WBU cuts the ribbon on the Jimmy Dean Museum

Ribbon Cutting” – Members of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce Red Shirts hold the ribbon as Wayland Baptist University former president Dr. Paul Armes (background), WBU Executive Director Mike Melcher(from left), Jayson Stevens, Donna Dean Stevens, WBU Director of Museums Rodney Watson, WBU President Dr. Bobby Hall, Plainview Mayor Wendell Dunlap and WBU Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Vernon Stokes officially cut the ribbon on the Jimmy Dean Museum.

PLAINVIEW – With Jimmy Dean’s widow Donna Dean Stevens and her husband Jayson Stevens, on hand, Wayland Baptist University and the Plainview Chamber of Commerce officially cut the ribbon on the Jimmy Dean Museum Wednesday afternoon.

Approximately 450 people attended the ribbon cutting and grand opening that took place on the Wayland campus.

After Plainview Mayor Wendell Dunlap read a proclamation dedicating the museum, Wayland’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Vernon Stokes thanked those in attendance for coming.

“The first word that comes to my mind is, Wow!” Stokes said. “We see this as a very high-water mark for the life of this university.”

Wayland President Dr. Bobby Hall echoed those sentiments and thank Donna for choosing Wayland and Plainview as the place for the museum.

“This is where it’s supposed to be because Jimmy is one of us,” Hall said. “God has gifted all of us in particular ways. Jimmy was a guy who figured out how to use those gifts and it serves as a challenge to all of us to be able to do the same.”

Donna, who spent time earlier in the day talking to a group of students who live in Jimmy Dean Hall and speaking at chapel, gave credit to Wayland’s Director of Museums Rodney Watson for creating a museum that fulfilled her vision and Jimmy’s wishes, and greatly exceeded her expectations of what the museum could be.

“It is my hope and prayer, and it has always been Jimmy’s greatest with to have this museum, and for those who gaze upon the displays that tell the story of his life to be inspired by his rags-to-riches story,” she said. “To believe in themselves and that they can be who they want to be. When you go through here, I hope you are inspired to be the best you can be.”

The Jimmy Dean Museum is approximately 7,500 square feet and contains 25 display cases, three large wall panels, and four multi-media displays that depict the life and times of Jimmy Dean from growing up in the Seth Ward addition of Plainview, through his entertainment career and career in the sausage business. The museum also has a 25-seat theatre where visitors can watch “Breakfast and a Song: The Jimmy Dean Story.”

The museum is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday from April to Thanksgiving. For more information or to set up a time for group tours, call 806-291-3660.