in memory of Ruben Santos.

Dr. Raymond Vickrey served as executive director of the Baylor Alumni Association from 1971 to 1978. During his tenure, he helped usher in numerous important changes, including the organization's establishment as a self-governing, nonprofit association and the implementation of a paid membership structure.

The 1957 Baylor graduate has been involved in Baptist circles for many years, serving on the executive board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and as director of Baptist Studies at Brite Divinity School. Vickrey earned a master's of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the doctor of ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation of Notre Dame University, which named him a distinguished alumnus.

Vickrey is pastor emeritus of Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas, where he was pastor for 26 years, retiring in June 2008.

The final award recipient is John Wilkerson, who received a bachelor of business administration degree from Baylor in 1957. Wilkerson has held many offices for Baylor over the years. He was a member of the Board of Regents for 18 years, serving as chair for two years, and is a past president of the Hankamer School of Business Alumni Board of Directors and a past director of the Baylor Alumni Association.

Wilkerson has also been involved in many civic and political activities in his hometown of Lubbock. He has served as the chair of the board for the Lubbock Board of City Development, a director of the Lubbock Lions Club, a director of the Lubbock County Appraisal District, and a founding director of Channel 40 Low Power TV station.

Currently, he remains the chair of the board of Wilkerson Storage Co. and actively pursues his interests in various investments.

For more information about the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award, contact the Baylor Alumni Association at (254) 710-1121 or go to bayloralumniassociation.com.

About the Baylor Alumni Association

Recognized as the official alumni organization of Baylor University, the Baylor Alumni Association is an independent legal entity, separate and apart from Baylor University.

Contact: Julie Copenhaver, Communications Coordinator, Baylor Alumni Association, (254) 710-6431

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