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The Cal and Clare Buie Chaney Endowed Scholarship


You can judge a truly great university not only by the quality education students receive inside the classroom, but by what they learn outside the classroom as well.” 

—Dr. Margaret C. Berry

The Cal and Clare Buie Chaney Endowed Scholarship recognizes students from Abilene for their academic and leadership achievements.

Endowing UT scholarships is a family tradition. Clare’s mother established the Neil and Clarita Fonville Buie Endowed Scholarship benefiting students from Falls County, where Clare attended elementary school. Cal and Clare helped fund that scholarship and enjoyed meeting its recipients. The experience inspired them to create a similar scholarship for recipients from Cal’s hometown, Abilene. The scholarship focuses not only on academic achievements but on recipients who can provide leadership that positively impacts student life on the Forty Acres.

Cal and Clare met at UT at a joint service project between the Orange Jackets, of which she was program chair, and the Tejas Club, of which he was vice president. Although Clare has “absolutely no recollection of their meeting,” Cal recalls it “vividly.”

At UT, among her non-stop activities, Clare was Mortar Board president, Pi Beta Phi vice president, and UT Ombudsman for three years. She also was selected the Most Outstanding Female Student of 1974. Clare would earn a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from UT.

No less active, Cal was Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa president, a representative in Student Government and the University Council, and vice president of Eta Sigma Phi. Cal chaired the Humanities Council committee that initiated and published UT’s literary magazine, Kaleidoscope, now Analecta. He earned a bachelor’s and law degree from UT. Cal and Clare were Cactus Outstanding Students.

They were married in 1980, and upon the birth of their sons, they set about indoctrinating them in all things UT. Brent and Clark were members of the Texas Cowboys and Tejas Club, and were Student Government representatives of the College of Liberal Arts. Brent was president of Student Government in 2004-2005, and chair of the UT System Student Advisory Council. Clark received his BBA and Brent received his B.A., J.D., and M.P.A. from UT. Clare, Cal and Brent were elected to the Friar Society and Clare and Brent were Friar Abbots. Clare, Cal, Brent, and Clark all are Life Members of the Texas Exes.

Maybe the Chaneys’ devotion to UT stems from their deep burnt-orange roots: Clare’s great-uncle, U.S. Senator Tom Connally, graduated from UT Law in 1898. Her grandmother, Clara McCormick Fonville (whose husband was mayor of Houston), and her great-aunt, Olive McCormick Kilcarr, graduated in the 1920s. Clare’s father, Dr. Neil D. Buie, Jr., played clarinet in the Longhorn Band and watched the “skin” being put on the UT Tower during its construction. And her mother, Clarita, graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

The Chaneys stayed involved with UT as alumni. Clare has chaired the Texas Union Advisory Board, and Cal was president of the Tejas Foundation. They served 10 years on the Advisory Board of the Texas Parents Association and received the 2010 Texas Parents Service Award.

After graduation, the Chaneys moved to Dallas, where they applied the same energy in civic leadership they had learned at UT — co-presidents of their neighborhood association, winning it a designation as a historic district; co-presidents of The 500, Inc., raising $850,000 for Dallas arts groups; and co-presidents of the Dallas Shakespeare Festival.

Clare has a private counseling practice, has led cancer survivor support groups, and is a speaker and author on cancer and the healing power of laughter.

Cal is an attorney and retired in 2014 as general counsel/associate executive director, policy and administration, of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

The Chaney family is a striking example of how involvement in the life of UT as a student and as an alumnus can set a pattern of service that lasts a lifetime. Through this endowed scholarship, the Chaneys are ensuring that cycle continues.

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