• Baylor Family’s generosity attracts leading researchers to new elite faculty positions

    L-R, headshots of Drs. Erik Carter, Julia Chan, Hannah Stolze & Alan Wang

    Endowed faculty positions, especially endowed chairs, are a big deal in the academic world. They come with a certain level of prestige, and help universities attract professors at the top of their game.

    That’s why it’s so important that, during the Give Light philanthropic campaign, the Baylor Family’s generosity enabled the university to create an eye-popping 48 new endowed faculty positions, including 23 new endowed chairs. (For context: When Give Light began, Baylor had just five endowed chair positions; generous giving has quintupled that.)

    One reason why endowed chairs are so important: These positions come with perpetual funding. By endowing the chair, donors ensure an ongoing stream of funding to support the professor’s research efforts — an appealing guarantee to elite faculty members.

    In areas ranging from materials science to health to human flourishing, Baylor has created (and in many cases, already hired) elite faculty members drawn by the university’s unique place in higher education as a Christian research university. Here are just a few examples of the professors these new chairs have brought to Baylor:

    Dr. Erik Carter, the Luther Sweet Endowed Chair in Disabilities. A highly funded researcher with a passion for the inclusion and belonging of individuals with disabilities in faith communities, the workplace and schools, Carter left Vanderbilt to come to Baylor and lead the Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities.

    Dr. Julia Chan (BS ’93), the Tim and Sharalynn Fenn Family Endowed Chair in Materials Science. A Baylor graduate, Chan returned to her alma mater after years at LSU and UT-Dallas, bringing expertise in the exploration and discovery of quantum materials — a true leading-edge field in materials science.

    Dr. Hannah Stolze, the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management. Stolze, who came to Baylor from Wheaton College and Lipscomb University, has developed a reputation as a leading supply chain expert, with a focus on the wellbeing and dignity of each individual involved in the supply chain.

    Dr. Alan Wang, the Mearse Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering. Wang, an inventor whose photonics expertise impacts areas like health care, communication and environmental protection, came to Baylor from Oregon State.

    You can read about other chairs here and here, and even more are on the way. Individually, their work is impressive; collectively, they’ll work alongside current faculty to elevate Baylor even further as a Christian research university. And it’s all thanks to the Baylor Family, who ensured the last five years of generosity will resonate for decades to come at Baylor.

    Sic ’em, endowed faculty!