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More than $1 million in endowments to support ACU’s political science and music departments

The donations create an endowed chair and a flute scholarship in honor of the late Abilene Christian alumna Cynthia Coates.

Earlier this month, Abilene Christian University in Texas announced two new endowments from ACU professor and alumnus Neal Coates in honor of his late wife, Cynthia.

The first endowment of $1 million created the Cynthia Coates Endowed Chair for Political Science and Criminal Justice to support the department’s faculty members and their research. Neal currently serves as the department’s chair.

The second endowment of an unspecified amount established the Cynthia Coates Endowed Flute Scholarship, which will be awarded to an instrumental education major — with preference given to flute players — or an “outstanding flute major who is a leader in the Big Purple Band and exemplifies a life of service.”

Cynthia, also an ACU alumna, was herself a flute player for the ACU band and first-chair flute in the symphonic orchestra. She later served as a children’s minister at the Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene and became an advocate for anencephalic infants after her son, Samuel, died in infancy.

Cynthia Coates

Cynthia Coates

She founded the Anencephaly Support Foundation, helped create a birth defects registry for the Texas Department of Health, served on the board of the Brazos Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center and testified at the American Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs against a rule allowing organs to be harvested from anencephalic infants.

Cynthia died in September at 57.

For more information about the endowments, visit ACU’s website.

Filed under: Abilene Christian University Christian colleges Cynthia Coates Neal Coates News Partners Top Stories

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