Professor Emeritus Wilma J. Bush

Dr. Wilma Jo BushI was born Wilma Josephine West in Princeton, Texas, Dec.12 1915. My parents were Wm. Edwin West and Mary Willcoxson West. After being the Valedictorian in High School, I attended North Texas State Teachers College. It was at the end of the depression years and I can remember having the luxury of owning a small radio, a six-inch fan and an old second-hand Remington typewriter. In this period before dormitories were available at NTSTC, the boarding houses had no air conditioning.

I met my husband, Guy E. Bush, while working on my Bachelor’s degree. He was a violinist with the North Texas Stage Band and Orchestra. I sang blues songs on some of their programs. After World War II, Guy became the director of Base Education at Amarillo Air Force Base, and I had the opportunity to complete my Masters Degree at West Texas State University. It was also at WTSU after teaching in special education at the Amarillo ISD, that I started my university teaching career.

While continuing my teaching, I attended four summers at Denver University working on a Ph.D., and accreditation required for a Clinical Psychologist. Because of a change in the University’s doctoral program to include only long-term students, I later accepted a grant program for an Ed. D. in Special Education and Counseling from Texas Tech, and was fortunate in being able to do so. Finally at the age of 57, I got the "gold star" placed on my forward. In addition to my teaching career at WTSU, I was, for a seven-year period, the acting psychologist on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the Children’s Psychiatric Center in Amarillo.

During my later years at WTSU I began to be invited to speak at numerous conferences on Learning Disabilities and Counseling. Two of these conferences were in Europe (Nyborg, Denmark and Sterling, Scotland.) Also, during this period, I co-authored three books and wrote many articles which were published by the scholarly press.

My immediate family includes my daughter, Jo Betsy, who is Director of Secondary Special Education, Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District; her husband, Dr. Wm. Loyd Smith; my grandson, Jason V. Huber and his wife, Dr. Mary Spencer Huber, and their daughter, Maya; all of whom, like myself, live in and around Dallas.

I am fortunate and at ninety-one years of age I am doing quite well. I often still feel the exhilaration that I remember feeling after I walked across the stage at WTSU with my diploma in my hand. I wonder if that tree is still there that I wanted to dance around.

Jan 16, 2007