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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > Former ACU director of development operations passes away

Former ACU director of development operations passes away

For immediate release
May 10, 2004

Joyce Whitefield, former director for development operations at Abilene Christian University, died May 9 at the age of 78.

The funeral service will be Thursday at Elliot-Hamil’s downtown location at 10 a.m.  Visitation will be Wednesday, 5-6:30 p.m.

After attending ACU for one year, Joyce married Norman Whitefield, a young pilot in the Air Force during World War II whom she met at ACC.   When the war was over, the two returned to Abilene where Norman received his B.A. in art from ACC in 1947, and eventually went on to become head of the Art Department.  Together, the couple dedicated 84 years of combined service to ACU before their retirement in 1990.  Norman passed away December 2002.

In 1948, Joyce helped establish the development operations office where she served as director during her 40 years of full-time employment at ACU.  In 1956, Joyce was the executive director of ACU’s 50th Year Anniversary Celebration and was elected secretary-treasurer of the Southwest District of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 1961-62 and district director in 1962-63. 

During her employment, Joyce received many accolades, including being the first recipient of the annual "Staff Member of the Year" award.  In 1994, ACU honored Norman and Joyce Whitefield by creating an endowed scholarship in their honor: the Norman and Joyce Whitefield Scholarship Fund for art students.

"Joyce was good at putting a face to data and records," said Vicki Britten, supervisor of development operations.  "That's the lasting legacy that she left this office and this university; she made it a people business, a heart business."

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