A lifetime of service and dedication — to a university she didn’t even attend
United States Air Force First Lieutenant Marie Chiles first met her future husband, fellow First Lieutenant John Chiles (BBA ’50, JD ’52) while the two were stationed in England. At the time, she had never heard of John’s alma mater, Baylor University — and she certainly couldn’t have known how much her life would intertwine with the school over the next 70 years.
That relationship between Marie Chiles (ABC ’85) and her husband’s university culminated earlier this year when she was named Baylor’s 2023 Merrie Beckham Alumna By Choice of the Year.
After learning about Baylor and hearing her husband’s stories, Chiles — a native of New York City who graduated from Pittsburgh’s Chatham University — says it was hard not to fall in love with Baylor.
For years, the Chileses have been active donors to a wide variety of Baylor programs, from launching a support organization for the Mayborn Museum to funding scholarships and a lecture series at Baylor Law School.
But the Chileses’ most significant contribution to Baylor is their commitment and service toward the Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON). Marie serves as a member of the school’s Board of Advocates. She and John established the Dean’s Good Samaritan Fund and donated three simulators to equip Baylor nursing graduates with the experience and skills to transition into their medical careers.
“Of all of our volunteer work, this has been the most rewarding. Both my husband and I agree,” Chiles says. “The Baylor Family, from the very beginning of our marriage, has been such a focal point in our lives, and it’s been good that we’ve been able to contribute not only with funds, but we have contributed with ourselves. We are so fortunate to have the Baylor Family.”
Sic ’em, Marie Chiles!
[Know someone who loves Baylor and has adopted it as their school, even though they didn’t attend? Nominate them for recognition as Baylor Alumni by Choice! Nominations are open now through December 1.]