David W. Chappell was a scholar of Chinese Buddhism and graduate chair of the Department of Religion at the University of Hawaii. He inititiated a series of Buddhist-Christian conferences in 1980 and was founding editor of the academic journal Buddhist-Christian Studies from 1980–95. He became the founding director of the Buddhist Studies Program at the University of Hawaii in 1987. In 1988, Professor Chappell was a cofounder of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies, and served as its President from 1993–95. He died in 2004.