Baylor Alumni Association to Present W. R. White Awards at Annual Homecoming Meeting

  • News Photo 4310
    Dr. Ray Burchette Jr. of Denver, Colo.
  • News Photo 4311
    D. Diane Dillard of Brownsville
  • News Photo 4312
    Joyce Hornaday Packard of Waco
  • News Photo 4313
    Dr. Rufus Spain of Waco
Oct. 31, 2007

by Judy Prather, Baylor Alumni Association, (254) 710-6431

The Baylor University Alumni Association will present the W. R. White Meritorious Service Award to four individuals during the association's annual membership meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at the Hooper Schaefer Fine Arts Center at Baylor.

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 are Dr. Ray Burchette Jr. of Denver, Colo.; D. Diane Dillard of Brownsville; and Waco residents Joyce Hornaday Packard and Dr. Rufus Spain.

Burchette, a 1957 Baylor graduate, served as executive vice president of the Baylor Alumni Association from 1991 until his retirement in 2000. For 30 years prior to that he was a pastor, including 25 years as senior pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church in Austin. A longtime member of the Baylor Bear Foundation, he is a past president of the Baylor Alumni Association and the Tip-Off Club, and he has served on the Baylor Council of Institutional Development and the Campus Master Planning Committee.

Dillard graduated magna cum laude from Baylor in 1976 and cum laude from Baylor Law School in 1979. A past president of the Baylor Alumni Association, she began her law career in Houston before moving to Brownsville when her husband, Andy Hanen, was appointed a federal district judge. Dillard is board certified in commercial real estate law and works as an attorney and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville. She also serves as a professional third-party mediator and arbitrator and has been a leading speaker on legal ethics for more than 15 years.

Packard, a 1952 Baylor graduate who earned the MS in 1957, has been vitally involved in Waco and Baylor affairs for more than 50 years. A former dean of women at Baylor and a counselor at Richfield High School for 20 years, she is a past president of Historic Waco Foundation and the Waco ISD Education Foundation. She chaired the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board and helped organize the Waco Welcome Corps, in addition to serving on the Executive Committee of Brazos Higher Education Authority and numerous local boards.

Spain joined the faculty of Baylor's Department of History in 1957, and he has also served as chair of the Honors Program, director of graduate studies in history and a member of the original Faculty Senate. A Baylor "Alumnus by Choice," he retired from full-time teaching in 1988 but continued teaching part-time for another 10 years before being named director of the Baylor Retired Professors/Administrators Program. A longtime member of Lake Shore Baptist Church, he has also been active with Camp Fire Girls, Little League and the Waco Conference of Christians and Jews.

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

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