Former Baylor Regent and Library Proponent Receives TLA Benefactor Award

April 9, 2014

Ella Wall Prichard, a 1963 Baylor graduate and former member of the Baylor Board of Regents, has been awarded the Texas Library Association (TLA) Benefactor Award. The award will be presented to Prichard Wednesday, April 9, at the Opening Author Session of the TLA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The award recognizes substantial gifts that inspire and increase library support. Prichard and her late husband, Baylor Alumnus Honoris Causa Lev H. Prichard III, have actively supported the Baylor University Libraries and their local public library for many years. Their generous donations have had a transformational effect on the libraries and caused others to join their efforts.

The Prichards established the Lev H. Prichard III Traditional Black Music Restoration Endowed Fund to help the libraries restore and preserve music. In 1966, Prichard and her husband established the Pruit Memorial Symposium Endowment Fund in memory of Helen Pruit Matthews and her brothers, Dr. Lee Tinkle Pruit and William Wall Pruit. The Symposium brings the perspective of Christian intellectual tradition on contemporary issues of common concern. The 2013 Pruit Symposium titled “Marching to Zion: Celebrating and Preserving Black Sacred Music” focused on the religious, political and cultural contributions of gospel music, highlighting the Libraries’ project.

The Prichards funded several Baylor Library renovations, including the Prichard Quiet Study Commons and Lev’s Gathering Place. The Study Commons in Moody Memorial Library provides a large space that offers computer capabilities and 24-hour quiet for individual study. Lev’s Gathering Place within Crouch Fine Arts Library of Moody Memorial Library allows individual study and serves as a focal point for the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project.

In addition to supporting the Library, the Prichards have endowed scholarships at Baylor for student athletes, journalism majors, students at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and students from Nueces County. They have supported Baylor Athletics and McLane Stadium, as well as the Castellaw Communications Center. In 1998, they established the Prichard Family Foundation to support Baptists, Baylor University and institutions in Corpus Christi, Texas.