PLAINVIEW – Students, colleagues, former colleagues and former students turned colleagues gathered Friday afternoon in the Moody Science Building on the Wayland Baptist University campus to induct Dr. Philip Almes into the Math and Sciences Hall of Honor.
Dr. Almes, emeritus professor of mathematics, taught mathematics at Wayland for 20 years, beginning in 1984. Almes taught courses at all levels and helped develop the pre-engineering program, a partnership with Texas Tech University. Dr. Almes also was instrumental in developing Wayland’s partnership with the Kenya Baptist Theological College, a partnership that has grown into a fully accredited degree program in Kenya, Africa.
More importantly, however, Dr. Almes taught thousands of students, passing on not only his love for the field of mathematics, but also his love of God. He inspired students to study God’s creation and to live a life that demonstrates a daily walk with God.
One such student, Dr. Scott Franklin, now teaches mathematics at Wayland. Franklin vividly remembers his first class with Dr. Almes.
“He read off a list of students he needed to see after class,” said Franklin, who was wondering what he had done to already make the professor mad at him. “I trudged to the front of the class with the others whose names he had read. When we got there, he said, ‘You visited my church on Sunday. I was glad you were there and I hope you come back.’”
Dr. Franklin did return and spent his student years as a member of College Heights Baptist Church in Plainview.
Dr. Almes had a profound impact on Franklin’s life, both in the classroom and out.
“I am grateful and indebted for all the advice I received from him,” Franklin said. “He set an example as a faculty member that I try to follow in my career and life. It is one of the greatest privileges of my life to have studied under him as a student and to have served with him as a colleague.”
Dr. Almes became the third professor inducted into the Hall of Honor, along with Dr. Dorothy McCoy, who taught mathematics at Wayland from 1948-75 and Dr. Harold Reese, who taught science from 1966-95.
“This is some pretty distinguished company,” Almes said while thanking those in attendance for the honor. “But there is a lot of room left on this wall.”
Dr. Almes encouraged the current faculty members to continue to work hard and fulfill their call as faculty members and as Christians.
No only did the department induct Dr. Almes into its Hall of Honor, but the group also remodeled his favorite classroom, affectionately termed “the closet” for its small size, turning it into the Dr. Philip C. Almes Conference Room. A plaque with a picture of Dr. Almes teaching in the room hangs by the entry. It reads, in part:
“…his teaching was based on more than theorems, formulas and equations as he strived to impress upon students the importance of integrating their faith with their education.”
It’s a standard by which he lives.