Wattams Establish Band Endowment

Prissy and Roger Wattam

Roger Wattam took a deep breath, waited for his cue and began to play.

The beauty of the oboe solo that followed was particularly captivating to one member of his audience.

“I was immediately drawn in,” said Pat “Prissy” Jones Wattam. “When I showed up at Tech as a freshman and saw Roger again on the first day of band rehearsals, I just knew I was going to marry him.”

It’s a love story that has included more than 50 years of marriage, a continued dedication to the arts and a commitment to give back to the place where it all started—Arkansas Tech University.

Prissy and Roger Wattam have established the Wattam Band Endowment and the Wattam Recording Series through the ATU Foundation for the benefit of the ATU music program.

Roger graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1970, while Prissy earned her degree from Tech in 1973. After Roger taught music in Oklahoma and Tennessee, the Wattams settled in Baton Rouge, La. Roger was an instrument technician at Louisiana State University for 29 years and Prissy established a successful RE/MAX real estate business. They’ve worked together in that venture since Roger’s retirement from LSU in 2008.

The Wattams continue to perform and play music on a regular basis, and Prissy’s artistic expression has grown to include a love of painting.

Their love and appreciation of ATU and the music program here has also remained unwavering. Now, as a result of their gifts to the ATU Foundation, the ATU band will receive programmatic support from the Wattams into perpetuity, and forthcoming generations of ATU band students will have their music preserved in digital recordings.

Individuals interested in supporting the funds created by the Wattams can learn more at www.atualumni.com/wattambandendowment and www.atualumni.com/wattamrecordingseries.

-By Sam Strasner
for the Tech Action, Fall 2021