Dr. Dennis Myers Installed as Inaugural Holder of The Danny and Lenn Prince Chair in Social Work
Newly established chair furthers the mission of the Garland School of Social Work to advance social work knowledge, values and skills through the integration of faith and practice
Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Nov. 16, 2018) – Baylor University today announced the installation of Dennis R. Myers, Ph.D., as the inaugural holder of The Danny and Lenn Prince Chair in Social Work within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. The installation was part of the Career Resiliency in Senior Living Leadership Symposium, a conference to provide support and education for licensed nursing home administrators to withstand job stress and pressures.
The newly established chair was made possible through a gift from Danny and Lenn Prince of Dallas. The Princes are long-time supporters of the Garland School of Social Work and members of the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light, Baylor’s recently announced $1.1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign.
“We are grateful for the generosity of Danny and Lenn Prince,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “We give thanks for their visionary support, which is opening new areas of research and academic pursuit for the faculty and students of the Garland School of Social Work. As leaders within the Baylor Family, Danny and Lenn have provided once again in a significant and formative way to shape the future of Baylor Social Work for our students and the many communities which will benefit from their service for generations to come.”
The endowed chair furthers the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work’s mission to advance social work knowledge, values and skills through the integration of faith and practice. The Danny and Lenn Prince Chair will greatly enhance the School’s development of programs to prepare professionals in the field of gerontology.
“The dedication and commitment of the Prince family to lives of faith and service are inspiring,” said Jon Singletary, Ph.D., dean of the Garland School of Social Work. “And they are a true model of what we aspire to offer our students. Danny’s own leadership in the field of senior housing is exactly what we aim to teach and is at the heart of what we are studying.”
After pursuing a career in Georgia and Louisiana as a clinical social worker, Preston Dyer, Ph.D., B.A. ’60, returned to Baylor in 1969 to develop the undergraduate social work program, then housed within the sociology department. The program grew into a separate department and eventually into a distinct academic unit in the 40 years Dyer served full-time as professor, program director and founding chair. Myers worked closely with Diana Garland, Ph.D., the School’s namesake and founding dean, to pave the way for the establishment of the School in 2005.
Myers is the chair of the School’s Gerontology Initiative, and as holder of The Prince Chair, he will conduct research and develop evidence-based practice models, educational programs and practical resources to strengthen the care environment of residential facilities and enrich the lives of residents. He is co-principal investigator for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation grant, “Mastering Your Marriage.”
“Dr. Myers is the perfect fit for what the Prince family is providing our School and the University,” Singletary said. “His own commitment to senior housing is similar to Danny’s, and his research focused on the skills and knowledge to help senior living administrators be more resilient mirrors the passion of the Prince family and will pave the way for the future of senior housing.”
Myers previously served for 10 years as associate dean of the Master of Social Work program and, before that, as the director of the Baccalaureate Program in Social Work and director of the Civic Education Program. For 15 years, he was the associate director of the Institute for Gerontological Studies. Myers serves on the Texas Nursing Facility Administrator Advisory Committee, Ascension-Providence Park Board, Stilwell Retirement Center Board and the North Central Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association Board.
Myers has been recognized as a Baylor University Outstanding Teacher and Faculty Fellow, Distinguished Teacher by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and as a Gero-Ed Center Expert Trainer by the Council on Social Work Education. He has been the principal or co-principal investigator for grants of over $1.2 million. He was the co-principal investigator for the Bilingual Mental Health Scholarship Program for Accredited Social Work Programs, funded by the Hogg Foundation (2008-2016). Since 2013, he has authored or co-authored 17 journal articles and chapters in the areas of social work practice, deployment and the military family, educational gerontology, administration and social work practice in senior living environments, adult caregiving, productive aging and faith-based community services.
“Devotion to assuring resilience and flourishing in older lives characterize the life-long commitment of Lenn and Danny Prince,” Myers said. “They are determined to translate this vision into real and effective ministries, responsive senior living facilities and preparation of leaders in gerontological research and practice through the Garland School of Social Work. Thank you, Lenn and Danny, for all of the sacrifice and uncertainty you overcame to make the Endowed Chair a reality. I, in particular, as the inaugural holder of The Prince Chair, stand as a representative of the many who daily benefit from your generous heart and spirit.”
Supporting the senior adult population
Following his graduation from Baylor, Danny Prince, B.A. ’73, pursued a master’s degree in religious education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he met professor James Williams, who also taught in the School of Gerontology at the University of North Texas, one of only three schools in the country offering an advanced degree in gerontology at the time. After earning a Master of Science in gerontology at UNT, Prince operated skilled nursing facilities in Louisiana and Florida before starting his own senior adult health care business in Albuquerque in 1986.
Today, Danny Prince is president of Paramount Healthcare, a provider of services to the senior adult population through a variety of stages of care that include pharmacy services, rehabilitation services and long-term care. The company currently serves the San Antonio and Dallas areas with corporate headquarters in Ruston, Louisiana.
In addition to having previously made a significant contribution for the Residential Care of Older Adults Initiative at the Garland School of Social Work, which envisioned a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) built on or near the Baylor campus, the Princes have served on The President's Scholarship Initiative Steering Committee. Additionally, Danny Prince serves on the board of advocates for the Garland School of Social Work.
“I have had a passion for seniors all my life, having grown up near my grandparents on both sides and having owned long-term, skilled nursing facilities for some period of time," Danny Prince said in the initial announcement of their gift. “The concept we are trying to implement here is not just to create a chair or endowment for studying theoretical gerontology, but it is to create a practical application through real experiences so that students will be well-grounded in values of care and well-rounded in the hands-on skills necessary for success when they graduate.”
The Princes live in Dallas about nine months out of the year, an arrangement originally designed to keep them closer to business interests and to their four children, Lauren Prince Golden, B.B.A. ’00, J.D. ’03’ Leslie Prince Crowell, B.S. ’03, Lindsey Prince Owens, ’05, and Daniel Robert Prince, B.B.A. ’07, during the years they attended Baylor. Today, two of the Prince children are involved in the family business, and the Princes’ dedication to meeting the growing needs of the rising senior adult population remains a central part of their lives.
For more information about The Danny and Lenn Prince Chair in the School of Social Work, contact the School of Social Work at 254-710-6400. To learn more about enriching the future of Baylor University through an endowed chair, please contact University Development at 254-710-2561.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.
ABOUT THE DIANA R. GARLAND SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is home to one of the leading graduate social work programs in the nation with a research agenda focused on the integration of faith and practice. Upholding its mission of preparing social workers in a Christian context for worldwide service and leadership, the School offers a baccalaureate degree (B.S.W.), a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) degree and three joint-degree options, M.S.W./M.B.A., M.S.W./M.Div. and M.S.W./M.T.S., through a partnership with Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business and George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. program. Visit www.baylor.edu/social_work to learn more.