A Celebration of Dr. T. Wayne Bailey
Ask retired Political Science Professor T. Wayne Bailey to talk about his students over the years at Stetson University, and he recites an impressive list.
The incoming President of the Florida Senate, Joe Negron, was a student of his and so was outgoing Senate President Andy Gardiner and former Senate President Mike Haridopolos. He also mentions former members of Congress, the Volusia County Council and School Board.
“For me, it’s been a matter of great satisfaction – the careers of the students in all areas that have blossomed from their experience at Stetson, including their relationship with me,” said Bailey, Ph.D., who retired last May after 53 years at Stetson. “It’s the most significant part of my career and my legacy.”
A Celebration of Dr. T. Wayne Bailey will take place Saturday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Stetson Room of the CUB during Homecoming to honor his distinguished career at Stetson. A reception before dinner will be held outside the CUB by the flagpole.
Adrienne Boyle, Major Gifts Officer for Stetson’s Office of Development and Alumni Engagement, said the Stetson community wanted to honor Bailey at a time when many alumni would be in town.
“Homecoming is a time when a lot of people are on campus – that’s an obvious choice,” she said, adding that Bailey is keeping active in his retirement. “He still wants to stay very involved. He’s very passionate about mentoring students.”
Bailey started teaching at Stetson in 1963, when he founded the Department of Political Science. He’s held leadership positions in the Florida Democratic Party and attended many Democratic National Conventions as a delegate. Even in retirement, he remains a Democratic Precinct Committee man, helping to increase voter turnout and voter education in the upcoming presidential election.
But it is his students whom he speaks of most fondly.
“We have students coming (to the Celebration dinner) from all the way back to near the beginning of my career in 1963,” he said. “There are students coming who cover that full 53-year period. I’ve always said that the values that I have are not so much in my retirement fund, but in the lives of the students I’ve had the privilege to work with at Stetson.”
Tickets for the Celebration of Dr. T. Wayne Bailey are $25, including dinner. The event is open to the public and tickets are still available by registering at the Stetson Homecoming website at Stetson.edu/homecoming.
Money raised from the dinner will go to the Dr. T. Wayne Bailey Student Retention Scholarship Fund. The fund will help students in the College of Arts and Sciences, especially in the Political Science Department, continue their education if they are struggling to keep up with tuition increases.
“T. Wayne Bailey has been an extraordinary teacher, mentor, and colleague for over 53 years,” said Karen Ryan, Ph.D., Dean of Stetson’s College of Arts and Sciences. “This event is an opportunity to bring together some of the people whose lives and careers Dr. Bailey has shaped to celebrate everything he has done for the Stetson community. It’s important that all of the funds raised at this event will go to the T. Wayne Bailey Scholarship Fund; supporting scholarships for students is a way to recognize and extend what Dr. Bailey has prioritized in his own career.”