Here's what's happening with the Herd
West Texas A&M University
Alumni Association eNewsletter
February 2017

West Texas A&M University Alumni Association eNewsletter - Let's Catch Up,

What happens after the final buzzer? Tanner Lakey at your service.

By Brittany Castillo '14

On every pair of basketball shoes, Tanner Lakey ’14, wrote his favorite Bible verse and life motto, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength—Philippians 4:13.” Since childhood, he’s looked for opportunities to couple his two loves—sports and faith—in a way that demonstrate leadership in the community. His search eventually led to establishing his own brand called 4:13 Athletics.

Offering blogs and merchandise, 4:13 Athletics is gaining a following and support for a leadership-based environment for the faith-based athlete. Lakey wanted to create a brand that would eventually house his aspirations of consulting retired athletes and guiding their careers after playing sports.

Lakey grew up active in sports and service-based programs in Amarillo. At WT, he was a scholar in the Rogers LEAD WT program, a WT Readership Ambassador in Cambodia and WT Peer Leader to freshmen. In 2013, he landed a minor league baseball position as a seasonal account executive for the Wichita Wingnuts while maintaining his landscape business at home. In 2014, he graduated with a B.S. in sports and exercise sciences and enrolled for his first semester at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Fla.

“I was originally a pre-dental major, but when I had to take organic chemistry, I realized it wasn’t the best fit,” Lakey said. “I always wanted to be a sports agent, so I talked to other agents and they said law school was the way to go.”

He moved to Florida and dove into classes reaching new heights as a law student. After semesters of late night study sessions and working in different firms, Lakey recognized a need outside of securing contracts for athletes. He saw opportunity to encourage and guide a retired player’s career after they played their last game.

“Anything from financial and wealth management to helping start businesses or going back to school. Wherever they want to go, I want to help them discover what that is and hold onto it,” Lakey said. “I knew I could offer something different when I saw there’s a period of time for athletes to rediscover themselves once they retire.”

Currently, Lakey is interning at The Brewer Group, a consulting firm specializing in companies making a positive impact worldwide. He will graduate in May with both his Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degrees credentialing him for a career in consultancy.

“We’ve received great feedback from people appreciating 4:13 Athletics, and it’s helped me start writing again,” Lakey said. “I’ve loved it and I’m only just beginning to see what else I can do.”

Keep up with Lakey on Twitter at @tanner_lakey, on Facebook at @tanner.lakey; @413athletics and his website at

WTAMU Announces Agreement-In-Principle with CISD on Kimbrough Stadium

West Texas A&M University officials took another step toward an on-campus football stadium Feb. 17 and announced an agreement-in-principle with the Canyon Independent School District (CISD) for the transfer of Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Plans for both the new and current stadiums were announced during a press conference at the offices of the Canyon Independent School District and mark a unifying partnership for the common good of the extended community.

Dr. Walter Wendler, WTAMU president, said he will seek final approval for the construction of an on-campus stadium for WTAMU from the Texas A&M University Board of Regents in April as well as the proposed transfer of Kimbrough Memorial Stadium to CISD. The CISD school board of trustees will also have to approve the transfer agreement.

WTAMU students voted yes to a new on-campus stadium in March 2016, but further study of the plan was announced in September under Wendler’s new leadership. A Houston firm was hired to evaluate the cost and scope of building a new stadium compared to that of renovating Kimbrough Memorial Stadium.

Wendler said the second estimate for the new on-campus stadium was very close to that given in the original program-of-requirements study. The cost of bringing Kimbrough Memorial Stadium up to program-of-requirements standard and addressing accessibility was higher than a new on-campus stadium. Talks with officials at CISD about a transfer of ownership of the current stadium played a major role in the decision to build an on-campus stadium.

“My goal was to do what was in the best interest of West Texas A&M University and of benefit to Canyon Independent School District, Canyon and Amarillo,” Wendler said. “If this didn’t benefit everyone, we wouldn’t do it—it was something that needed to work together for the common good.”

The three stadiums between the cities of Amarillo and Canyon—Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo, Kimbrough Memorial Stadium and WTAMU’s new Buffalo Stadium in Canyon—would reinforce the area as the playoff capital of the Texas Panhandle. No other location in the top 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle can offer the convenience of three stadiums or the added amenities of restaurants and lodging for traveling fans.

“With the immense growth in Canyon and south Amarillo, Kimbrough offers the community an incredible venue for high school athletics and other events that wouldn’t exist without this partnership,” Darryl Flusche ’88, CISD superintendent, said. “It’s very forward thinking of both the University and the school district, and we appreciate the school board and their support in this venture.”

Canyon Mayor Quinn Alexander commended WTAMU and CISD for their leadership in gathering information and talking with community members throughout the decision process.

“We congratulate all involved in maintaining the spirit and heritage of Kimbrough Stadium,” he said. “Our city and the entire Texas Panhandle region take pride in the continuing growth of WTAMU that furthers our local quality of life and continues to educate our children and young adults.”

Under the plan, the new football facility would be constructed just north of Jarrett Hall, where the current soccer/track field is located. The soccer/track field will be relocated just north of the current practice field. The 10-12,000-seat stadium is planned as a horseshoe configuration with the open end at the south end of the field. Concessions and restrooms would be scattered throughout. Construction of the new stadium could begin in late 2017. The soccer/track field would be scheduled for completion in August 2018, while the football stadium would open in summer 2019.

Two Set for Induction into Branding Iron Theatre Hall of Fame

Jenny Nolan Bailey ’93, and Randall Carver ’68, will join a prestigious roster of former WT students and faculty when they are inducted into the Branding Iron Theatre Hall of Fame. The 2017 induction will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Branding Iron Theatre.

The two new inductees join an impressive roll of former students and faculty who have excelled in the entertainment, theatre and theatre education industries. Fellow Branding Iron Hall of Fame members include Bill Anderson, Joe Anderson, Wendall Cain, Rene Clemente, J. Frank and Melody Davis, Mila Gibson, Denise Verner Green, Steve Hilton, James D. Kemmerling, Lee N. Kendle, Gene Murray, Pat Starr, Royal L. Brantley, Marti Hinson Kirk, Jerome McDonough, William A. and Margaret Moore, Allen Shankles, Michael Skinner, Eddie Thomas, Jerry O. Williams and J. Gary and Lydia Miller-Wyatt.

Bailey graduated from Gilmer High School and headed to WT, where she was active in the theatre program. She was cast as Ruthie Joad in the Branding Iron Theatre production of The Grapes of Wrath and won a BIT Award for her performance. After graduating in 1993, Bailey earned a Master of Arts degree in theatre from the University of North Texas before moving to Hollywood, Calif.

Her passion for film helped her land a job as a production secretary on the short-lived Judge Reinhold production, The O’Keefes. She was soon admitted into the prestigious Director’s Guild Training Program and, in the fall of 2003, she began training as a film and television assistant director and became a member of the Director’s Guild of America in 2005. She has worked extensively as an assistant director guiding films such as Steven Spielberg’s War of The Worlds, Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s The Adventures of Tintin, and highly acclaimed television series such as The West Wing, Joan of Arcadia, Saving Grace, Men of a Certain Age, and Michael Patrick King’s hit CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls.

She lives with her husband, Kevin Bailey, and son, Landon, in Burbank, Calif.

Carver spent his early childhood in Canadian, where he got his first taste of acting while holding his mother's scripts as she rehearsed for community theatre productions. His interest in theatre really took off when he attended a WT Drama Camp under the direction of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Moore.

An original company member of the outdoor musical TEXAS, Carver graduated from West Texas State University in 1968 and immediately landed a pivotal role in the 1970 Academy Award Best Picture of the Year, Midnight Cowboy playing opposite Jon Voight. While on leave from serving his country in Korea as a tank platoon leader on the DMZ, Carver auditioned for and was accepted into the Master of Fine Arts Graduate Program at UCLA.

An accomplished film actor with a career spanning more than six decades, Carver starred in his first feature film, Time to Run and went on to appear in the classic film Man on the Moon and the 2008 Academy Award Best Picture, There Will Be Blood opposite Daniel-Day Lewis.

One of the most active television actors in Hollywood, Carver starred as John Burns in the Emmy award-winning show Taxi and series including Six O’Clock Follies and Norman Lear’s iconic Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. His guest star appearances include Malcolm in the Middle, Norm, Murder, She Wrote, The Love Boat, Emergency, The Rookies, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Waltons, Room 222, Mod Squad, Alias Smith and Jones, Here’s Lucy, Casual and television movies including Once and Eagle and Detour to Terror, where he got to play his first bad guy role starring opposite O.J. Simpson.

When Carver isn't coaching actors, he shares his love of rescuing animals with his wife, Emmy-nominated writer Shelley Herman. Randall also serves as an Elder at The First Christian Church of North Hollywood.

From the Director

Dear Buff Family:

We are wrapping up a fun month of hosting six events in five cities. Each event has given us the opportunity to meet or reconnect with dozens of alumni and hear stories of their time at WT.  What's even more special is that former and current faculty will sometimes stop by and visit with their students. In fact, longtime faculty members Dr. Gary Garner and Dr. Vaughn Nelson each attended events this month.

Alumni events are also a great way to connect if you've just relocated to a new city or are an online student wanting to network prior to graduation. Our goal is to provide you with opportunities to make your relationship with WT a lifelong and beneficial one. We hope to see you at an event in your area soon.

Go Buffs!
Becky Stogner

Upcoming Events


March 13-17
WTAMU Spring Break

Oct. 14
Mark your calendar now for Homecoming 2017! - for details on upcoming events
University calendar - for a complete schedule of campus events
gobuffsgo  - for complete schedule of WT athletic events - for a complete schedule of Your Community, Your University presentations

WTAMU Alumni Association 102 N 25th Street, Canyon TX 79016
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