PLAINVIEW – Family and friends of Katye Elizabeth Mansdoerfer gathered at Wayland Baptist University on Friday to dedicate the plaque marking a new endowed scholarship in her memory.
A native of Albuquerque, Mansdoerfer was a sophomore at Wayland when she died in an automobile accident in October 2004 on her way to fall break with friends. Her parents, Ron and Stephanie Mansdoerfer, established the scholarship in her memory shortly thereafter, hoping to be able to help students like Katye enjoy the Wayland experience. Gifts from family and friends pushed the scholarship fund over the $25,000 endowment mark around Christmas 2005.
In a short, private ceremony on Friday, the family shared that while their grief had been difficult, God had been faithful to sustain them, and the scholarship was a good way to know that Katye’s memory would live on and continue touching lives.
Stephanie Mansdoerfer shared a story about a pair of socks Katye had received in a care package just weeks before her death and was wearing at the time of the accident. Decorated with ladybugs, the socks read “Fly Away Home,” a poignant reminder to her mother that at her death she had arrived in her heavenly home.
Dr. Paul Armes, WBU president, shared a few words of consolation for the family and friends gathered before unveiling the plaque bearing Katye’s picture and biography.
“Know that this university loved both of your daughters and that wherever you go, the arms of Wayland are wrapped around you,” he said.
Born June 4, 1985, in Albuquerque, Katye was raised in a Christian home with her parents and an older sister, Meg, who also attended Wayland. A good student, Katye was on the Dean’s List at Wayland each semester, was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa women’s service sorority and worked in the public relations office. She was a dancer most of her life and taught dance at the Barnyard Academy in Plainview.
Known by her fellow students and family for her strong faith in God, her parents listed a statement she had made in earlier years.
“I have learned early on the importance of knowing Christ as my Savior and Lord and establishing an intimate personal relationship with Him,” she had written. “In all I do I strive to serve my King and give Him all the glory.”