Wayland grieves death of freshman

Rachel Bates, shown with her wrestling coach, Aaron Meister, discussing strategy after a match. (Rachel Bates Facebook Photo)

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PLAINVIEW—Wayland Baptist University confirmed the death of Rachel Bates, a 19-year-old freshman biology major from Spring, in a residence hall on the Plainview campus. 

Police and medical personnel were called to the scene around 6 p.m. March 31. 

rachel bates130Rachel BatesAn investigation is under way, and efforts are being made to provide support resources for the campus community, university officials said. The medical examiner is performing a full autopsy and will make any further results available to the Plainview Police Department



“It is with great sadness that we confirm the death of one of our students,” Wayland President Paul Armes said. “The tragic loss of such a young life is difficult. 

“Our prayers go out to her family and friends. We covet the prayers and support of all of Wayland’s friends and family members. This is certainly a time of great pain for everyone involved, especially Rachel’s family.”

Grief counselors were on hand March 31 for students, and continuing resources will be available, university officials announced.



A graveside funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m. April 3 at Laurel Land Funeral Home in Dallas. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the Bates family suggests a donation be made to the “Johnny Cobb Endowed Scholarship Fund” in her memory.


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