For more than 75 years, Texas Wesleyan University has recognized outstanding students, faculty and staff members with the Golden Shears award.
The Rambler wanted to highlight students who excelled in academics, possessed leadership skills and were active on campus, and thus the Guardians of the Golden Shears was born.
Recipients of the award are not only given a blue and gold pin, but are also inducted into the Guardians of the Golden Shears, a student-led and student-nominated organization.
“As far as I’m concerned, Golden Shears is the highest award you can get other than GPA, which is Alpha Chi,” said Gina Phillips, director of development and Golden Shears advisor. “Golden Shears is based on a few things: you must be involved in four activities, have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be nominated by current Golden Shears members.”
The Rambler’s influence in developing the award is highlighted by an “R” on the pin (see below), as well as a 38 for 1938, the year the award was founded. The pin also displays a graphic of sheep shears representing Wesleyan’s mascot, the ram.
“In the olden days, they only had one pin. They got to wear it for a week, and you had to give it back for the next nominee,” Phillips said.
Financial Aid secretary Brenton Flowers is just one of Wesleyan’s current faculty and staff to have received the award.
“It’s very honorable, not only among the students, but also among the faculty and staff,” Flowers said.
He is joined by Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach, Provost Allen Henderson, Manager of Events and Sponsorships Scott Cannon, and Dr. Michelle Payne.
“We try to look for the faculty and staff that go above and beyond for the students,” Flowers said.
Payne, associate professor of political science, was awarded the Golden Shears while pursuing her master’s in the mid-’90s.
“It’s outstanding; it is awarded to you from your fellow peers,” Payne said. “It’s for your campus involvement and your community spirit with your fellow students.”
Junior forensic accounting major Anthony Harper II, Student Government Association President Zahraa Saheb, senior criminal justice major Darrian Smothers, junior education major Lizeth Menchaca, and SGA Natural and Social Sciences Representative Cameron Bennett are a few of the current students that have joined the Guardians of the Golden Shears during their time at Wesleyan. Smothers and Menchaca are also board members.
“It’s unique, because no other school has this award, so when people see you with that pin they know that you are doing something right,” Flowers said.
Past recipients of the award convene annually at the The Golden Shears Alpha Chi breakfast, which generally has a turnout of at least 100 people, Phillips said.
“I enjoy keeping in contact with fellow Shears members and alumni, plus you get to see the new people awarded and know that they are very active in the Ram community,” Payne said.
Phillips is proud to be a part of what she calls “a great organization.”
“We feel like the Golden Shears really stands for something,” she said.