Continuing a commitment to retirees

March 20, 2013

Continuing a commitment to retirees

Retired Professors/Administrators Program changes leadership

In 1973, Baylor University began the Retired Professors/Administrators Program (RPAP) as a way to extend the community and relationships that retired faculty and administrators had formed during their many years of service to the university. For 40 years, Baylor has continued that commitment to its retirees through events, newsletters and personal visits.

Dr. Rufus Spain, emeritus professor of history, has guided the growth and continuation of the program for more than a decade as director of the RPAP. He is credited with much of the program's success as the membership now reaches almost 600, including more than 250 retired professors, 70 retired administrators, 260 spouses and additional honorary members.

A graduate of Mississippi College and Vanderbilt University, Spain joined the Baylor faculty in 1957, teaching on a full-time basis for 31 years and specializing in late 19th- and 20th-century history. After his retirement in 1988, he taught on a part-time basis for another 10 years before accepting the mantle as director of the RPAP when Dr. WJ Wimpee, AB '40, left the post.

This past September, Spain stepped down as director of the RPAP at the organization's fall luncheon and introduced Bill Dube, BA '68, MBA '72, director of Baylor's endowed scholarship program, as his successor.

"I originally signed on for five years at the request of the Provost, but it is now 14 years later," Spain said. "I have enjoyed working with the retired faculty and staff. After all, they were my colleagues for many years, and I enjoy meeting with them at luncheons and keeping in touch. I hope Bill enjoys it as much as I have."

Dube, a Baylor graduate and employee for 39 years, has a long history with the university. While he has held several different positions, he has kept a committed focus on student scholarships throughout his career. It is that focus that has allowed him to not only develop close relationships with Baylor's donors, but also to work closely with the faculty.

"I always had a strong desire to serve at Baylor," Dube said. "In 1973, an opportunity to work for the financial aid office allowed me to do just that. Through the years I have had the opportunity to form close relationships with a lot of the professors, and I have stayed in touch with many of them after their retirement."

Dube explained that professors and administrators spend their careers being extremely active in campus events. The RPAP is a way for them to continue that involvement with the university after retirement.

"It is very important that Baylor stay connected with the retirees and that we do what we can to keep them engaged," Dube said. "We want to be a resource for the retirees. We can provide them with that direct, personal touch if they need information and be their link to the university.

"Rufus has done a wonderful job and it will be hard to follow in his footsteps," Dube continued. "I hope to build on what he has started, and I welcome the input of the retirees."

At the September luncheon, 13 new members were inducted into the Retired Professors/Administrators Program, 12 retired professors and one retired administrator. The impact of this group is made even more impressive when you consider the new members reflect 324 years of combined service to Baylor -- several with more than 35 years of service.

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