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ACU remembers longtime employee and friend

By Anynmous



Walter Burch, minister and longtime employee of Abilene Christian University, passed away in Mission Hills, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2009, after a brief illness. He was 81. {{more}} Burch served ACU as director of publicity , journalism instructor , director of development and campaign manager/consultant . He also was a consultant for ACU in the 1980s while he owned Webco, a fundraising, public relations and business development company in Abilene. “He was a hero to journalism kids at the time,” said Dr. Charles Marler, professor emeritus and senior faculty of journalism and mass communication at ACU. He also was a former student and employee of Burch. “At the time, we didn’t have a journalism department and Walter stepped in and taught us. He taught me to be thorough, and how to pursue absolutely comprehensive and accurate data. Walter was a tenacious, First Amendment-breathing, innovative and unique individual.” After Burch left ACU, he served as a minister, writer, planner, consultant, and fundraiser for many churches, charitable organizations, childcare agencies and educational institutions. He was the first full-time minister at Richland Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, Texas. “Walter gave me my first look at development,” said Craig Smith, ACU director of development. “He really helped me; he was my original mentor. He always impressed me as wanting to make a Kingdom difference.” While living in Abilene, he and his family were active members of the Highland Church of Christ. Burch was born in Fort Worth, Aug. 30, 1927. After graduating from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, he attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from TCU in 1949. In 1963, he earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Columbia University in New York. Burch was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, and is survived by five children, 28 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for Feb. 2 at the Woodland Hills Church of Christ in Woodland Hills, Calif. The burial service will be held Feb. 7 at Roselawn Memorial Park in Denton, Texas. Memorial gifts can be made to Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch, 298 Middle Road, Riverhead, NY 11901.

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