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Mayes tapped for TAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award

 - Texas broadcast pioneer to be feted Aug. 10

Born 93 years ago on March 2nd – Texas Independence Day –  the son of a Texas Radio broadcaster and grandson of the Texas Lt. Governor who founded UT-Austin’s journalism school, Wendell Mayes, Jr., appears in hindsight to have been destined to become a Texas broadcast pioneer. After decades as a Radio broadcaster in communities throughout the state, a philanthropist within the industry he loves and never ending pursuit of learning, Mayes will be honored with TAB’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Convention and Trade Show Aug. 9-10 in Austin.

Mayes and his family owned radio stations in Austin, Brownwood, Fort Worth, Midland, Snyder, Victoria, the Rio Grande Valley and Oklahoma City for 50 years. He also had cable interests in Hereford, Corsicana and Snyder in Texas, and Pauls Valley and Choctaw in Oklahoma.

In 1973, he and his radio station KNOW Austin received the George Foster Peabody Award for programming, including editorials Mayes wrote and delivered. He served on TAB’s Board of Directors – including a stint as Chairman in 1964 – and the NAB’s Board of Directors where he served as Vice Chairman from 1971-73.

Named TAB’s Pioneer Broadcaster of the Year in 1978, he led the effort to establish the Texas Broadcast Education Foundation, serving on its Board continuously since then.  In 2001, the foundation honored him with a dinner at the Texas Governor’s Mansion that raised enough money to endow a scholarship in his name for students of Texas Tech University, his alma mater and host to one of the most respected broadcast programs at an American university.  TBEF now awards $29,000 in scholarships to Texas college students pursuing a career in the industry. Mayes and his family members have established scholarships at Texas Tech, UT-Austin, Schreiner University, St. Edward's University and Texas Woman's University.

The Texas Association of Broadcast Educators named Mayes Broadcaster of the Year in 1989.  He was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.

A student at UT-Austin in 1942, he quit to enlist in the U.S. Navy where he was trained as a radio and radar technician and was assigned to Fighting Squadron 3 aboard the USS Yorktown in the Pacific. He was serving on the Yorktown when the Third Fleet was caught in a typhoon in 1944 that sank three destroyers. His ship and squadron were awarded the Presidential Unit citation and four battle stars after participating in the campaign to retake the Philippines, the battle for Iwo Jima, the bombing of Saigon, the first full-scale air raids on Tokyo by carrier-based planes and several other battles.

When the war ended, he enrolled in what was then called Texas Technological College in Lubbock, where he majored in electrical engineering and was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with Honors in May 1949.

A lifelong learner before the term became popular, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Edward’s University in Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science in 2002 at age 78. He went on to earn a Master of Liberal Arts degree in 2005 and a Master of Business Administration in 2006 from St. Edward’s.  In 2013, he received a Ph.D. in Applied Management and Decision Science from Walden University.

Mayes will be honored August 10 at the highlight of TAB’s Convention, the Awards Gala where Texas broadcasting’s top honors are presented. Nominations for the remaining awards are due April 3, 2017.

Questions? Contact TAB or call (512) 322-9944.

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