Estate Gift From Longtime Supporters Establishes Endowed Chair At Baylor's Truett Seminary

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George W. Truett Theological Seminary on the campus of Baylor University.
March 5, 2012

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DeLancey Chair ensures that generations of seminary students will learn from and be mentored by distinguished seminary faculty

Baylor University today announced a gift from the estate of Charles DeLancey establishing the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Endowed Chair for the Dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

The endowed chair, which was funded by the Delanceys' gift in excess of $3 million, furthers the seminary's purpose to prepare ministers to live and proclaim the word of God.

"Baylor University is abundantly grateful to the DeLanceys for their generosity through this significant gift," said Baylor President Ken Starr. "This first endowed chair for the dean at Truett Seminary is a testament to the vision and forethought of our faithful Baylor friends. Through their estate, the DeLanceys assure generations of students the opportunity to learn from distinguished faculty as they prepare to live out their ministerial calling."

Throughout their lives, Mr. and Mrs. DeLancey gave faithfully to Baylor, supporting the University in numerous areas. Charles passed away on April 4, 2011, at the age of 92. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Eleanor, on Nov. 3, 2004. Their philanthropy made an impact campus-wide, but will be felt most deeply at Truett Seminary, whose mission profoundly resonated with both Charles and Eleanor.

"The DeLanceys were faithful supporters of Truett Seminary from its beginning," said David Garland, Ph.D., dean of Truett Seminary and The William M. Hinson Chair of Christian Scriptures. "We have always been grateful for their inspiring financial commitment to train future ministers. This bequest is simply amazing and adds to their wonderful legacy of Christian stewardship."

"We are so grateful to the DeLancey family for their generosity and vision in support of George W. Truett Theological Seminary," said Elizabeth Davis, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost at Baylor. "We value the relationships that our faculty have with our students, and the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Endowed Chair will ensure that generations of seminary students will have the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by our outstanding seminary faculty."

Additionally, the endowed chair adds prestige and reputation that will enhance the University's ability to attract and retain leading faculty and equip students with informed, coherent Baptist theology.

Charles J. DeLancey earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Texas in 1940, and a master's degree in geology in 1942. While serving as a cadet in the United States Army in 1943, he earned a master's degree in meteorology from the California Institute of Technology and was hired there as an instructor one year later.

Eleanor McLerran DeLancey attended Baylor University from 1935 to 1938, receiving her bachelor of arts degree in journalism and Spanish. Her graduation from Baylor fulfilled the wish of her father, C.J. McLerran, who was unable to complete his Baylor education after returning home to care for his ailing mother. Eleanor's tenure at Baylor served not only to realize her father's dream, but also to lay the foundation of a lifetime of dedication to the University.

The DeLanceys met while traveling by train on New Years' Eve in 1943 and were married on June 17, 1949. Mr. DeLancey began a career with Humble Oil & Refining Company -- now ExxonMobil -- as an exploration geologist in 1946. Their only daughter, Megan, was born in Altadena, Calif., in 1953 and preceded them in death on May 9, 2002. The family made Houston their home in 1959, where Mr. DeLancey enjoyed a long career with ExxonMobil before retiring in 1985. They were members of Tallowood Baptist Church and the Koinonia Sunday School Class.

In addition to Truett Seminary, the DeLanceys demonstrated their commitment to Baylor University through gifts to the President's Fund, the McLane Student Life Center and many other areas across the University. For their decades of support to Baylor, they were recognized in the 1845 Society, Old Main Society, Endowed Scholarship Society and Friends of Truett.

"The DeLanceys' lasting legacy was the result of their thoughtful estate planning," said Larry Smith, assistant vice president for gift planning. "We are deeply grateful for their foresight and their desire to invest in the lives of future Truett Seminary students."

For more information about the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Endowed Chair for the Dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, contact Truett Seminary at (254) 710-3755. To learn more about enriching the future of Baylor University through an estate gift, please contact Larry Smith in Baylor University's Office of Gift Planning at (254) 710-2561.

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

About George W. Truett Theological Seminary

Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary provides theological education leading to the Master of Divinity, the Doctor of Ministry or the Master of Theological Studies degree that is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ and consistent with historic Baptist commitments to prepare persons to carry this gospel to the churches and the world. Within the M.Div. degree program, students can choose concentrations in Biblical Studies and Theology, Christian Education, Ministry Leadership, Missions and World Christianity, Worship Leadership and Youth/Family/Student Ministry. Truett Seminary also offers two Dual Degree programs - M.Div./MSW and MTS/MSW - through a partnership with Baylor's School of Social Work and an M.Div./Master of Music through a partnership with the Baylor University School of Music. Visit www.baylor.edu/truett to learn more.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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