Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University has received a $3 million gift from the estate of longtime supporters Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey.

The gift will establish an endowed chair for the dean of the seminary in the DeLanceys’ name.

“Baylor University is abundantly grateful to the DeLanceys for their generosity through this significant gift,” Baylor President Ken Starr said. “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, the DeLanceys regularly gave to Baylor in various areas. Charles DeLancey died in April 2011, at age 92. Eleanor, his wife of 55 years, died in November 2004.

Charles DeLancey, who received a master’s degree in geology from the University of Texas, enjoyed a long career with Exxon Mobil Corp. in Houston before retiring in 1985.

Eleanor DeLancey received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Spanish from Baylor. The couple met on a train in 1943 and were married in 1949.

“The DeLanceys were faithful supporters of Truett Seminary from its beginning,” Truett dean David Garland. said “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.”

The DeLanceys also have provided gifts to the President’s Fund and the McLane Student Life Center. For their decades of support, they were recognized by the Old Main Society, Endowed Scholarship Society and Friends of Truett.

Baylor officials said the newly endowed chair will provide funding for the dean’s position while freeing up money for other endeavors. Baylor said it will help the school attract and retain leading faculty members.

Garland said the gift creates the sixth funded chair at Truett, which held its opening convocation service on Aug. 28, 1994, with 51 students registered. The first class graduated in May 1997.

The school offers a master of divinity, a doctor of ministry and master of theological studies degrees.

It also offers dual-degree programs with the Baylor’s School of Social Work and the School of Music.


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