First Recipients of Fugate Lady Buff Scholarships Named from Each WT Women’s Sports Teams


The first group of recipients of the Judy Fugate Lady Buff Scholarship met with Fugate, center, during a special Sept. 27 luncheon in the Fairly Group Club at Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium. Student-athletes who won the scholarships are, from left, Reagan Matacale, Alyssa Campbell, Antonella Periotti Omisolo, Emma Patterson, Elliot Harrison, Jayla Burgess and Emilee Wilson.

CANYON, Texas — Seven women athletes from West Texas A&M University were named as the first recipients of a major new scholarship endowment at a Sept. 27 luncheon.

The student-athletes—representing each of WT’s women’s athletics teams—are the first chosen for awards from the Judy Fugate Lady Buff Scholarship endowment, established in April following the announcement of a $1.85 million legacy gift to the University’s One West comprehensive fundraising campaign.

“These recipients are outstanding representatives of WT Athletics—all of them terrific students, accomplished competitors and servant leaders,” said Michael McBroom, director of intercollegiate athletics. “They are shining examples of the positive impact Title IX has had on our country and our University, and I know they are honored to be part of this inaugural class.”

The selected student-athletes include:

  • Jayla Burgess, basketball: Burgess is a sophomore biology major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who was in the starting lineup of all 37 games of the 2021-22 season, with 159 rebounds, 50 assists, 41 blocks and 33 steals on top of a 51.9 percent shooting average and a 70.8 free-throw average. “Jayla is one of the most outstanding young ladies I’ve ever worked with,” Coach Josh Prock said. “Not only is she a tremendous basketball player, she’s an even better student and person. That’s why she was chosen for this award, because we believe that she embodies everything Judy Fugate believes in.”
  • Alyssa Campbell, golf: Campbell, a senior business management major from Lancaster, South Carolina, is captain of the women’s golf team and currently holds the third-best single season stroke average in the program’s history, among other records. In the 2021-22 season, she won her first collegiate event and helped the team set a new scoring record and place sixth in the national championships. “For the past two years, Alyssa has pushed her teammates to achieve greatness through her example of grit and determination, as well as her constant smile and commitment to each player,” Coach Meredith Jameson said. “She truly is the ideal teammate.”
  • Elliot Harrison, track & field: Harrison is a sophomore sports and exercise science major from Artesia, New Mexico. A 2022 All-Academic for U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and two-time USTFCCCA All-South Central-Regional competitor, Harrison competes in 400-meter hurdles, 100-meter hurdles, 60-meter hurdles, heptathlon, long jump and pentathlon. “Elliot is an excellent representative of our program and the epitome of what a student athlete should be,” Coach Matthew Stewart said. “She is outstanding in the classroom and a tremendous competitor and huge contributor to our success in track and field.”
  • Reagan Matacale, soccer: Matacale, a senior finance major from Lucas, is known for her dedication to training and her exuberant playing style. She was chosen for the 2020 Lone Star Conference All-Freshman Team, the 2021 All-LSC Second Team and the 2021 LSC All-Tournament Team. “There is an unusual excitement level every time she’s on the ball because of none of us know what she’s about to do,” said Coach Chad Webb. “Everyone who comes to watch our team for the first time asks me, ‘Who is that No. 5?’”
  • Antonella Periotti Omisolo, golf: Omisolo, a sophomore accounting major from Cordóba, Argentina, powered through a wrist injury during the spring 2022 season to finish sixth at the LSC Conference Championship, then 12th in the nation, the third-best individual placement in program history. “When she arrived at WT in August 2021, she faced a steep curve in adjusting to life in a new country and on a new campus,” Jameson said. “She came into her own during the spring semester and is such an asset to WT. The opportunity for her to earn her degree here is truly changing her life.”
  • Emma Patterson, volleyball: Patterson, a sophomore psychology major from Amarillo, “is coachable, a great teammate, and pushes everyone to do the same in the most encouraging way possible,” said Coach Kendra Potts. “Emma is also one of the best teammates off the court. She takes the time to build relationships with her teammates and demonstrates the true definition of a servant leader.”
  • Emilee Wilson, softball: Wilson, an Esko, Minnesota, native, is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. A member of the national championship team in 2021, Wilson pitched the winning game against defending national champions Augustana, helping the Lady Buffs advance to the championship series. “Emily is the rock on our team, always showing up with a consistent approach every day,” said Coach Michael Mook. “She is a tremendous leader and the player who everyone looks up to.”

Fugate, an Amarillo resident who played badminton and bowled for the University in the 1960s and early 1970s, competed in a time before Title IX guaranteed equal access and quality in athletic programs at federally funded educational institutions across the nation. As such, she and her teammates had to buy their own T-shirts to use as team uniforms. They had to carpool with each other or with their coach to get to games. They had to play whatever team their coach could find because there wasn’t even an athletic conference for women’s sports.

This is the 50th year since Title IX was passed. Today, WT boasts women’s teams in basketball, softball, cross country, golf, soccer, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.

Fugate’s gift also created the J. Fugate Fund for Lady Buffs Athletics, which will provide critical program support for every women’s team.

The scholarship endowment will help recruit and retain the best students, a key mission of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2022 — has raised more than $110 million.