“Recently, I have been approached by several individuals in the community who expressed interest in raising money to create an endowed scholarship in memory of Mrs. Betsy Wheat,” said Dr. Van Patterson, Vice President of Institutional Advancement.
“Betsy was a longtime employee of Panola College who passed away on January 1, 2012 after a courageous seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was also a great friend and mentor who had a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of thousands of students who passed through Panola College during her 37 year career at Panola College.”
Betsy began her career at Panola College in 1967. She was a registered nurse who had amassed considerable teaching experience and whose husband, Mac, had just accepted a coaching position at Beckville High School. Betsy drove to Carthage to inquire about employment opportunities. At Panola Junior College (PJC) she was hired to replace Helen Kaluza, who had just become director of nursing at Panola General Hospital. Under Betsy’s leadership the vocational nursing program was able to double the number of students it had been teaching prior to her arrival. A demanding teacher, Wheat took pride that PJC nursing students always found employment. In 1988 Betsy was promoted to Director of Student Services. She continued in that position until 1993 when she was elevated to Dean of Student Affairs.
“Our friend, Betsy Wheat, devoted 37 years to Panola College, the last eleven as Dean of Student Affairs,” said Kathy Ballard. “Betsy deserves much of the credit for laying the foundation for what has developed into a nationally accredited nursing program that is respected throughout the State.”
“Betsy was very concerned about our students, the day-to-day operations of the College and her staff,” said Charlcye Robertson. “It was not unusual to see Betsy’s car in the parking lot long after everyone had already gone home. Betsy was a great woman, and her legacy continues to influence the College to this day.”
To recognize her leadership and dedication to Panola College, friends of Betsy Wheat want to establish an endowed scholarship in her honor to help a deserving nursing student. If you would like to make a contribution to the Betsy Wheat Nursing Scholarship Fund, please mail your check made payable to: Panola College, Attn: Van Patterson, 1109 W. Panola, Carthage, TX 75633. Please write Betsy Wheat Scholarship in the memo section. For additional information please call 903-693-2029.