Baylor Honors Troy Mays With 2006 Founders Medal

January 31, 2006
News Photo 3347

(L to R) Dr. Richard Scott, vice president for development; Troy M. Mayes of Amarillo, who received the 2006 Founders Medal; and Baylor President John M. Lilley. (Photo by Robert Rogers, Baylor University)

by Angela Siefkes, (254) 710-2561

In appreciation of his loyal support and commitment to Baylor University, Troy M. Mays of Amarillo, Texas, received the 2006 Founders Medal at a ceremony Jan. 30 at Baylor.

Established in 1969, the Founders Medal is one of the most distinguished awards given by Baylor and is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the university.

"Mr. Mays, through his love and respect for Baylor, truly exemplifies the dedication of the original founders," said Dr. Richard Scott, vice president for development. "Mr. Mays and his family have directed resources to Baylor's greatest needs with one goal in mind -- making a difference for all Baylor students. By supporting so many different aspects of the university, Mr. Mays embodies the mission and heritage of Baylor."

Mays has supported areas of Baylor near and dear to his heart, honoring family and friends in the process. The Mays family established the Troy and Betty Lou Mays Directorship of Student Foundation. Both Mays' daughters were active in Student Foundation, a group dedicated to service and the betterment of Baylor. An avid supporter of Baylor athletics, Mays can be found at every football game, cheering until the last second ticks off the clock. This loyalty and optimism led the family to fund the Betty Lou Mays Memorial Soccer Field in memory of Mr. Mays' first wife.

Scholarship also has been important to the Mays, demonstrated through the establishment of the Agnes Mays Professorship of Entrepreneurship and the Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Mays Foundation Scholarship and support of the Winfred and Elizabeth Moore Center for Ministry Effectiveness. Finally, the Mays have demonstrated their support of capital projects, including the McLane Student Life Center, Grant Teaff Plaza and Walkway, Stacy Riddle Panhellenic Forum, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Floyd Casey Stadium and Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. Many gifts to Baylor were made possible through the Mays Foundation, a private organization founded in 1965 and of which Mays serves as president.

Mays entered Baylor in 1941. He joined the Navy in 1942 and spent three years as a quartermaster on a landing ship. After spending 15 years in the automobile finance industry, he joined the family in commercial real estate. Over his career, Mays successfully acquired and founded many businesses across numerous industries.

In addition to his support of Baylor, Mays has been active in the Amarillo community as well. He has devoted nearly three decades as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels. He has served as trustee of the High Plains Baptist Hospital, Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, Park Place Towers and as a member of the Mainland Advisory Council of the Hawaii Baptist Academy. He also has ardently supported Wayland Baptist University and was honored in 2003 with the Distinguished Benefactor Alumni Award. In 2004, he received a Golden Nail Award for his generosity to the fine arts.

Mays is a member of Baylor's Development Council, Old Main Society and Baylor Bear Foundation, and is a lifetime member of the Baylor Alumni Association. He is married to Billye Mays, a Baylor Alumna-by-Choice, and they are active members of First Baptist Church of Amarillo. He has two children: Stacy Mays Sharp (BU '76) and her husband, Randy (BU '76), who have four children; and Karra Mays Hill (BU '78) and her husband, Todd, who have two children.

The Baylor community celebrates its founding on the anniversary of its charter. Baylor was chartered Feb. 1, 1845, and each year the celebration is observed on the Monday or Wednesday nearest that date.

The face of the Founders Medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription, "Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana." The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall. A copy of the medal is on permanent exhibit in the National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.