Gift endows Truett dean's chair

An endowed dean’s chair has been established at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, thanks to a gift in excess of $3 million from the estate of former ExxonMobil executive Charles DeLancey.

By Bob Allen

Baylor officials said the Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Endowed Chair will enhance the university’s ability to attract and retain leading faculty for theological education.

“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,” said Baylor President Ken Starr.

Current dean David Garland said the DeLanceys were faithful supporters of Truett Seminary from the beginning. “We have always been grateful for their inspiring financial commitment to train future ministers,” Garland said. “This bequest is simply amazing and adds to their wonderful legacy of Christian stewardship.”

Eleanor McLerran attended Baylor University from 1935 to 1938, receiving her bachelor-of-arts degree in journalism and Spanish. She married Charles DeLancey, a University of Texas graduate and exploration geologist with Humble Oil & Refining Company, in 1949.

The family made Houston their home in 1959, where Mr. DeLancey enjoyed a long career with ExxonMobil before retiring in 1985. They were members of Tallowood Baptist Church and the Koinonia Sunday School Class.

Charles DeLancey died April 4, 2011, at the age of 92. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years on Nov. 3, 2004.

Throughout their lives the DeLancey’s were generous supporters of Baylor with gifts to the President’s Fund, the McLane Student Life Center and many other areas across the university. For their decades of support to Baylor, they were recognized in the 1845 Society, Old Main Society, Endowed Scholarship Society and Friends of Truett.

Opened in 1994, Truett Seminary is one of 15 theological-education partners of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.