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Release date: May 19, 2006
Gary Mitchell named dean of WBU-Clovis

Dr. Gary Mitchell has been named dean of the Wayland Baptist University campus in Clovis, N.M., effective May 16.

              Mitchell has been serving as interim dean of the campus since the departure of Dr. Carol Green, the previous dean, in August 2005. Prior to that, he had served as assistant to the dean since 2003 and is an adjunct instructor in religion.

              The campus has continued to thrive despite the uncertainty of the possible closing of Cannon Air Force Base, and WBU personnel have been involved in the efforts to secure a new mission there. There is optimism that Cannon will receive a special operation soon.

              Dr. Bobby Hall, Wayland’s Vice President for Academic Services is confident in Mitchell’s ability to continue leading the Clovis campus.

              “Dr. Mitchell has done an excellent job during a challenging time in his role as interim dean, and we are enthusiastic about the future of the Clovis Campus under his leadership,” Hall said. “His demonstrated commitment to both Wayland Baptist University and the Clovis-Cannon community make this a natural choice, and I am certain that both entities will benefit from his ongoing academic and civic contributions."  

              Mitchell said the position is a blessing to him in several ways.

              “I'm excited about being named to this position, and I thank God for the opportunity to minister to people in this area in a greater way. For me, it's almost like coming home, or coming full circle, since I began my college career as a student at Wayland in the mid-1960s,” Mitchell said.

              “I look forward to helping make Wayland an integral part of the Clovis-Cannon community. Like iron sharpening iron, we strengthen one another. I believe we're standing on the threshold of a bright future together - educationally, economically and spiritually,” he added. “Wayland is a great place to work and to see students fulfill their educational dreams and career goals. We have an outstanding staff and deeply committed, caring faculty members. It's an honor and a privilege to serve here at Wayland's Clovis campus.”

              In his assistant’s position, Mitchell managed the bookstore at the Clovis campus, handled purchases and requisitions and served as a liaison for community and church relations. Prior to coming to Wayland, Mitchell was a senior staff writer for the Clovis News Journal and a part-time instructor in religion at Clovis Community College and for Wayland. From 1979-89, he served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clovis.

              Mitchell’s other journalistic experience includes service as the sports editor for the Clovis News Journal and continuity writer and director for KXTX-TV in Dallas. He has had many articles published over his career, and his honors have included the Best News Story of 1973 by the Baptist Public Relations Association and Outstanding Civilian Writer of the Year for 1994 in Air Combat Command by the U.S. Air Force. He has also had numerous awards from the New Mexico Press Association, the Panhandle Press Association.

             Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. He holds both the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.