Baylor Mourns the Deaths of Three Retired Professors

Dec. 17, 1998

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University this week is mourning the passing of three retired faculty members - Dr. Glenn R. Capp Sr., Stella Stovall and Dr. Joe C. McElhannon - who together served Baylor University for 115 years.

Dr. Glenn R. Capp Sr.

Capp, known as "Prof" to the thousands of debate students he taught at Baylor, died Monday, Dec. 14, 1998, at his home in Waco. He was 88.

Born Sept. 21, 1910 in Westminister, Texas, Capp grew up in Shawnee, Okla., and graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1933 with a B.A. degree. He received his L.L.B. degree from Baylor in 1938, an M.A. from Northwestern University in 1948, and an honorary Ph.D. from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1965.

An emeritus professor and former chairman of Speech-Communication, Capp directed the debate program at Baylor from 1934-1981, teaching such prize debators as former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and Baylor regent Joe Albritton. He also judged college debators, and later U.S. presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. His namesake debate tournment at Baylor- the Glenn R. Capp Debate Tournament - is one of the largest in the country, hosting over 85 teams from major U.S. universities. Baylor's debate team is also named after Capp.

Capp had a tremendous effect on his students, as well as his academic field, where he oversaw the first college tournament that allowed men and women to compete together, said Dr. Karla Leeper, assistant professor of communication studies and the Glenn R. Capp Professor of Forensics. "Although I wasn't one of his students, I wish I'd been. They [students] all have these incredible things to say about him," Leeper said. "He always kept up with the team, and whenever we did well and it would appear in the paper, he would write a note to me. I treasure those."

The author of eight books and more than a dozen articles in major professional journals, Capp was listed in Who's Who in America in the Southwest, in American Education, in International Education and in Texas. He was also listed in the Directory of American Scholars, Contemporary Authors, Outstanding Americans, Men of Achievement and The International Who's Who of Intellectuals. He served as president of the National Pi Kappa Delta Forensic Fraternity in 1942 and president of Southern States Communication Association in 1950. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Waco.

Survivors include his son, Glenn Richard Capp Jr., and his wife, Carol, of Waco; four sisters, Mable Rush of San Antonio, Mildred Tacker of Hillsboro, Lucile Moore of Odessa and Euna Lee Fawcett of New Braunfels; and two granddaughters, Catherine Elizabeth Capp of Waco and Amanda Allison Capp of College Station.

Funeral services for Capp are set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at Wilkerson-Hatch-Bailey Chapel in Waco. Burial will follow at Waco Memorial Park.

Memorials can be made to the Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum Fund at Baylor University or a favorite charity.

Stella Stovall

Stovall, a former assistant professor of English at Baylor, died Monday, Dec. 14, 1998, at a Waco nursing home. She was 95.

Born in Cooper on Oct. 30, 1903, and raised in Greenville, Stovall was a graduate of Burleson College and Baylor University. She also received her master's degree from Baylor and did graduate study at East Texas State College and the University of Southern California. Stovall taught in the English department at Baylor for 24 years until her retirement in 1974. She was a member of First Baptist Church, where she taught a Young Married Women's Sunday School class for a number of years. She was also a member of Baylor Round Table and Delta Kappa Gamma.

Stovall was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, J.D. Stovall; and two sisters, Minnie Lee Smith and Margaret Holder. She is survived by a sister, Virginia Smith Furqueron of Waco; nephews, John D. Furqueron and his wife, Marilyn; George Furqueron and his wife, Judith; and Edward Holder and his wife, Sherrie; nieces, Virginia Lee Burdick, Julia Dowling and her husband, Bob; Lynn Schmidt and her husband, Gene; and Mignon Rodriguez and her husband, Thomas; three cousins and 16 grand nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Dec. 16, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Chapel. Burial followed at Fairview Cemetery in Hubbard.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Baylor University Scholarship Fund or Providence Hospice.

Dr. Joe C. McElhannon

McElhannon, an emeritus professor of history, died Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1998, at his home in Waco. He was 72.

Born in Belton on August 9, 1926, McElhannon grew up in Huntsville and moved to Waco in 1937. He graduated from Waco High School in 1942, going on to serve in the Navy during World War II. He received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Baylor in 1947 and later attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his doctorate in Latin American studies. McElhannon taught in the history department at Baylor, retiring in 1992 after 43 years of service. He was a member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church for 45 years.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Nell West McElhannon; a son, Don, and his wife, Carol; grandchildren, Andy, Jarrod, and Roger and his wife, Melissa; and two great-grandchildren, Angela and Skylar, all of Waco.

Services will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Chapel in Waco. Burial will follow at Waco Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to The Texas Collection at Baylor University.

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