DALLAS—Criswell College president Barry Creamer announced today a gift of $1 million from the estate of Barbara F. Marshall, a long-time supporter of the college.
In conjunction with the Southern Baptists of Texas Foundation, the funds will establish the C. Frank and Barbara F. Marshall Scholarship Fund as an endowment to benefit and assist students seeking education at Criswell College.
“The assets and resources which put Criswell College in such a strong position today have come primarily from the generosity of families and individuals just like Barbara Marshall,” Creamer said.
Marshall and her husband, who died in 2000, were long-time members of First Baptist Church of Dallas and active members in the Sunday School class taught by Criswell theology professor R. Alan Streett, Sr.
“Such estate giving not only bears immediate fruit, as it has here impacting the college, the denomination, and countless churches, but also continues to bear that fruit indefinitely—something especially important to Criswell as we expand to produce Christian leaders who can transform the culture,” Creamer added.
The living trust established by Marshall places provisions on the gift that assign general guidelines in regard to its use. Funds must be disbursed out of the endowment’s interest and may only be awarded to current, full-time students who possess an exceptional commitment to preaching and demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
Criswell CBO Kevin Stilley emphasized the need for stewardship and discernment as the college continues to grow and expand its offerings.
“It is important that we not only meet these restrictions, but structure the endowment in such a way that it is most beneficial both to our students and the college as a whole,” he said.
According to Stilley, wise management can create opportunities to multiply or add to the principal through new and existing partnerships.
“When we are blessed with a gift like this it is a joy to imagine what it will accomplish, multiplied across many generations,” he said. “However, we must take a holy pause to reflect on the gift as a testimony of faithfulness and discipleship that encourages us to worship God as we honor the giver.”
The Marshall gift is a major step forward as Criswell moves to eliminate federal funding as a means of paying for college, removing some of the burdens caused by threats to religious liberty. The school’s Title IX exemption request, which would free Criswell from governmental regulations on matters such as transgender bathroom access, is currently under review.