West Texas A&M creates a model to bring higher education to America’s smallest communities

It is not often a graduation ceremony comes to the student. And the number of times a ceremony that includes West Texas A&M University president Walter Wendler and four other top administrators driving 436 miles round-trip to present a bachelor’s degree to a graduate can be counted on one finger.

But there they were on the first Wednesday of September, burning up Interstate 20 and U.S. 84 to Roscoe, a town of 1,285 located 50 miles west of Abilene. Awaiting them, among others, was 19-year-old Amanda Sanchez.

There was a method to their mileage.

“We’re here to serve the communities that make up the Panhandle and South Plains,” Wendler said. “We’re not offering a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. What we’re trying to do if a student is interested in working hard and has a chance to gain a college education, we want to be here

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