June 23, 2024

Dr. Walter Carney, trustee of California Baptist University, stands on Carney Lane, by a plaque depicting him and his wife. Krysta Hawkins | Banner

As a U.S. Air Force veteran, father of four, man of God and trustee of California Baptist University serving intermittently for five decades, Dr. Walter Carney is known as an influential individual to CBU.

Carney has been a consistent supporter of CBU. As a token of the university’s gratitude, a plaque of him and his wife Phyllis Carney is on Carney Lane, and they are also listed on a plaque as contributors in the Collinsworth School of Music.

Carney’s name is represented at the school with several campus landmarks that have been named after him. The computer labs located in the Billie and Eugene Yeager Center are named after him and his son for their donations, and Carney Lane, which is near by the Van Dyne Gym, has made his name recognizable on campus.

“He’s extremely supportive and involved in CBU,” said Kellie Brown, administrative assistant to Dr. Judd Bonner, dean of the School of Music. “Especially in the School of Music, always encouraging and very involved in all of the activities.”

Carney and his wife donated money to purchase the theater seating located on the away side of the Van Dyne Gym.

“The Lord had blessed me and my wife financially,” Carney said. “It was our obligation to give back.”

Carney became a trustee of the university in 1965. Even before he was a trustee, he donated money to students who could not afford to buy textbooks.

“During my freshman year, I was playing in the orchestra at Magnolia Church and I was introduced to him, and he had said he already knew me from the School of Music,” said Jacob Walters, CBU alumnus. “Just by that experience and always seeing him come in to practices, you see he’s very interested in the students. He always wants to get to know you.”

He met his wife of 62 years in church. Walter and Phyllis named all four of their children after biblical figures as symbols of their faith: Michael, John, Timothy and Deborah.

Carney said God, family and CBU are all important parts of his life.

“I believe that is my legacy, to have raised and seen several generations of children loving the Lord and accepting him as their savior,” Carney said. “That legacy goes on.”

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