Given the diversity of the Engler College of Business student body, students may not know much about the West Texas A&M University campus, history, and traditions. In each issue of our newsletter, we will highlight some of the locations on campus and WT traditions that make us proud to be Buffs!
Hayward Spirit Tower
One of the first things visitors notice when they come to WT’s campus is the Hayward Spirit Tower. This clock tower, which is 77 feet tall, stands at the North end of the Pedestrian Mall and is taller than both Old Main and the nearby four-story Classroom Center. Now a WT landmark, the clock tower was dedicated in August 2008 and is programmed to play Westminster chimes on the hour and the University Fight Song at noon each day. The West Texas A&M University Pedestrian Mall and Hayward Spirit Tower were conceived and designed to become the center of campus outdoor gathering place with recognizable campus icons and spaces for students, faculty and the public.
Funds for the clock tower were donated by Jack and Helene Hayward, who moved to the Texas Panhandle after retirement in 1998. The Haywards both enrolled at WTAMU as graduate students where Helene earned two master’s degrees – a Master of Arts in 2002 and a Master of Fine Arts in 2008 – and Jack completed a Master of Arts in Counseling in 2006. While in school, Jack met with the band director and asked to be part of the WT Marching Band. The band director recommended the Orchestra, but Jack insisted on the marching band and participated, as a baritone player, during the football games at the age of 70. While attending classes, they fell in love with the school and are now dedicated supporters of West Texas A&M University.
“They wanted to build the Spirit Tower because they believe that an important feature identifying a university is a tower. Since WT did not have one, my dad met with President O’Brien who had also been thinking about building a clock tower. Dr. O’Brien was not only supportive but also suggested the location. My dad felt that WT’s Alma Mater was fairly generic and could easily be mistaken for another University so he requested that WT’s Fight Song be played at noon each day.” – Stephen Hayward, Instructor of Economics
However, the family story does not end there. Their son, Stephen Hayward, has been teaching Economics as an adjunct instructor in the Engler College of Business since 2004. His teaching areas include microeconomics, macroeconomics, and economic history. In addition, two of Jack and Helene’s grandchildren have attended WT including their granddaughter, Mary Hayward. Mary earned a B.S. in Economics in 2018 and an M.S. in Finance & Economics in 2019. At the present time, she is teaching principles of microeconomics at WT while preparing for the CPA exam. In the near future, Mary plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in Accounting.
The University’s Fight Song was written by Jack Curtice, a member of the football coaching staff from 1938 – 1941. Other fight songs have been introduced, one as recently as 1963, but none have been able to undermine the popularity of Curtice’s “On, On Buffaloes.”
On, on Buffaloes,
We are right for the fight tonight;
Hold that ball and hit that line,
Every buffalo will shine;
And then we’ll fight for maroon and white,
And we’ll roar for the old varsity;
We’ll kick, pass and run
Till those ________ are done;
And we’ll bring home the victory!
W – T – A – M, WTAM, Fight! Fight! Fight!
For more information about campus traditions visit https://www.wtamu.edu/about/traditions.aspx.