Generous WT Donors Recognized at Oct. 13 Celebration


Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]


CANYON, Texas — The West Texas A&M University Foundation honored generous and faithful supporters Oct. 13 at the University’s Celebration of Donors.

The event, held in the Alumni Banquet Dining Hall on WT’s campus, featured the presentation of two significant awards, recognition of members of the University’s donor circle, and hands-on demonstrations of research and other scholarly activities by students and faculty members.

The evening culminated in the presentation of the Pinnacle Award to Amarillo couple Lanna and Bob Hatton, who have made significant gifts to the Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences and the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

CelebrationDonors22_PinnaclePhoto: West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler, left, presents the Pinnacle Award to Bob and Lanna Hatton, center, in recognition of their significant support of WT. Also pictured is WTAMU Founation President Jim J. Brewer.

Among their gifts are the establishment of two endowed professorships and the formation, via planned gift, of the Lanna and Bob Hatton Education Endowment Fund.

“The Pinnacle Award recognizes outstanding donors who support West Texas A&M University,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations, during the ceremony. “The recipients personify the essence of philanthropy and compassion, as well as inspire others to invest in the mission of WT.”

Barbara Bain, Helen Piehl and the late Geneva Schaeffer were named the shared recipients of the President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award by WT President Walter V. Wendler. Schaeffer was represented by daughter Jackie Byrnes.

“Tonight, we are recognizing three individuals for decades of service to not only WT, but also the Panhandle region,” Wendler said.

The three families, who have collectively given almost $20 million to programs across the University, were crucial leaders in the expansion of philanthropic giving to WT, ultimately paving the way to the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign.

That campaign—which publicly launched in September 2021—fuels the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. It has raised more than $110 million thus far.

Twenty-nine new members were inducted into the Old Main Society, a group founded in 1998 to recognize supporters whose lifetime total of donations to WT and the WTAMU Foundation exceeds $50,000. In addition, 40 current members ascended to new levels within the Society.

The Old Main Society has 373 total members.

Plus, five new members were inducted into the Eternal Flame Society, consisting of donors who are making gifts to the University through their estate planning.

“To those being recognized for your continued giving and moving up in the Old Main Society, you are leading the way for all of us and countless others by demonstrating that together we can do great things,” said Jim J. Brewer, president of the WTAMU Foundation. “Your generosity is humbling and inspiring.”

New Old Main Society members include:

  • Benefactor ($1 million to $4,999,999): Heather and R. Mark Bain, Jackie and Stan Byrnes, and Nancy and Jim Seybert;
  • Patron ($500,000 to $999,999): John G. O’Brien family;
  • Ambassador ($250,000 to $499,999): Sharon, Larry, Bryson and Deanna Oeschger;
  • Sustainer ($100,000 to $249,000): Mary and Bill Britain, Champion Feeders, City of Amarillo, Dawn Custom Cattle Feeders, Janis and Don Hayden, Karen and Scott Keeling, Deanna and Bryson Oeschger, Sharon and Larry Oeschger, and Wellington State Bank;
  • Supporter ($50,000 to $99,999): Mark Adams/A2 Cattle Feeders, Alltech, Cindy and Gary Barnes, Becky and Reggie Boles, Burns Family Foundation / Robin Alden, Carpet Tech, Center City of Amarillo, Debbie and Tim Crown, Marianne and David Doshier, Ana Estevez and Eric Barry, Farm Credit Bank of Texas, Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner, Judy Fugate, Joan and Charlie Graham, Barbara and Dr. Greg Harrison, Mary Ann and Bill Hill, Orville Ladehoff, Medi-Drive Pharmacy, Patty and Cameron Monroe, Judy Morgan, People’s Federal Credit Union, Dr. Kollengode R. Ramakrishnan, Gina and Rodney Ruthart, J. Shehan Engineering, Lois and Dan Shuman, Louise Bowers Slentz Foundation, Texas Farm Bureau, Heather and Matthew West, and Yellowhouse Machinery.

Rising Old Main Society members include:

  • Visionary ($5 million and above): Barbara and Ray Bain family, Terry and Dyke Rogers, and Geneva and Stanley Schaeffer family;
  • Benefactor: Jackie and Mike Bain, Joyce and Gordon Davis, Buffie and Jerry Schaeffer, and Sherry and David Schaeffer;
  • Patron: Buffalo Council, Dr. George Eason, Spicer Gripp Memorial Youth Foundation and Myrt and David Wilder;
  • Ambassador: Dr. N. Andy Cole, Mack Dick, Lanna and Bob Hatton, and Louise and Gene Rahll;
  • Sustainer: Amarillo Area Graphic Arts-Golf Tournament, Janice and Bobby Barker, Britkare Home Medical, Sharon and Jim Bob Brown, Arlene and Roy Bryan, Friona Industries, Charles Koch Foundation, Sally and Dr. Steve Lewis, The Ryan Palmer Foundation, Western Builders and Linda and Wayne Woodward.

Newly inducted Eternal Flame Society members include the late Phyllis Jane Bridges, the late James D. Elza, Judy Fugate, Nancy and the late Bob Josserand, and Colleen and Jason D. Sweet.

Also recognized were donors who have given for 20, 30 and 40-plus consecutive years—nearly 120 total donors.

Previous Pinnacle Award recipients include: Geneva and Stanley Schaeffer (2006), Bill and Joyce Attebury (2007), John Marmaduke (2008), Ray and Barbara Bain (2009), John G. O’Brien (2010), Helen Piehl (2011), Jack and Helene Hayward (2012), Atmos Energy and Charles K. and Barbara K. Vaughan (2013), Dyke and Terry Rogers (2014), Don and Twanna Powell (2015), The Don and Sybil B. Harrington Foundation (2016), Amarillo National Bank (2017), The Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation (2018), Happy State Bank (2019), Cheryl and Alex Fairly (2020) and High Plains Christian Ministries Foundation (2021).

The President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award was established to recognize the volunteer and service contributions of an individual or organization providing for the betterment of the University and the Texas Panhandle in service to the goals of WT 125.

Previous Pioneer Award recipients include: Texas Cattle Feeders Association (2019) and Mike Wartes (2021).



Photo: West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler, left, presents the President’s Panhandle Pioneer Award to Helen Piehl, from left, Barbara Bain and Jackie Byrnes, representing her late mother, Geneva Schaeffer. The three families are pivotal in WT philanthropy efforts.



Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.