Ever since he received his B.S. in Economics from West Texas State University in 1963, Donald E. Powell has been an outstanding representative of his school, now known as WTAMU. Born in Perryton, Texas, this native son of the Texas Panhandle, has served his alma mater, his local community, and his country.
After completing his bachelor’s degree, Powell went on to the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He was President and CEO of The First National Bank of Amarillo when President George W. Bush named him the 18th Chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (FDIC), in 2001. Powell served in that position until late 2005 when he resigned to become the Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Powell and his wife Twanna were inducted into WTAMU’s Old Main Society as Benefactors in 2012, the same year he led a capital campaign for the university. Their support of the university continues today, with Powell serving as one of The Buffalo Council’s founding members. The WTAMU College of Education and Social Sciences named Powell a Graduate of Distinction and he received the WTAMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to graduates for “unselfish commitment to a lifetime of service.”