Donors joined Abilene Christian University faculty and staff for an online investiture ceremony for the Clark Stevens Endowed Professorship on Friday, Dec. 4.
The virtual event, coordinated in a COVID-safe environment on ACU’s campus and joined by participants in Texas and Florida, honored the legacy of the late Dr. Clark Stevens and recognized the inaugural Clark Stevens Professor, Dr. Tom Lee.
“The Investiture ceremony is a time-honored academic tradition that recognizes professors who have distinguished themselves through academic excellence and honors generous benefactors who choose to invest in university programs important to them,” said ACU’s eleventh president, Dr. Phil Schubert (’91).
Dr. Dan (’70) and Dr. Lyn (Hunt ’73) Goggin partnered with Dr. Byron (’76) and Dr. Cindy (Cromwell ’77) Brown to create the endowed professorship honoring their mentor, the late Dr. Clark Stevens, longtime professor of biology and brother of ACU’s ninth president, Dr. John C. Stevens (’38).
Dr. Tom Lee, professor of biology for more than twenty-six years, will hold the inaugural professorship. Lee’s expertise is in natural history, and he and his students have received international recognition for their field research discovering new species in the Ecuadorian cloud forests. He plans to use funds from the endowment to support research trips to South America, and to fund student travel to national scientific meetings to present their findings.
“Today, I gratefully and thankfully accept the inaugural Dr. Clark Stevens Endowed Professorship position,” said Lee. “I am grateful to honor the legacy of Dr. Clark Stevens: his caring heart, indefatigable work ethic and tireless commitment to making ACU an exemplary place to work, instruct and conduct research.”
Members of ACU’s senior leadership team presented a commemorative medallion to Lee, along with his wife Pebbles and their family. ACU staff also presented a medallion to Dan and Lyn Goggin, as well as Diane (Stevens ’70) Wilson, Stevens’ daughter. Lead donor Dr. Cindy Byron and Stevens’ daughter Patti Olszewski were unable to attend in person but joined virtually from their respective homes.
“The world needs more ACU graduates – men and women dedicated to servant leadership and willing to tackle the world’s biggest problems,” said Dr. Phil Schubert. “The generosity of our benefactors will benefit generations of ACU students, preparing them to honor God in all they do, and call others to do the same.”