Flying Queen

1971-73

Alisa Bishop

My name is Alisa Bishop and I attended Wayland Baptist College 1971-1974. I was a Queen Bee for two of those years.

I was born and raised on a farm/ranch near the small town of Megargel, Texas with an older and younger brother. Life was situated around work on the farm, church three times a week and school when in session. Weekends, after church, were spent with grandparents, aunts and uncles, and lots of eating wonderful foods and desserts (yummy!)

By the time I was 12 my older brother told me I was fat (so was he) so I began watching my weight and competing with him. First I tried to get the guys in grade school to let me play baseball. The result of that was a black eye from a fast hardball. In junior high my older brother began playing basketball. Dad hung a basketball backboard and hoop from the garage.

Mom, of course, wanted me to learn to play piano. I took lessons, but had no passion for it. My freshman year there was basketball practice after school and the choice of going to piano or going to basketball practice had to be made. Mom was not happy. Basketball won!

My younger brother got into our ball playing mix and we would shoot baskets, see who could jump the highest, and compete 1 on 1. Mom was really upset with us when we were both able to put flattened handprints on the ceiling as we practiced jumping.

Our school was small, but both boys and girls teams in high school were driven to win. Girls’ basketball started as half court, then one year of “rover.” The gym was open year-round, so whenever we needed something to do, we went to the gym. We had co-ed competitions, and of course the boys’ rules prevailed. Playing full court became a norm for us quickly, and we were determined to be better than the guys. They could still beat us at wind sprints!

As my senior year came around, my parents and I began talking about going to college. Mom’s theory was that I should become a teacher to “support” a farmer husband. HA! (I was really too shy to want to stand in front of anyone, or speak). Dad wanted me to go to a “church” college so it would be safer. With that, we found Wayland in the mix. I saw right away it had women’s basketball. I really did not know what that might mean, but that is where I wanted to go.

Fall of 1971 I turned 18 just as I started college at Wayland. I was scared to death as everything was new to this country girl. My first roommate, picking classes, basketball try-outs, and even a service sorority (Theta Alpha Psi)—there were so many new things to take in! I met so many new people.

At basketball tryouts, I was amazed at how tall and talented all the women were. Harley Redin, Sylvia Nadler, and Debra Martin ran the tryouts. I was told that I was “too short,” but could work out with the Queen Bees. I was thrilled and ecstatic to try my best.

The Bees were a small group, and we played other local colleges and even high school teams. We competed in TCIAW, but did not have a great win/loss record.

The following year, Marsha Sharp and Sylvia were our coaches. We made it to TCIAW in Stephenville this year with a much better record. I injured my back during the semi-finals, and could not play. The team finished 4th. My trip back to Wayland was in a back brace, riding in the back of Marsha Sharp’s parents’ station wagon. That ended my basketball playing days.

That same year I grew up quickly. I could not play basketball anymore. My older brother was killed in an accident. Wayland friends were always supportive of my health and my grief. My parents were crushed. I was determined to just finish school and go out and get a job.

Dr. J Hoyt Bowers and Mr. Gerald Thompson kept me fascinated with biology. I got a part-time job at Central Plains General Hospital. I graduated in May of 1974 as Highest Ranking Graduating Senior. After that, I trained as a Medical Technologist and worked through 1978 at the hospital.

In 1978, I moved to Denver, Colorado. I had the privilege of meeting Alice “Cookie” Baron and Kaye Garms (former Flying Queens). I briefly coached JV at Columbine High School in 1979.

My career expanded in Denver, as I worked for a Clinical Laboratory Company destined to become part of what today is known as Quest Diagnostics. I was honored to be the Clinical Laboratory Director in 1992 and be part of the team that implemented one of the first Robotic Systems, in a large clinical laboratory in the USA in 1996.

After 22 years with Quest, I was drafted to be the Lab Director at Rose Medical Center, a hospital in central Denver. During my 16 years there I was honored as “Leader of the Year” by the hospital leadership group in 2012.

I retired in 2017.

Basketball and my time at Wayland taught me teamwork, focus, respect, trust, and leadership. I was able to carry what I learned and expand on it throughout my career. Though I have not been back to Plainview for over 40 years, I hope that opportunity will arise.

With my partner of 34 years and our beagle family, we enjoy our yard and garden, volunteering, bird watching, traveling in our RV, friends, and family.

Thank you, Wayland and the notable people in the Flying Queens’ organization, for setting high standards of success and giving me, and many others, opportunities to grow and expand my love of life, earth, and God.

Alisa Bishop

Wayland Grad 1974

Queens and Bees Proud Forever!