Baylor University Recognizes Gift by Ed and Denise Crenshaw, Names Hankamer School of Business Deanship in Honor

September 30, 2020

William E. (Ed) and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Florida.

The William E. Crenshaw Dean of the Hankamer School of Business recognizes lifetime of philanthropy by Florida couple

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (September 30, 2020) – Baylor University today announced the naming of the deanship at the Hankamer School of Business to honor William E. (Ed) and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Florida, for their support of the Give Light Campaign and the University’s Hankamer School of Business. The William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean within the Hankamer School of Business was funded through a portion of the recently announced $5 million gift from the Crenshaws. The new fund will provide endowment support for the initiatives, programs and projects essential to the School’s dean in executing their vision for Baylor Business and the mission of the School.

“The Crenshaw name has become synonymous with support for Baylor Business and our students,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “Ed and Denise have answered our call for support through the Give Light Campaign and through a lifetime of transformational philanthropy. We celebrate with them today, and we are grateful for the opportunity to honor not only their generosity, but the incredible example Mr. Crenshaw has provided for our students of how Christian business leaders can make a difference in the world through their service, their leadership and their philanthropy. We are honored that the Crenshaw name is now enduringly linked to the Hankamer School of Business and to the deanship which will bear his name. We are grateful for their generous support of Baylor’s growth and progress.”

In addition to the dean’s chair, the Crenshaws’ recent $5 million gift to Baylor University also created two endowed faculty positions for the Hankamer School of Business, both of which will receive dollar-for-dollar matching funds through the Baylor Academic Challenge program. It also supported an endowed scholarship through Baylor’s Student Foundation. The William E. Crenshaw Chairs will be used by Baylor Business to propel forward the School’s innovative research and teaching priorities within Illuminate.

“Ed and Denise are truly committed to the growth, the success and the flourishing of the Hankamer School of Business and our students,” said Terry S. Maness, DBA, dean of the Hankamer School of Business. “Ed and Denise, like many of our alumni, have taken deliberate steps to support this institution and ensure that we have the resources in place that foster innovation and position our School of Business for future growth and success. I am grateful for Baylor’s administration, who engage with our alumni to combine vision and resources into transformational support for this institution and our faculty leaders. Baylor Business truly has a bright future because of alumni and our Baylor Family.”

The Hankamer School of Business’s top-ranked programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in ethical values and a global outlook to prepare students to become ethical business leaders. The School’s 300 faculty and staff support the approximately 4,100 Baylor students, about 25 percent of the University’s total enrollment, majoring in one of the 16 major areas of study available. Among the many renowned programs, the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship is home to the School’s top 10-ranked entrepreneurship program. 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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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.