Celebrating a multi-generational legacy

In a 1946 edition of The Redbird (now University Press), it reported that Lamar College celebrated G.A. Wimberly Day, with a special assembly in the Union building. G.A. Wimberly, an extraordinary figure in Lamar’s history, had dedicated his life to the growth and prosperity of LU spending 47 years with the university as an auditor, business manager, comptroller, acting president, and assistant to the president. His daughter, Frances Wimberly-Alberto, would follow in his footsteps, weaving her own chapter into the legacy of Lamar. Frances Wimberly

Born into the Lamar family, Frances Alberto's journey with the university began the day she entered the world. G.A. Wimberly, her father, had become an integral part of Lamar in 1926, starting as the economics teacher, baseball and basketball coach of South Park High School, and later serving in various capacities for Lamar Junior College, Lamar State College of Technology, and finally, Lamar University. 

“The naming of the Wimberly building was suggested by Dr. John Gray who was well aware of my father’s contributions to Lamar,” Frances Wimberly-Alberto, his daughter, said. “My dad had offices in that building for as long as I can remember, and his office was moved when the round building was built. We were all so excited, and we made pictures of each family member with my dad in front of the building showing the Wimberly name.”  

Frances herself started her Lamar journey in 1952, attending Lamar State College of Technology until her graduation in 1956. She earned her Master’s of Education while teaching and became a living testament to the values and education Lamar stood for. 

“I majored in home economics at Lamar, and I was president of the Texas State Home Economic Clubs, and because of that position I was able to attend the National Home Economics College Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which my parents made a vacation out of,” Alberto said.  

Her connection to Lamar was not merely academic; it was ingrained in the fabric of her life. 

“Dr. and Mrs. Gray were great friends with my family,” Alberto said. “After John died, I would go by to see and visit with Mary often. When Rex Cottle was president, he and his wife Carol had students come and visit their home often.”  

Alberto was also active throughout campus during her time at Lamar.  

G.A. Wimberly“I was nominated as a candidate for homecoming queen three times, although I never won, but all the activities that were connected with it made it so enjoyable,” she said. “And as a freshman, The Wesley Foundation was my home away from home. It was a big help in making me feel at home at Lamar.”  

Her brother, G.A. Wimberly Jr., served as the Student Loan Officer until his passing in 1979, leaving behind his own imprint on the university's history. The Wimberly legacy continued through generations, as Frances's daughter and niece and nephew all graduated from Lamar University. 

Frances and her husband, Charlie Alberto, were not just spectators but active contributors to Lamar's growth. Charlie's involvement in the Cardinal Club, including a term as its president, demonstrated the family's commitment. In honor of G.A. Wimberly, they established an endowed scholarship through the Cardinal Club, ensuring that his influence would continue to shape the lives of future Lamar students.  

The ties that bound the Wimberly-Alberto family to Lamar were further strengthened by scholarships, the purchase of Cardinal Bricks, and continued attendance at homecomings, basketball, and football games. The family's impact was not only financial but deeply personal, touching the lives of students, faculty, and the Lamar community at large.  

“We were connected to basketball through friendships with Jack and Shirley Martin, and Billy and Pat Tubbs, who were great coaches,” Alberto said. “After most ball games, we would gather at someone’s home and visit. After homecoming, Charlie and I would open our home, especially to those who were from out of town.”  Southern Belles Society at Lamar

As the years passed, Frances remained in touch with her college friends, especially those from her Southern Belle Sorority (Alpha Chi Omega), creating a network of connections that transcended time.  
“I’ve enjoyed keeping up with my college friends. I’ve attended most homecomings and attended many monthly meetings with my sorority,” Alberto said. “I also keep in touch through emails, phone calls, and Facebook.”  

Frances Wimberly-Alberto, now 89 years old, reflects on a life intertwined with Lamar University with gratitude.  

“Lamar has been an important part of our lives, and we feel blessed for being connected,” Alberto said.