Powell named Alumna of the Year


Portrait of Beverly Volkman Powell.

Beverly Volkman Powell, Texas Wesleyan’s 2016 Alumna of the Year, said she hopes to continue to have a strong impact in the growth of the university community.

Powell, who received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Texas Wesleyan in 1992 and her MBA in 1999, has served the Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees for 14 years. She has also served as the Board of Chairman and Vice Chairman and has chaired the academic affairs, personnel, and buildings and grounds committees.

“I never imagined that one day I might be honored in such a humbling way,” Powell, who will officially receive the award at this week’s Alumni Medal Dinner, wrote in an email last week. “As a student here, I gained life-long relationships with fellow students, respected professors and administrators who supported my time as a student and now who support my efforts as a trustee.”

University President Frederick Slabach wrote in an email that Powell’s “dynamic leadership and keen decision-making skills” have had a positive impact on Wesleyan.

“She is most-deserving of the Alumna of the Year Award, and I’m very pleased to see her recognized in this regard,”  Slabach wrote.

Powell has been named as a 2014 Great Women of Texas honoree by the Fort Worth Business Press and honored for her accomplishments in business, civic and social contributions by the Great Women of Texas program, according to txwes.edu.

“She is a wonderful advocate for the University and supports her alma mater through her time, talents and treasure,” DeAwna Wood, director of Alumni Relations wrote in an email.

This isn’t Powell’s first time to be awarded a medal for her achievement in alumni services. In October 2009 she was awarded the Wesleyan Service Award, according to burlesonisd.net

“The nomination wasn’t really one person, but sort of a collective effort from all sorts of people,” Wood said.

Powell has had a deep rooted love for Wesleyan, and has shown that love by growing Wesleyan in several ways, from planning the $6.5 million Rosedale Renaissance project to enhancing the student life experience, Slabach wrote.

Powell wrote that she has worked in several areas of enhancing the university.

“One of my favorite initiatives during my tenure as Chairman has been the Rosedale Renaissance,” Powell wrote. “During the balance of my service, I am focused on the continued redevelopment of our Rosedale corridor projects and the enhancement of the storefronts, as well as the continued improvement of our campus facilities and the completion of capital fund raising for the Nick and Lou Martin Student Center.”

Powell also plans and hopes to grow her home town of Burleson, according to Wood.

“Powell has also been a key figure in the growth of her hometown, Burleson, as a longtime residential and commercial developer, and was recently recognized with the Pillar of the Community honor by Hill College,” Wood wrote.

Powell, who has enjoyed a 30-year career in real estate development, has renewed and renovated a number of 100-year-old buildings and transformed Burleson into a exciting home for more than 40,000 residents,according to burlesonisd.net. She has also served on the Burleson school board as a trustee since 2007.

“It is our great privilege as alumni of TWU to introduce our beloved institution to new students who need and deserve the quality of education offered by our alma mater,” Powell wrote. “I directly attribute a person’s ability to attain an education to their potential quality of life and the enhancement of our culture.  There is no measurable value one can place on that, so I always feel it my responsibility to give back in whatever ways might motivate others to obtain a quality education.”

Powell and her husband Charles Powell have been active in multiple fund-raising projects for organizations across Tarrant County, including the American Heart Association, Safe City Commission of Tarrant County, and Make a Wish Foundation, according to burlesonisd.net. They are also members of the First United Methodist Church of Burleson, where Powell participates in the music ministry and loves to sing in it all the time.

The Powells have co-chaired the American Heart Association Heart Ball, according to fortworthbusiness.com.

 “I’ve had a lifelong real estate career in Burleson,” Powell wrote. “ In the last 20 years I have dedicated my professional life to the redevelopment of the historic business district, and my volunteer time to the growth of the Burleson Opportunity Fund. I’ve lived the majority of my life here and it stands to reason, I love my city and I love our people. It is a great day for me when I can be part of creating an environment which improves lives through higher education or the preservation of our history.”

Powell’s family became part of Wesleyan in the 1940s; and she hopes her sons, Charles and James, both of whom are Wesleyan graduates, will continue to work to enhance the university as she and her husband have.

“Texas Wesleyan has been an important part of my life always,” she wrote. “My parents met here in 1948 and maintained a lifelong love for the university.  They passed that legacy along to me and then later to their grandchildren.  It has been a privilege to serve on this board with so many others who share my affection for Wesleyan.”

The Alumni Medal Dinner will be held 7 p.m. Friday at the Fort Worth Club. Tickets are $60. For more information, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 817-531-7540 or [email protected].