Baylor University Announces $5 Million Gift from Ed and Denise Crenshaw

September 3, 2020
Foster Campus HSB

The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, home of Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business. (Morty Ortega/Baylor University)

Portion of gift establishes two new Baylor Academic Challenge faculty positions, scholarship in Hankamer School of Business

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 3, 2020) – Baylor University today announced a $5 million gift from William E. (Ed) and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Florida, in support of the Give Light Campaign and the University's Hankamer School of Business. A portion of the gift qualifies for the Baylor Academic Challenge program, creating two endowed faculty positions within the Hankamer School of Business that will receive dollar-for-dollar matching funds as well as support for the School's dean. The gift also will establish an endowed scholarship fund within Baylor's Student Foundation.

"Ed and Denise are creating a bright future for Baylor University and our students," said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. "We give thanks for their vision for Baylor's Hankamer School of Business and the growth that is possible through the support of our Baylor Family. We are honored that the Crenshaw name is now enduringly linked to our excellent faculty within the Hankamer School of Business. Mr. Crenshaw's reputation as an ethical, Christian business leader continues to inspire our faculty and our students and serves as an example of the impact our alumni can have in the world. Ed and Denise's commitment to our Baylor students continues, and we are grateful for their generous support of Baylor's growth and progress."

The Crenshaws' gift will create two endowed faculty positions for the Hankamer School of Business, both of which will receive funding through the Baylor Academic Challenge matching program. The William E. Crenshaw Chairs will be used by Baylor Business to propel forward the School's innovative research and teaching priorities within Illuminate, Baylor's strategic plan. The two chairs will allow the School to attract and retain distinguished faculty members who will be significant contributors in furthering the Hankamer School of Business's position as a national leader in business education. The Crenshaw Chairs will provide strategic growth as the School seeks to strengthen curriculum and research in support of the priorities of Illuminate.

"My experience at Baylor had a profound impact on my life," Crenshaw said. "My hope and prayer is this gift will further strengthen the University in its quest to influence and shape future generations of business leaders."

Ed (B.B.A. '73) and Denise continue their significant support of scholarships at Baylor in designating a portion of their gift to establish The William E. Crenshaw Endowed Scholarship Fund in Student Foundation to support Student Foundation members enrolled in the Hankamer School of Business. This endowed scholarship fund brings the overall endowment for Student Foundation to more than $5 million. Student Foundation recruits student leaders to serve as advocates for increasing scholarships for their fellow classmates. In addition to raising funds and awarding scholarships to bring awareness of philanthropy to the Baylor student body, the student leaders also serve as goodwill ambassadors among Baylor's alumni and friends. During his time at Baylor, Ed served as president of Student Foundation.

"The impact that this gift will have within the Hankamer School of Business and university community will be truly transformative," said Baylor Vice President for Advancement David Rosselli. "The Crenshaws are providing powerful lessons for Baylor's students in the true power of philanthropy. We are grateful for their generous support of Baylor and our Christian mission."

The gift by Ed and Denise Crenshaw 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.

"We are grateful and proud to count Ed as an alumnus of the Hankamer School of Business, and we give thanks for his and Denise's continued support of excellence in business higher education," said Terry S. Maness, D.B.A., dean of the Hankamer School of Business. "Their transformational gift will create sustaining support that will inspire growth and innovation through new faculty positions and research opportunities. Ed continues to be a vital and valued voice for Baylor Business, and we are grateful for the inspiration his career and philanthropy as a Christian business leader have provided for generations of our Baylor Business students."

In 2016, Ed Crenshaw retired as CEO of Publix Super Markets Inc., an employee-owned, private supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Ed has been a strong advocate for Food for All, a hunger relief charity which Publix began supporting in 1990 with gifts totaling more than $20 million. Another of the Crenshaws' passions is the Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC), where Ed and Denise have served on several boards and committees and have helped sponsor several fund-raising events, all of which led to them being named "Philanthropists of the Year" for LRMC in 2006. In 2019, Ed and Denise received Philanthropist of the Year honors from United Way of Central Florida.

A graduate of the University of Georgia, Denise Crenshaw is a dedicated volunteer with Peace River, a United Way agency assisting women in crisis. In 2017, Denise served as the steering committee chair for Peace River's 20-bed mental health crisis stabilization unit in Lakeland. She also has served as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, a volunteer who speaks on behalf of abused and neglected children in the court system. Denise was the 2018 Jere Annis Leadership Award winner as a member of the Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association. She and Ed are members of the First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. They also were recognized in 2012 with the Baylor Legacy Award, which is awarded to individuals who demonstrate extraordinary service and philanthropy to Baylor.

Ed and Denise have been longtime supporters of Baylor University and its students. In 2005, the Crenshaws provided naming support for Baylor's Ed Crenshaw Student Foundation Center, establishing The Ed Crenshaw Endowed Student Foundation Scholarship and The Ed Crenshaw Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Hankamer School of Business. In 2013, the Crenshaws also provided the naming gift for the Ed and Denise Crenshaw Student Commons within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the Give Light campaign has raised more than $885.7 million as of Aug. 31, 2020, more than 80 percent of the $1.1 billion goal. Gifts supporting the University's academic enterprise have established endowed funds for 27 faculty chairs and professorships and 506 endowed scholarships. More than 70,800 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 18,000 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.


A significant portion of the $100 million gift created a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge, which will maximize Baylor's investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors, fueling the University's academic enterprise. The program seeks to increase the number of endowed faculty positions, helping Baylor generate additional funding to sustain and grow teaching and research in key areas. Another portion of the $100 million gift 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.


At Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business, top-ranked programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in Christian values and a global outlook. Making up approximately 25 percent of the University's total enrollment, undergraduate students choose from 16 major areas of study. Graduate students choose from full-time, executive or online MBA or other specialized master's programs, and Ph.D. programs in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship or Health Services Research. The Business School also has campuses located in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Visit for more information.