Paul J. Meyer, Baylor Alumnus Honoris Causa, Passes Away

Oct. 26, 2009

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Celebrated worldwide as a leading entrepreneur and unrelenting philanthropist, Paul J. Meyer of Waco passed away Sunday, Oct. 25) at the age of 81. Survived by his wife, Jane, three sons, two daughters and 15 grandchildren, Meyer established a legacy of generosity and forward thinking that will not be forgotten or cease to affect lives across the country and beyond.

"Paul Meyer's life not only impacted every person he came into contact with but, through his uncompromising generosity, his legacy will continue to touch the lives of countless Baylor students and faculty," said Dr. David E. Garland, Baylor's interim president and dean of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "Baylor has lost both a pioneer and a loyal friend."

Meyer became interested at an early age in the principles of personal development and professional excellence and at 27 had become a noted and successful businessman. A Central Texas civic leader, Meyer began his career in insurance sales before becoming a sales executive for Word Inc., a Waco distributor of religious books and records. Philanthropy was simply a way of life for both Meyer and his wife, Jane, especially in the area of education.

Becoming a Baylor University Alumnus By Choice in 1987, Meyer embodied the value of servant-leadership with a seldom-seen earnestness and was presented with the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award in 1988 and the Herbert H. Reynolds Service Award in 1996. A rare visionary and an unwavering friend and supporter of the university, Meyer was presented with the highest honor bestowed by the institution upon a non-alumni--Baylor's Alumnus Honoris Causa designation.

Ever-faithful in using their resources to empower others, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer were recognized as members of the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship, first with the James Huckins Medallion in 1987, both the Pat Neff and Presidents Medallions in 1988, then were inducted into the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society of the Fellowship in 1993.

Meyer and his wife, Jane, supported The William M. Hinson Endowed Chair in Christian Scriptures, as well as the Charlie McCleary Endowed Athletic Fund in Tennis, The Dr. Delton L. Chesser Passport to Success Accounting Scholarship, the Fast Break Club, both the Men's and Women's Basketball Excellence Funds and many other areas across the University. In 1988, the Meyers played a tremendous role in providing quality facilities for Baylor's student-athletes, providing the lead gift for Paul J. Meyer Arena at the Ferrell Center. Meyer was a member of Bear Foundation and 1845 Society.

Considered one of the most influential people in the history of the personal achievement industry, Meyer founded the Success Motivation Institute (SMI) and Leadership Management Inc., both founded for the purpose of helping people develop management skills. Together with his wife, Jane, Meyer supported more than 30 charities across the United States and around the world. They were also instrumental in founding five charitable foundations to promote education and serve youth, including Passport to Success, which provides post-secondary education to economically disadvantaged youth, and the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation.

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at Baylor University's Ferrell Special Events Center in the Paul J. Meyer Arena, with a visitation immediately following in the Stone Reception Room at the Ferrell Center.

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

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