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By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON – West Texas A&M University – Wellington Alumni Chapter President Tracey Ouellette welcomed 2020 WHS graduates and guests to the fifth annual scholarship recipient celebration at Foxtales at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 6.
WHS Principal Jermaine Cantu introduced Class of 2020 graduates Bryanna Bohannon, Marlee Brown, Jasmin Cruz, Jayla Kilgore, Ellee Reeves and Jose Tellez along with their families who served as guests of honor. Each graduate receives a $500 scholarship from the local Alumni Chapter. Not present was Eva Moreno.
Kurt Ashmore, WISD superintendent, offered the invocation. The crowd of 65 dined on a “South of the Border” buffet-style meal in the unique outdoor area of the Foxtale venue.
Ouellette introduced Wilson Lemieux, a 2010 graduate of WHS and a member of the WT Alumni Association Board of Directors. He attended WT from 2010 – 2014 where he studied mass communication. He utilizes his degree through his small advertising and content production agency, Lemieux Company.
WTAMU staff in attendance were Lesly Bosch Annen, assistant vice president for Leadership Gifts, Dr. Walter Wendler, the 11th president of WTAMU appointed Sept. 1, 2016 and Ronnie Hall, executive director of the WT Alumni Association. Both Dr. Wendler and Hall shared words of encouragement.
“Support comes from the alumni as we develop personal relationships with our new students,” said Dr. Wendler. “We’re going to practice Luke 6:31. Do unto them as you would have them do to you with a rigorous agenda. We appreciate so much your support of WT.”
To conclude the event, Margret Wood, vice president of Wellington Alumni Chapter, presented two special memorials.
She described a very special alum, the late Don Reeves who graduated from West Texas State University in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and animal husbandry with a minor in both biology and English. In 1978, he received his master’s degree in agriculture and has been a WT supporter for many years.
In his role as Collingsworth County Extension Agent, Reeves helped so many young people realize their dream of taking an animal to a big livestock show or developing leadership skills through the 4-H program.
“He has been a great friend to so many, and anytime he heard that someone needed anything, he jumped in to help without hesitation,” Wood said.
Dr. Wendler presented Katherine and Wes Reeves with special recognition in memory of Don Reeves.
Wood described another special WT alum, the late Shannon Brown whom she described as a good friend.
“That friendship began when she started teaching at WHS and I was asked to be her mentor teacher,” Wood said. “Shannon cared deeply about the kids that she taught and coached. She instilled in them a sense of pride and responsibility which she modeled for them daily. The impact that she made on her students, her friends and her family will stay with us for a long time.”
Brown played basketball for WT and received her bachelor’s degree in 1996 in sports science and exercise.
“She made such an impression on her coach, WTSU’s Bob Schneider, that he has attended several of Shannon’s daughter Marlee’s games to show support for one of his star players and her family,” Wood added. “Shannon served as a WT alum, and tonight we would like to recognize her for her support and love of this great university.”
Shannon’s husband, Daryon Brown and her children accepted a certificate of appreciation in her honor from Dr. Wendler.
Additional Wellington Alumni Chapter includes Megan Wischkaemper, secretary, Sandie Cantu, treasurer and Jermaine Cantu, Carly Carter, Amanda Davis, Deltah
Henard, Shelby Jameson, Melanie McLain, Carrie Skelton and Tiffany Tarver,