Baylor Mourns Death of Longtime Baylor Supporter Lev Prichard III

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(L to R) - Ella Wall Prichard, Lev H. Prichard III and Ralph Storm at Baylor's Founders Day celebration in February 2007.
April 8, 2009

Baylor University Alumnus Honoris Causa Lev H. Prichard III, 72, of Corpus Christi, passed away April 7. Prichard was initiated into the Baylor family through his wife, Ella, and friends and had long been an enthusiastic and generous supporter of the university.

"Lev Prichard's caring spirit touched the Baylor community in many ways," said Dr. David E. Garland, Baylor's Interim President and dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "His willingness to serve sets an example for us all."

Although Prichard did not attend Baylor, he was an Alumnus By Choice and received the Alumnus Honoris Causa designation, the highest honor bestowed by the university upon non-alumni. With his wife, a 1963 Baylor graduate and former member of the Baylor Board of Regents, he also received the Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Meritorious Service.

"Lev and Ella Prichard and their family were some of the first Baylor people Donell and I met when we came to Baylor," said Grant Teaff, former Baylor head football coach. "The Prichards have not only been two of our greatest friends but also have been great supporters of the university and athletic programs. We have all lost a great friend."

Prichard's strong character manifested itself in his devotion to family, church and his profession. By age 13, Prichard was helping his mother, Helen Pruit Prichard Davis Matthews, run Hereford Hills Ranch after his father, Lev Prichard Jr., died in 1950. He continued to work with the ranch after earning his bachelor of science in agriculture from Penn State University in 1959 and completing additional studies in ranch management at Texas Christian University.

In 1961 Prichard moved to Corpus Christi, where he worked at the family business, Worldwide Travel. Two years later he joined Lloyd Shelley at Shelley's Travel Service. Since 1976, he and Ralph Storm, a Baylor alumnus, were partners in Storm-Prichard Co. He also was involved with the Prichard Family Foundation. In addition to membership at First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi, Prichard served as an advisory director of the Bank of Corpus Christi and its successor IBC, Driscoll Children's Hospital, Salvation Army and Youth City, member of the TAMU-CC President's Council and was a Rotary Harris Fellow.

Prichard particularly enjoyed supporting Baylor athletics, serving twice on the Baylor Bear Foundation Board. As Teaff recalled, "Lev cared deeply for the university and especially loved victories over the University of Texas." In addition to their cheers, the Prichards supported projects benefiting various sports, including campaigns for the Floyd Casey Stadium north end zone complex, the Hart-Patterson Track and Field Complex and the Dutch Schroeder Athletic Plaza. Prichard also was recognized as a lifetime honorary member of the Baylor "B" Association.

However, the Prichards' generosity was not limited to athletics. From support for capital campaigns such as the Baugh-Reynolds campus of Truett Seminary and the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, to gifts providing for the Pruit Memorial Symposium, Prichard Family Information Commons and, most recently, the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, their dedication to Baylor is felt across the university. Charter members of Baylor's Endowed Scholarship Society, the Prichards established academic and athletic scholarships and were recognized as Benefactors within the Golden Bear Circle of the Society. They also have been honored with the James Huckins, Pat Neff and Presidents Medallions as members of the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship.

Prichard is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ella Wall Prichard; son, Lev H. Prichard IV; daughter, Margaret "Peggy" Prichard Fagan (BA '92); daughter-in-law, Cheri Mathis Prichard; son-in-law, Scott Fagan; grandsons, Lev H. Prichard V and Evan Prichard; granddaughters, Elaina Fagan and Leslie Fagan; and cousins Betty Lou Linehan, Barbara Ratliff and Janet Fisher.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, at First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi. The burial service will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Foster Angels, First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi, Baylor University or the charity of your choice.

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