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Leading by Example

Leading by Example

Dean and Kathy Wilburn are proud, thankful and excited to have played a role in the changes they have seen during the last ten years at Arkansas Tech University. Serving on the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2011 and being Chair in 2005 and 2010, Dean has had a unique opportunity to be part of the leadership that has led to Tech's transformation. With Kathy, he has attended every Board meeting, every graduation and many Wonder Boy and Golden Suns events.

Dean and Kathy first met when they rode the bus to Pyatt High School. The small school prepared them for a life of leadership and teamwork. And, although the school is gone, the Wilburns celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009.

Dean enrolled at Arkansas Tech in 1955, studied Physical Education and played basketball under the legendary Coach Sam Hindsman. After graduating in 1959, Dean coached at Scranton, then Valley Springs, and then at Harrison. At each school, he led the basketball team to its best stats ever. The 1966-67 Harrison Goblin team won the school's first AA Championship that year and was recently inducted into the Harrison Hall of Fame. Dean had been individually inducted in 2003.

While raising their 2 daughters, Dean and Kathy owned an independent insurance agency for 15 years. After selling their agency, Dean began a second insurance career with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He retired in the late 1990's to spend more time with family and pursue his passion for hunting and fishing. Dean passed away November 21, 2014 and is remembered by the Tech family.

Kathryn Wilburn continues to live in Harrison, Arkansas, and supports Tech. She is an active member of the First Baptist Church where she serves on several committees. She is also involved in numerous clubs in Harrison. Kathy enjoys travelling and family, especially their 4 grandchildren. Three of the grandchildren graduated from Arkansas Tech and another grandchild is attending Tech this fall. Kathy keeps in touch and will travel with Tech Travel over the Christmas holidays.


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