Dr. Rufus Spain, emeritus professor of history, stepped down from the position of director for the Baylor University Retired Professors/Administrators Program (RPAP) at the fall luncheon held Sept. 18. Spain also introduced Bill Dube, director of Baylor's endowed scholarship program, as his successor.
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 10 years before accepting the mantle as director of the RPAP when WJ Wimpee left the post.
"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 it is fun to meet with them at luncheons and keep in touch. I hope Bill enjoys it as much as I have."
Prior to announcing his retirement, Spain inducted 13 new members into the program, 12 retired professors and one retired administrator. Combined, the new members have 324 years of cumulative service to Baylor - several with more than 35 years.
The new additions this fall bring the membership of the RPAP to almost 600, including more than 250 retired professors, 70 retired administrators, 260 spouses and a few honorary members.
President Ken Starr spoke at the luncheon, reflecting on the importance of retired faculty to the ongoing success of the University and recalling the work of A.J. Armstrong, former chair of the Baylor English department, long after his retirement in 1952.
"I congratulate the retirees and I commend those who have given so much of their lives to Baylor," President Starr said. "My hope is that in the spirit of A.J. Armstrong, you continue the work you began during your years of service to Baylor."
He also explained that Pro Futuris, the University's strategic vision, calls all of Baylor's constituents to remain in thoughtful conversation. "We want you to continue to be engaged," he said.
RPAP began in 1973 to maintain contact with retired Baylor faculty and administrators. The organization is open to retired faculty, executive staff, administrative assistants and spouses of deceased retired faculty and executive staff.