Pro Texana Medal of Service: Sue Mayborn

October 1, 2015

Awarded to an individual whose contributions in furthering the mission of Baylor have made an immeasurable impact in the public or non-profit sector

Sue Mayborn's steadfast commitment to education and the public good anchors an enduring impact on the lives of Texans and beyond.

"Education on any level is vital today, but higher education is something I have supported over the years," Mayborn says. "A lot of things are important for people in the community, and we have many good things going on in this area."

The Mayborn Foundation, which primarily focuses on supporting young people and education, has supported dozens of initiatives, including youth and educational programs, museums and hospitals.

"Education encompasses more than pure academics, and we try to reach out and be supportive when there is a true need which benefits many with lasting effects--be it youth, educational programs, museums, libraries, hospitals, or research. This spans a wide range of projects--past, present and future--such as the Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children for chronically ill children, a chair in cardiovascular research, and cancer research being a few, as well as looking toward the future in supporting the vision for the Mounted Warrior Museum adjacent to Fort Hood which will house exhibits, interactive galleries, archives and will tell the story of our mounted soldiers," she says.

Reserved and intentional, Mayborn holds high ideals of integrity in business and involvement in community service. A native of Oklahoma, she graduated from Gatesville High School and Temple Junior College and attended Baylor and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees. She is a member of Memorial Baptist Church in Temple.

"My husband, Frank Mayborn, was very interested in journalism--good journalism," she says of the late community leader. "He and his family ran the Temple Daily Telegram and the Killeen Daily Herald newspapers and other newspapers. He put the local television station, KCEN, on the air in 1953 and started the first radio station here [KTEM-Temple in 1936].

Frank Mayborn was heavily involved in developing Temple and the surrounding area--from playing an instrumental role in persuading the U.S. Department of War to locate Fort Hood near Temple and donating land that established the Frank W. Mayborn Convention Center to starting the annual Bell County spelling bee. Among many other contributions and leadership roles, Frank also endowed chairs at Texas Tech and Baylor and served on the journalism advisory boards for the University of Texas and Texas A&M.

In 1979, Sue was an executive vice president for Frank Mayborn Enterprises. After the couple married in 1981, Sue undertook progressively greater roles in the company, becoming president/owner of the Mayborn Enterprises and its subsidiaries following Frank’s death in 1987. She remains active in the leadership of the Frank Mayborn Enterprises.

Sue's involvement with Baylor began through her and Frank's friendship with U.S. Rep. William R. Poage, BA '21. In 1978, Frank took the leading role in raising funds for The W.R. Poage Legislative Library at Baylor.

"My husband and Congressman Poage were very good friends," Sue says, noting her first involvement focused on the Poage-Mayborn Washington Seminar and Internship Endowed Program. The Mayborn Foundation permanently endowed this scholarship program in 2007.

"I was very impressed with the program and the caliber of the students participating in it. The students seemed to come back from Washington with a broader perspective and respect for the leadership in Washington," she says. "The thing I appreciate most is that many of the students desire to make a difference."

Sue is a Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa and recipient of The Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Exemplary Service. She played a major role in the building of the Sue & Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex at Baylor, which opened in 2004, and she recently established the Sue Mayborn Endowed Scholarship Fund.

She points to the Mayborn Museum Complex, which brought together Baylor's popular Strecker Collection and Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center, and the Mayborn Planetarium at Central Texas College as two educational highlights. Sue says, "When I recognized the educational aspect, the science and math being taught in that same area, and how that all melts together, then I got onboard with that."

To further journalism education, Mayborn established master's level scholarships in journalism at Baylor, Texas Tech, UT-Tyler and the University of North Texas. With Mayborn's assistance, UNT now features the Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism and the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism.

As one entrusted with so much responsibility, Sue takes her leadership roles seriously.

"You just try to pay it forward," she says, "and in doing our best, perhaps make a modest difference."