News from the Wayland Baptist University San Antonio Campus
Guarding Wayland’s Identity
What does it mean to say that Wayland is a Bap-tist university? Does it call to mind a church in your neighborhood with a similar middle name? Maybe, you think of the proverbial designation ―faith-based institution‖? Or, perhaps nothing comes to mind immediately.
A recent Inside Higher Education news article relates the difficulties faith-based institutions have in maintaining their identity. The story is entitled ―Guarding Catholic Identity.‖ The Rev. Joseph P. McFadden, the bishop of Harrisburg, Pa., and the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Committee on Catholic Edu-cation, employed a definition proposed by Pope John Paul II, that a Catholic college ―combines Catholic values with rigorous academic work, or [is] ‗a place of research, a place of probing the mystery of life‘.‖ He added that trustees of such institutions must ―value its unique mission.‖*
The trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff of Wayland Baptist Universi-ty likewise believe in the unique mis-sion of Wayland and have for more than a century! In fact, our current mission statement reflects that commit-ment: ―Wayland Baptist University exists to educate students in an aca-demically challenging, learning-focused and distinctively Christian environment for professional success and service to God and humankind.‖ We strive at all our campuses for degree programs that are academically challenging; but, above all, we endeavor to hire fac-ulty and staff that are ―distinctively‖ Christian in every respect. As the spring term begins, I have a number of things for which to be grateful, not the least of which is that I work for this fine institution. I also offer my congratulations to our former Assistant Dean, Dr. Tom Fisher, who accepted a position as Executive Director and Dean of Wayland‘s Altus campus. In his place is Dr. Ben Craver who rejoined our staff here last summer from our Albuquerque campus where he, too, served as Executive Director and Dean.
Enrollments continue to climb! In the winter term, headcount reached 1,779 students. That is an increase of 1.25% over the same term last year. Our newest teaching site, in the Rio Grande Valley, enrolled 23 students—not bad for only the second term of operations! Congratulations to Vidal Muñiz for a job well-done! Graduation took place on February 17, at 11:00 AM at the Community Bible Church. We were pleased to have as guest speaker, Trey Ware, long-time radio personality in San Antonio and host of The Trey Ware Morning Show on KTSA Radio 500 AM. I could go on. These are the kinds of things that get me out of bed every morning and come to work. Be sure to check us out on Facebook and/or visit our website at www.sa.wbu/edu.
Best wishes! James L. Antenen, Executive Director and Campus Dean
From the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR...
Todd Nelson, Miracle Man
By Deanna Spruce, Director of Institutional Advancement
The fact that we are even talking with Todd Nelson to-day is a testament to one man‘s physical, mental and spiritual strength. Todd Nel-son‘s very life is a miracle. Todd Nelson is a Retired Army Master Sergeant who had two tours of duty in the Middle East; the first in Iraq and the second in Afghanistan. His second tour was cut short by a roadside bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2007. On this day Todd Nelson‘s life changed forever.
Understanding where Todd came from will help see where he is now. Todd Nelson grew up in rural Colorado and right out of High School he married his high school sweetheart and enlisted in the Army. Todd took on the re-sponsibility of a husband, provider and father at very young age. His two daughters are the ―lights of his life‖. If, you spend any time with Todd his daughters will inevitably come up in the conversation be-cause Todd is so very proud of both of them. In life, things don‘t always go as planned and with Todd‘s and Cori‘s marriage this was the case. Todd and his first wife Cori parted ways. Several years later Todd met Sarah to whom he has been married for six years. Sarah was completely new to the military life style, and was shocked at how quickly Todd de-ployed (6 months) after the wed-ding. She soon found out Todd would be gone for at least a year. Todd‘s duties for the Army were in vehicle maintenance. Todd had a natural ability to fix cars and trucks and the Army always needs good mechanical types so this was a great match.
In his second Combat tour of duty, Todd assisted in providing logistical support to the Afghan National Army (ANA) and spent his off hours helping the church by volunteering to lead worship in the local ministry. After 9 months and 300 convoys, after another long day and yet another convoy, Todd‘s vehicle passed too close to a suicide bomber‘s vehicle. The bomber detonated himself just outside Todd‘s truck door, inflicting what would surely be fatal injuries to Todd.
Todd believes that the enemy targeted him be-cause of the good work he was doing for Christ through his ministry. With this blast he had suffered brain damage from shrapnel to the head plus he lost his right eye. The injuries were severe. Along with a crushed face, broken bones in his arms, legs and torso, he also had multiple burns to his entire body. All this was terrible but the real problem was his brain damage and the fact he was in a coma for 72 hours here at the BAMC burn ward. His family was with him the entire 72 hours praying by his side and when all things looked hopeless, a miracle happened; Todd came out of his coma. His family‘s prayers had been answered and he was back with us but this was just the start of a new much harder journey for Todd.
After twenty separate surgeries in forty days (forty total surgeries), Todd‘s brain was starting to heal but his body was still in horrific condition. The-se surgeries were necessary yet very risky; the body can only take so much. Another miracle was that Todd survived the surgeries, rehabilitation and the mental anguish of being so traumatized. Todd owes all of his physical and mental recovery to his spiritual strength. He knew God had a plan for him and be it a very difficult road he was going to make it.
Todd now works for USAA helping disabled veter-ans navigate the often difficult employment transi-tion process. Through the process, Todd capitalized on his experience motivating troops through speak-ing and started motivational speaking on the new subject of recovering from trauma.
Todd is very proud of his accomplishments of completing his bachelor‘s degree. His biggest moti-vation? Setting an example for his two soon-to-be adult daughters. According to Todd, he wants to help his daughters avoid his line of schooling, ―The School of Hard Knocks‖. Todd realized he couldn‘t just, ―talk the talk‖. He had to ―walk the walk‖ so he decided to go back to school and finish his degree.
Wayland Baptist was perfect for him as they could provide him numerous credits not only for previous classes he had taken, but for his military experience as well. Todd expects to graduate this summer. But Todd is not planning to stop with just a Bachelor‘s degree; he intends to pursue a Master‘s degree as well.
His story and inspirational message of God‘s love and Todd‘s devotion can be heard on the web at www.InspiringSoldier.com
Thank you Todd, from all of us.
Am I College Material?
By Beverly Houston, Coordinator of Development and Recruiting
―I don‘t think you‘re college material.‖ These words were imbedded in Tami Keith throughout high school. In an attempt to dismiss the remarks, she en-rolled at the local junior college but the effects lin-gered resulting in her receiving low grades and later dropping out.
A resident of West Texas in 1986, Tami loved the open spaces. She became attracted to tractor-trailer rigs and marveled as they took to the highways traveling east and west. Perhaps the idea of driving a rig through the Appalachian Mountains and other parts of the open country would satisfy her love of rigs but also give the peace she needed as she struggled with a mindset of shortcomings and limitations. That dream became a reality when she married Bill and became Tami Sanders. Together they purchased, operated and bossed long-haul rigs until 1991. With no formal training, Tami learned to drive rigs and logged over one-million miles. During this time in her life, Tami‘s self-esteem grew and she became more motivated and confi-dent in her abilities.
Her life would take a complete turn when her husband was called to the ministry and she would be-come First Lady. With no hesita-tion, she followed and accepted the role that God placed before her. Tami went back to school at a local junior college, worked at small companies, raised their children, David and Robyn; and stood by her husband as he pastored a church near the Oklahoma state line. At this church, she was the Music Director, taught Vacation Bible School, and earned two professional certificates.
In 2004, the couple moved to San Antonio where Bill accepted a pastor position at Converse First Bap-tist Church. Three months later, she interviewed at Wayland Baptist University – San Antonio Campus and accepted a position in the Records Department.
She immediately enrolled in classes at the Universi-ty. Tami realized her potential and a chance to fulfill her dream, the American Dream, of returning to school and earning a degree. While employed at Wayland, Tami received her Associate Degree and Bachelor of Science in Occupational Education in 2007 and in 2010 a Master of Arts in Management. Currently she is Wayland‘s Testing Operations Man-ager.
Tami‘s life was a path of confusion, struggle, perseverance, sacrifice, hard work and achievement. Today, she acknowledges grandiose support from family and friends, encouragement from academic advisors and instructors, and most importantly she acclaims her belief and acts of faith and prayer.
Wayland Baptist University salutes another “Shining Star!”
C E L E B R A T I N G 2 7 Y E A R S O F S E R V I C E T O S A N A N T O N I O
NEWS IN BRIEF
Have you seen our new billboards?
Wayland started running their new bill-boards in various locations throughout San Antonio. Advertising started in September 2011 and will run for a year. The locations are: IH35N near Toepper-wein & IH35N near O‘Connor. Way-land also has 2 other locations that change frequently throughout the city. Friend us on Facebook and let us know what you think!
Dr. Diane C. Frazor was recently rec-ognized as a 2012 Alumnus Award Re-cipient for the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus. The awards ceremony took place on January 28. A total of nine Alumni were recognized for their great accomplishments by the Alumni Association. Congratulations!
Rewriting the Future is published by Wayland Baptist University’s San Antonio Campus to update donors and friends about campus news. For more information, contact Deanna Spruce at (210) 590-5603.