Plainview Couple Named WT Family of the Year

Chip Chandler Nov 08, 2021
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Plainview Couple Named WT Family of the Year

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,



CANYON, Texas — As a kid, Zachary McDonough got into some sticky situations at West Texas A&M University football games, enough to merit some discipline from his mom.

He made up for that at this weekend’s game, where his parents, Doug and Brenda, were named WT Family of the Year.

“I remember coming to football games at Kimbrough Stadium, where I would slide down the hill and would get stickers all over me,” said Zachary McDonough, now a senior animal science major. “She really got onto me.”

No scolding this week — just a pleasant shock.

“Wow, this was a total surprise,” Brenda McDonough said.

“All we knew is that we were getting a free breakfast,” Doug McDonough said.

The McDonoughs were among 31 families nominated by their WT students via short essays. The nominees were celebrated at a Saturday brunch, part of WT’s Family Weekend festivities. The McDonoughs were recognized during halftime of WT’s victorious game against Midwestern State University.

“They had no idea I had even nominated them,” Zachary McDonough said. “This isn’t something I normally do.”

But, as he prepares to graduate, the nomination was a way to repay his parents for their faithful support of his educational dreams.

“I thought it was a cool and unusual way to honor them and give them thanks for helping guide me to WT,” he said.

“The Family of the Year Award recognizes parents, grandparents, guardians, family members or mentors who have made a significant impact and contribution to the life of a WTAMU student,” said Sami Thompson, assistant director of family and extended orientation for WT. “By supporting and encouraging our students, Buff families also support WT. Families are valuable partners in helping students make the most of their University experience, and we want to recognize them.”

Doug McDonough is a 1976 graduate of then-West Texas State University, where he was editor of The Prairie and news director for radio station KWTS. His mother attended then-West Texas State Teachers College in the late 1940, and his sister Michelle and brother Mitchell also attended. Zachary’s sister Meredith, now a third-grade teacher at Crestview Elementary in Canyon, also graduated from WT.

Doug McDonough retired after 42 years at the Plainview Daily Herald. Brenda McDonough also recently retired after teaching English for 32 years in Plainview.

“WT’s always been home,” Doug McDonough said. “This is really just quite an honor. It’s just humbling. I’m proud of my son.”

A commitment to family is a key WT value cited in the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.