Funeral Services To Be Held Tuesday For Dr. Ray Wilson

July 10, 2004
News Photo 1873F. Ray Wilson II, Ph.D.

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor students and alumni are invited to post a tribute to Wilson on the Ray Wilson Tribute Page. Video from the service is available online at

Funeral services for one of Baylor University's most beloved faculty members, Dr. F. Ray Wilson, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, at Waco Hall on the Baylor campus, with Dr. Robert B. Sloan Jr. officiating. Burial will be held at Oakwood Cemetery.

Wilson, who was professor of biology, director of the Honors Program and Master Teacher, passed away July 10 while on a study-abroad program in Rome. He was 62.

A campus-wide memorial service will be held Thursday, Aug. 26. The time and location will be announced at a later date.

Memorials can be made to the F. Ray Wilson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor University, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, Texas 76798-7026.

Baylor students and alumni also are invited to post a tribute to Wilson on the Ray Wilson Tribute Page.

"This is a great loss for the Baylor family. Ray Wilson was one of the most beloved professors in the university's history, having taught literally thousands of students over his long and distinguished career," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr.

"He had a great sense of humor and was a tremendous encourager, helping many students find their sense of calling and direction in life. He was demanding in the classroom and laboratory, but what many people will remember about him is that he loved his students. Ray was a popular speaker at student and alumni functions, which is testimony to the great respect and admiration that the Baylor family had for him."

Wilson was born Aug. 1, 1941, in Wichita Falls to Forest Ray Sr. and Nancy Wilson. He was a 1966 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, later earning his master's degree in biology from Texas Christian University in 1969 and his doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois in 1973. That year, Wilson joined the Baylor faculty as an assistant professor of biology and was named full professor in 1989. Last spring, Wilson was appointed director of the Honors Program, a post he began on June 1, 2004.

During his three decades at Baylor, Wilson was honored with numerous teaching awards, including his selection by the 1997 senior class as the Collins Outstanding Professor. He also was honored seven times by Mortar Board as "Top Professor" and was named to the academic honor society's Circle of Achievement for Outstanding Professors eight times. In November 2003, Wilson was designated as Master Teacher, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members.

More than anything, Wilson was legendary among the Baylor student body for mentoring hundreds of students pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences, while also directing countless undergraduate honors theses.

Wilson served as a member of the Baylor Faculty Senate and on many university committees, including the University Tenure Committee from 1997-99 and the Arts and Sciences science facilities planning committee in 1999. At the time of his death, he was chair of the faculty advisory committee for student life and served as co-director of the summer study aboard program, Baylor in Great Britain.

Fully involved in the life of Baylor, Wilson also served on committees involving biology scholarship and awards, summer orientation, Welcome Week, BaylorPlus, United Way and Diadeloso. He was a member of Highland Baptist Church and served on the board of advisers for Young Life.

Wilson was preceded in death by his parents and brother, David Wilson.

He is survived by his mother, Eileen Wilson, of Garland; sister, De'Andrea Myers, and husband, Jerry, of Dallas; brother, James Wilson, and wife, Belinda, of Allen; and three nieces and a nephew.

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