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Baylor Distinguished Alumna Reflects on Baylor’s Impact on Her Life May 12, 2021

Posted by Mia Moody-Ramirez in : Uncategorized , trackback


By all accounts, Baylor journalism alumna Ella Wall Prichard is a pioneer. She is an outstanding writer, philanthropist, businesswoman and historian.

In this interview with Baylor Journalism, Public, Relations & New Media Chair Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., Prichard discusses changes in journalism over the past 50 years, the importance of the Baylor alumni network, and how her degree prepared her for life.

Born in New Orleans in 1941, she grew up in Texarkana, Arkansas. With the encouragement of her English/journalism teacher and the local newspaper editor, she enrolled at Baylor University in 1959, where she served as editor of The Baylor Lariat in 1962. She graduated from Baylor University in 1963 with a degree in journalism. She had hoped to become a journalist; however, she abandoned those plans when she met Lev while working as a summer intern reporter at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in 1962.

She has excelled in life partly because she is not afraid to take chances. She married her husband, Lev, five months after meeting him. She became the president of Prichard Oil Company after her husband passed away.

Over the years, she has found a myriad of ways to share her talent through church and community service: writing Sunday School curriculum for the Southern Baptist Convention Sunday School Board (now LifeWay), and writing, editing and producing promotional materials for for-profit and nonprofit campaigns.

She later wrote Reclaiming Joy: A Primer for Widows—inspired by the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The idea for a book to help other widows in their journey from grief to joy began to germinate during a trip to Nantucket in August 2013. The book was published by 1845 Books, an imprint of the Baylor University Press, in September 2018.

She served on the Board of Regents from 1992-2001. Just this year, she was named a 2021 Distinguished alumna of Baylor University.

Prichard has two children, Lev IV and Peggy, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

“No question about it,” she said. “My family is the chief source of my joy. I count myself so lucky to live long adult to watch all the grandchildren reach adulthood. It’s a great time for me.”


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