Wayland president Armes to retire next year

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PLAINVIEW—Paul Armes, who has led Wayland Baptist University as president 15 years, told trustees he will retire effective June 30, 2016.

Trustees appointed a search committee to find a successor to Armes, 65, who became Wayland’s 12th president in February 2001. 

paul armes portrait200Paul ArmesWayland makes the third Baptist General Convention of Texas-related university experiencing transition in top administration. In February, Dallas Baptist University trustees elected Gary Cook chancellor and announced plans to appoint a search committee to seek his successor as president. East Texas Baptist University’s trustees elected Blair Blackburn, executive vice president at DBU since 2002, as the Marshall school’s president, effective in June.

Under Armes’ leadership, Wayland’s annual budget grew from $28 million to $68 million, its endowment grew from $31 million to $76 million, and the school added multiple graduate-level academic programs. Wayland reached a record enrollment—6,834—in 2012.

The university launched the Wayland Mission Center in 2008 and celebrated its centennial the same year. The $8 million, 50,000-square-foot Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center also opened in 2008. 

The $15 million Jimmy Dean Residence Hall for men opened in 2012, and the Jimmy Dean Museum is scheduled for construction. Wayland renovated several residence halls, the University Center cafeteria and a student lounge during Armes’ tenure as president.

Armes was born in Waco and grew up in Fort Worth and El Paso. He earned his undergraduate degree in religion from Baylor University and master of divinity and doctor of philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He completed post-graduate studies in educational administration at Southwest Texas State University.

Before arriving at Wayland, Armes served about five years as president of San Marcos Baptist Academy. 

He was pastor of First Baptist Church in Corpus Christi from 1987 to 1996 and moderator of Corpus Christi Baptist Association from 1988 to 1990. He was pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in Lubbock from 1983 to 1987 and moderator of Lubbock Baptist Association from 1986 to 1987. He served previously at Oakwood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., Big Springs Baptist Church in Garland and Agee Baptist Church in Hamilton.

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Denominational service includes membership on the Baptist General Convention of Texas Future Focus Committee, the Theological Education Study Committee and the Strategy Planning Council. 

He and his wife, Duanea Jean Ramsey, have two grown daughters, Sarah Emily and Ashley Rebecca; three grandsons and two granddaughters.

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