CANYON, Texas — The West Texas A&M University community is launching its academic year virtually with celebration of faculty and staff.
“Because of ongoing health safety concerns, our fall convocation will be held online for the first time, but faculty and staff still will hear a State of the University address from President (Walter) Wendler, and outstanding faculty and staff members still will be formally recognized,” said Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations. “Like many aspects of this year, convocation will look and feel different, but it is still important to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester by gathering together, even virtually, to discuss what we’re looking forward to in the new academic year.”
The Aug. 17 event, includes Wendler’s live address, will be modeled after WT’s successful virtual graduation ceremonies in May. Classes will begin Aug. 24.
During the convocation, the winner of the 2020 Faculty Magister Optimus Award, which recognizes faculty members who excel in all areas of their work, will be announced, as will winners of the Clarence E. Thompson and Staff Council Excellence awards, the highest honors accorded to staff members.
New faculty and staff members — 83 in all — will be recognized, as well as faculty members who have been awarded tenure or promotion and faculty excellence award winners.
The convocation also will include elements from a spring faculty gathering that was postponed during the COVID-19 University shutdown, including recognition of retiring faculty members and employees of the month/year, acknowledgment of service milestones and staff members who have earned degrees, and the introduction of the 2020-21 Staff Council.
New students also will launch the Fall 2020 semester with a change — a revamped Buff Nation welcoming weekend.
Convocation addresses WT’s deep commitment to service and program excellence, key components in the University’s generational plan WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.