Being named dean of the Wayland Baptist University campus in Clovis has completed a nearly four-decade journey for longtime area resident Gary Mitchell.
Mitchell, who has been serving as interim dean of the campus since August 2005, was promoted to dean Thursday.
Mitchell, 58, said the position is a blessing 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,” Mitchell said. “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.
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, school officials said.
There is optimism that Cannon will receive a special operation soon.
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 served as assistant to the dean since 2003 and is an adjunct instructor in religion.
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 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.