THE ALBERT W. DALE, JR. Memorial Endowed Scholarship almost went to The University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where Billy Dale, Albert’s son, once played football. “But fate crossed our paths in the name of Dr. David Watts,” recalls Mrs. Albert “Betty” Dale, and the scholarship, instead, would go to a university located in the place “where we lived and loved.”
When Watts took the reins at UT Permian Basin, he made it a priority to learn about his new community. “David was curious about the people who lived out here and what their hopes were for the future of UTPB,” Betty says. Watts’ interest in understanding the region and its people impressed Albert, so when he and Betty decided to make a lasting gift, there was no question that UT Permian Basin would receive it.
“My husband was very interested in education,” says Betty, although Albert, himself, dropped out of high school to join the U.S. Navy in 1941. He was discharged in 1946 and married two years later. In 1951, Albert was recalled to service during the Korean Conflict. “He loved the Navy and I loved the Navy,” says Betty, who enjoyed life as a military spouse, especially when the couple ended up in Hawaii. Still, the nomadic life became too much for the couple’s young son, so Albert left the Navy and took a job with Motorola in Dallas.
The Dale family moved to Pecos when Albert was given part ownership of Verhalen Communications. He grew his business by flying to West Texas ranches—in his own airplane—so he could meet with farmers who needed radios. In 1954, Albert co-founded Midwest Communications; he opened a service facility in Odessa in 1957. That business, Industrial Communications, became incorporated in 1958.
In Odessa, Albert became an active community leader. He took his turn serving as president of several organizations, including the Optimist Club and the Telephone Answering Service Association of Texas. He raised money for the YMCA and the Permian Playhouse. He was a deacon and elder at St. Paul Presbyterian Church and a board member of the Presbyterian School of Pan American in Kingsville, Texas. “There wasn’t a soul that didn’t like my husband,” says Betty. “He was the sweetest, kindest man. I loved him dearly.”
When Albert died in 2004, Betty became president of Industrial Communications, Inc., which still thrives today. Betty continues to fulfill her husband’s wishes to support a scholarship at UT Permian Basin. The total amount of money accumulated thus far is “about $25,000,” Betty thinks. Every month she contributes the money she receives from out-of-state oil holdings. “I will give as long as I’m able,” she asserts. In fact, she says that if she dies before the $50,000 scholarship is completely funded, her son has instructions to sell her ’76 Nova and donate the proceeds to the fund. “My husband and I feel very strongly about UT Permian Basin,” Betty says, noting that “the university is doing some wonderful things,” like reaching out to the Hispanic community.
“We grew up out here,” says Betty, so it’s fitting that the Albert W. Dale, Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship benefit people who live in the place Mr. and Mrs. Dale have called home for more than fifty years.
If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact:
Office of Institutional Advancement development / @utpb.edu / 432-552-2802