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WT Alumni Association announces 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awardees


West Texas A&M University and the WT Alumni Association will honor its most recent selection of distinguished alumni during the annual Phoenix Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 4 in the Jack B. Kelly Student Center, Legacy Hall.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni members who have made significant contributions to their field and community while honoring the legacy of excellence at WT. The newest class of award winners is an impressive group that includes Mike Bain, Angelo McClain, Gail Powell and Dyke Rogers.

Mike Bain

Bain, ’90, earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences. He began working in book-keeping at First United Bank and later as a bank teller before becoming president, board member and shareholder - overseeing operations such as lending functions, personnel development, trade boards as well as community and customer relations. As a strong proponent of sports and devoted alumnus, Bain naturally became a longtime supporter of WT athletics. He insisted the teams have first-class training facilities and became a leading fundraiser for many Buff teams. Bain’s generosity is responsible for helping to create the Bain Event Center of the Agricultural Sciences Complex. He is involved with a variety of charitable organizations and a board member for the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the WTAMU Foundation Board.

Angelo McClain

McClain, ’79 earned a bachelor’s degree from WT in social work. Later, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a doctorate from Boston College, both in social work. Prior to WT, McClain attended Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch (CFBR) lettering as a tight end all four years and graduating as salutatorian of his senior class. He pursued a career in social work and was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick as commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, where he oversaw a budget of $850 million and workforce of 3,500 employees. In 2013, he was appointed as CEO of the National Association of Social Workers, which supports the social work profession in the U.S. with about 140,000 members worldwide. Ever loyal and committed to his associations, McClain was named a distinguished alumnus of CFBR in 2010 and the elected speaker for the college of education and social sciences at WT in 2017. He is a Phoenix Club Member of the WT Alumni Association.

Gail Powell

Powell, ’76, ’82, earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education administration. She began her career as a principal in Amarillo before going to Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn. In 2007, she became executive director of High Hopes Development Center, a non-profit organization that serves children and youth with special needs. Powell led the organization from a small, underfunded operation to what today serves more than 900 children in 22 middle Tennessee counties with more than 80 employees. In addition to giving the organization financial stability, building new state of the art facilities and attaining regionally unparalleled status in its education and therapy, Powell is highly active in her community and was named the 2018 Darrel Waltrip Hometown Hero.

Dyke Rogers

Rogers, ’70, earned a bachelor’s degree in business and economics. While at WT, he fulfilled a leadership role in the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity that transformed his career trajectory by amplifying his business pursuits. Rogers is an entrepreneur and businessman involved in real estate, convenience stores, travel centers, restaurants, and he is the owner of Frontier Fuel Co. A resident of Dalhart, he was instrumental in helping establish a Frank Phillips College campus and the Hilmar Cheese Factory in Dalhart creating many jobs and an economic boost in the Texas Panhandle. Ever a WT supporter, Rogers and his wife Terry made a $1 million endowment to the Rogers Leadership and Development (LEAD) program, and they are involved in philanthropic projects as well as business. He serves on the Harrington Regional Medical Center, Amarillo Area Foundation, Harrington Foundation and WTAMU Foundation.

Surrounded by family and friends, the 2019 awardees will toast to each other’s accomplishments, shared philanthropy and fond college memories. As distinguished alumni, they are not only recognized for their successes, but commended for long careers as ambassadors of a quality education at an affordable institution. Bain, McClain, Powell and Rogers show the endless possibilities to succeed starting with a degree from West Texas A&M University.