Seminary benefactor, namesake of counseling center, dies

Mary D. Fleming Walsh, the namesake and sponsor of several buildings and areas of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s campus and a longtime benefactor of the seminary, died Aug. 9. She was 91.  

Mrs. Walsh and her husband, F. Howard Walsh, who died in 1998, were noted philanthropists and leaders in the Forth Worth community. They also played a central role in the development of Southwestern Seminary’s campus and programs, with Mr. Walsh serving on the Seminary Advisory Council in 1956 and as a trustee from 1963 to 1975. In 1982, the seminary honored the Walshes with its B.H. Carroll Award, established that year to recognize outstanding supporters of the seminary. 

The Walsh Counseling Center, which houses both the seminary’s counseling education program and counseling services, was donated to the seminary in 1968 by Mr. and Mrs. Walsh. The Walsh Counseling Center trains counselors and provides counseling services to both the seminary community and to many people in the Fort Worth-Dallas community.  

Mrs. Walsh and her husband financially supported the seminary in many other areas, as well. They provided major funding for the seminary’s archaeology project at Tel Batash in Israel. The project resulted in great advances in archaeological knowledge gleaned from the ruins of Timnah, the biblical city associated with Samson and Delilah. Artifacts from the dig are still on display in the seminary’s A. Webb Roberts Library.

The Walshes also contributed to the renovation of Fleming Hall, a major classroom and administrative wing of the seminary’s main campus which was named in honor of Mrs. Walsh’s father, William Fleming. He was a trustee of the seminary for many years and served as president of the board of trustees from 1958 to 1963.

The Southwestern Seminary community grieves with the Walsh family at the loss of their mother and grandmother, and remains profoundly grateful for the continuing heritage of their tangible and intangible contributions to and support of the seminary and its work. 

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas