William Carey College Jubilee

           Chapel Celebration

                 November 15, 2004



Doyle F. Wheat

Alumnus, B.S., 1958

Trustee, William Carey College



While attending Southwest Jr. College at Summit, Mississippi, in 1954, I was playing basketball, and I wanted to play at a senior college, but I had already been told I was too short for senior college ball.


Coach Holmes helped me get a scholarship to William Carey College.  I had many aspirations about attending Mississippi Woman's College that didn't even have a gymnasium.  However, once I decided to come to William Carey College I never thought of leaving.


We would practice basketball at Petal High and Hattiesburg High Schools.  We also played our home games at these two locations.  The bus we traveled on seemed to break down every time we went on a trip.  On one occasion, we went to Arkansas to play Southern State College, Arkansas A. & M. and Henderson State College.  Of course, the bus broke down and we spent a week in Arkansas.  I believe someone remarked that Dr. Noonkester said that it was cheaper to leave us there than bring us home.


I vividly remember Dr. Rouse, but it seems like Dr. Noonkester was the dominant figure even before Dr. Rouse left.  Dr. Noonkester left a lasting impression on me that remains to this day.  However, like myself, his lovely wife is to be credited with much or all of his success.


I must borrow a statement from Dr. Noonkester's letter to the students of 1956 and 1957, and I quote, "We at Carey do not have a large store of physical resources but we are rich in the greatest of all resources--human personality."


I think that attitude has carried this college from them until now, and it pervades every aspect of this great institution.  Another unique aspect of William Carey College was that we ate family style when I arrived here.  This was another aspect that brought students together and allowed us to learn more about each other.  The atmosphere was like one big family.


During this last year I was looking at the Carey handbook, and it mentioned acquiring a parking permit.  As well as I remember, the first year I was here, there were only about five students that had a vehicle, so parking was not a problem.


We were privileged to see people give their heart to Jesus Christ and make lifelong commitments.  My roommate, M. L. Faler, and I knelt in our dorm room and prayed that our lives would have meaning.  M. L. amounted to something and became a minister, and has served the Lord ever since.  I became an educator, taught school, and coached thirty-two years and served in the National Guard for thirty-seven years.  God truly blesses those who seek His face.


I would be remiss if I did not say that I also received another great blessing while at Carey.  I met and married my lovely wife of forty-six years and to whom I owe much or all of my success.


Another characteristic of Carey is the fact that the College is interested in you as a person.  How you remember certain things such as how Dr. Andy Tate would walk through the dorm with the word "Quiet" printed on the card.  Mrs. A. M. Tate was hostess of the men's dormitory.  I am sure they received an education in human behavior from some of us with our rusty culture.


Even though I did not play football, I would like to mention that Carey had a football team for two years, and I might add two winning seasons.  I was fortunate enough to play two years of basketball and baseball.  John O'Keefe was the basketball and baseball coach.  I remember our first baseball uniforms were some that the Braves had when they were at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  John's wife was the daughter of the Braves owner.


It has been my great pleasure to watch the College grow from a small unit of about seven buildings to what it is today.  With the leadership of Dr. Larry Kennedy and his staff, there is no doubt you will see things in the future we could never have imagined.  God has put his handiwork on this institution, and I am grateful to have been and will continue to be a part of this institution.


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