Baylor University Announces Funding of Biological/Biomedical Engineering Chair

November 11, 2019
Mearse Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering

(Getty Images)

Position is part of the Baylor Academic Challenge matching program and will benefit School of Engineering and Computer Science

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Nov. 11, 2019) – Baylor University today announced the funding of a new endowed faculty position within the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), becoming the third faculty position funded as part of the Baylor Academic Challenge matching program since its creation in May. The $1.5 million Mearse Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering, established by Bill and Tanya Mearse of Houston, Texas, will provide senior leadership for the emerging program within Baylor ECS.

“We celebrate the impact the Mearse Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering will have within Baylor University,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “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 Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering will promote the growth and development of research and scholarly activity in the areas of biological and biomedical engineering, furthering Baylor’s pursuit toward recognition as a Research 1/Tier 1 university. The chair 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. 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.

“Bill and Tanya Mearse have truly made a faith investment,” said Baylor Vice President for Advancement David Rosselli. “Bill and Tanya have done so much to advance the priorities of the University. From their volunteering and advocacy for the good work of our Engineering and Computer Science faculty to their service as members of the Give Light National Campaign Steering Committee to their generous support of scholarships, they exemplify the lives of service and commitment that our alumni can be in this world. We are grateful for the example they set for our students and for the transformational impact this Mearse Chair will create within Baylor Engineering and Computer Science.”

President Livingstone announced the gift during the Fall meeting of the Baylor Board of Regents. The Mearse Chair supports the Give Light Campaign, which undergirds Illuminate and will impact every aspect of campus life – academics, athletics, student life and service learning – while also bolstering financial support for students and for the priorities of Baylor’s 12 schools and colleges.

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 the ECS on the National Campaign Steering Committee for Give Light, the Campaign for Baylor. Bill also serves on Baylor University’s Board of Regents. Married in 1988, Bill and Tanya remain active members at Second Baptist Church in Houston. A former elementary education teacher, Tanya taught children’s Bible study and participated in several organizations such as the Chi Omega Alumnae Association.

On May 4, Baylor announced the largest current gift in University history – a $100 million gift to the Give Light campaign. Made by an anonymous donor, the gift builds on the University’s historic strengths and provides a transformational investment in new areas of teaching, research and service. This gift to Baylor is one of only four gifts of $100 million or more to institutions of higher education in Texas. A significant portion of the $100 million gift created a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge and provided the lead investment in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art $105 million facility that will become the new home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the Give Light campaign has raised more than $757.5 million as of Oct. 28, 2019, more than halfway to the $1.1 billion goal. Gifts supporting the University’s academic enterprise have established endowed funds for 19 faculty chairs and professorships, 433 scholarships and 140 funds for growth priorities. More than 60,000 members of the Baylor Family have made a gift to the campaign.

For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit


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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) prepares its students to be innovators for worldwide impact by training graduates for professional practice and responsible leadership with a Christian view. Students can choose from majors including bioinformatics, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, general engineering and mechanical engineering. ECS also offers graduate programs in all areas of study within the School. We stand out from the crowd through Christian commitment, a strong community, expert accessibility, leading practical experience and teamwork. Visit to learn more and follow on Facebook at