F. Ray Wilson II

August 24, 2004

F. Ray Wilson II, a 30-year member of Baylor's faculty, died July 9 while on a study-abroad program in Rome. At Baylor since 1973, Wilson was professor of biology, a Master Teacher and newly named director of the Honors Program, a position he assumed in June. 
"Ray Wilson was a tremendous encourager, helping many students find their sense of calling and direction in life," said President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "He was demanding in the classroom and laboratory, but what many people will remember about him is that he loved his students."
A 1966 graduate of Texas Wesleyan University, Wilson earned his master's degree in biology from Texas Christian University in 1969 and his doctorate in physiology and biophysics from the University of Illinois in 1973. That year, Wilson joined the Baylor faculty as an assistant professor of biology and was named full professor in 1989. 
He was honored many times with teaching awards during his tenure. He was the 1997 Collins Outstanding Professor, was honored seven times by Mortar Board as "Top Professor" and was named to the academic honor society's Circle of Achievement for Outstanding Professors eight times. In November 2003, he was designated as Master Teacher, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members.
Known for rigorous and demanding coursework, Wilson was legendary for mentoring hundreds of students and directing countless undergraduate honors theses.
He also was fully engaged in the life of the University, where he has served as a member of the Faculty Senate and on many committees. At the time of his death, he was chair of the faculty advisory committee for student life and co-director of the summer study-abroad program, Baylor in Great Britain. 
He was a member of Highland Baptist Church and served on the board of advisers for Young Life.
Wilson is survived by his brother, James Wilson, of Allen, Texas; sister, De Andrea Myers, and stepmother, Eileen Wilson, both of Garland, Texas.