Trinity Remembers Trustee Emeritus Baker Duncan | Trinity University
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Trinity Remembers Trustee Emeritus Baker Duncan

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Trinity University Trustee Emeritus, San Antonio businessman, and philanthropist Baker Duncan passed away on Jan. 16, 2019, at the age of 91. His beloved wife, Sally Witt Duncan, passed away on Jan. 24, 2019.

Duncan was born on Dec. 29, 1927 in Waco, Texas, to Addison Baker Duncan and Frances Higginbotham Duncan. He attended high school at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. After graduation he attended Yale University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1949, and the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Master of Arts in 1952. On Jan. 31, 1953. Duncan married Sally Prescott Witt of San Antonio, and they settled in Houston, where he was employed by Rotan Mosle, Inc.

Duncan was a staunch advocate of education, both secondary and higher education, having served as headmaster from 1962-70 for his high school alma mater, Woodberry Forest School, where he started a building campaign to improve and increase campus buildings and infrastructure, increased the school's endowment, and hired premier faculty members.

Duncan served on the Trinity University Board of Trustees from 1976-2000, and in 1997 the A. Baker Duncan Scholarship Fund in the Arts was established to provide scholarship assistance to undergraduate students enrolled in the arts. Additionally, a $1 million principal gift came from the Brown Foundation in honor of Duncan.

“Mr. Duncan brought his love of education to his role as a Trinity Trustee,” says Danny Anderson, Trinity president. “He was always a key supporter of the University and the initiatives that helped lay the foundation for Trinity to develop lifelong learners who make a significant and meaningful impact in San Antonio and around the world.”

Duncan was also chairman of the Chancellor's Council for the University of Texas System in 1982 and chairman of the Academic Committee for the University of Texas Centennial Commission in 1993. Duncan also shared his expertise on many other boards and committees during his lifetime.

In 1970, Duncan and his wife returned to San Antonio, and he re-joined Rotan Mosle, Inc. as office manager, where he remained until 1978, when he founded Duncan-Smith Company, San Antonio’s oldest investment banking firm. He remained there until his death.

Duncan and his wife of 65 years are survived by their three sons: Addison Baker Duncan III (Susan), Richard Witt Duncan (Rose), and Andrew Prescott Duncan (Laurel). The Duncans are also survived by 10 grandchildren: Sadie, Addison, Adam, Witt, Avery, Nigel, Asher, Lucy, Natalie, and Alexander; and three great-grandchildren: Larkin, Ethan, and Baker V; his brother, Malcolm Duncan of Waco; his sister, Laura Trim and her husband Jerrold of Albuquerque, NM; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Duncan is planned for Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m., at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 1300 Wiltshire Ave., San Antonio, 78209. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. David’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Duncan Park in Ward, Colorado (a property of The Diocese of West Texas), The Diocese of West Texas, or Woodberry Forest. A memorial service is planned for Mrs. Duncan on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m., also at St. David's Episcopal Church, 1300 Whiltshire Ave., San Antonio, 78209.