Investing in Biological and Biomedical Engineering: Mearse Gift
In November 2019, Baylor University announced the funding of a new endowed faculty position within the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). The $1.5 million Mearse Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering, established by Bill and Tanya Mearse of Houston, was established as part of the University’s $1.1 billion Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign.
“We celebrate the impact the Mearse Endowed Chair will have within Baylor University,” Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., said. “This is a significant and strategic next step for Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science as we look to broaden and enhance the research and instruction related to this burgeoning field of engineering. We are grateful for Bill and Tanya’s visionary support for Baylor to take foundational steps forward and advance the priorities within the University’s strategic plan, Illuminate.”
The Mearse chair will promote the growth and development of research and scholarly activity in the areas of biological and biomedical engineering, furthering Baylor’s Research 1 pursuit.
The new, endowed position will allow the School to attract and retain a distinguished faculty member who will be a significant contributor in furthering ECS’s position as a national leader in this area. In addition, the Mearse chair will provide strategic growth for Baylor ECS as the School seeks to strengthen curriculum and research in the areas of Materials Science and Health, two priorities of Illuminate.
Proud Baylor Supporters
Bill Mearse is a graduate of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business with a B.B.A. in 1978 and M.B.A. in management and marketing in 1979. He retired from Accenture as resources group operating officer and senior managing director of the Houston office in November 2013 after more than 33 years of service.
Tanya Mearse graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1979.
Bill Mearse serves as chair of the ECS Board of Advisors, and he and Tanya represent ECS on the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light. Bill also serves on Baylor University’s Board of Regents.
“When Baylor initiated the Give Light campaign, Tanya and I explored new giving opportunities to support the University in its effort to become an R1 institution. Recognizing the importance of faculty to student development and the R1 initiative, we accepted the opportunity to provide funding for an ECS endowed chair, so Baylor can identify a professor to develop, teach and conduct research in a new and leading edge discipline that will benefit students for years to come,” Bill said.
Creating a Bright Future
The Mearse Chair became the third faculty position funded as part of the Baylor Academic Challenge (BAC) matching program. Established by a portion of the largest current gift in University history — a $100 million gift to the Give Light campaign by an anonymous donor — the BAC incentivizes donors to establish endowed funds for strategic academic initiatives and other priorities of the University, essentially doubling the impact of each gift.
The BAC will maximize Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors.