Baylor mourns passing of distinguished alumnus and philanthropist Ted Getterman

Baylor University
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 11:38am

The Baylor University family is grieving the loss of Ted Getterman of Waco, who passed away July 1, 2014, at the age of 89. A faithful steward, beloved Baylor ambassador and former Waco mayor, Getterman forever changed Baylor’s landscape through his committed service and generous support.

He is survived by his beloved wife, former Baylor Regent Sue Holt Getterman, and family. Memorial services are pending.

“With his dear wife, Sue, at his side, Ted Getterman was a faithful servant leader, generous with his time, resources and talent on behalf of Baylor University and the Waco community,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. “Ted has left an indelible mark on the alma mater he loved and the city he adopted as his own. His is a legacy of love and devotion. And while the Baylor family mourns his passing, we will never forget his remarkable example of steadfast commitment to That Good Old Baylor Line.”

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Getterman came into the Baylor family as a returning soldier after the ending of World War II and his service with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. As with many Baylor couples, Getterman met the love of his life, Sue Holt, as a student when they attended the same pre-law party. They married in 1948. Getterman completed his bachelor of business administration degree in 1949, followed by his juris doctorate in 1951.

Upon his graduation as an attorney, Getterman joined his father-in-law, E.E. Holt, at his business, the 7Up Bottling Co. in Waco, which Holt owned and operated since 1931. Getterman’s sons joined the company in the 1970s. In 1981, Ted and Sue sold the franchise.

Devoted alumni, Getterman and his wife poured their lives into service to Baylor and are widely known for their dedication to endowed scholarships, the arts and Baylor Athletics. In 2005, Ted and Sue Getterman were awarded the Founders Medallion, the University’s most distinguished award reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the University. Getterman was also recognized as a 1998 Distinguished Alumnus of the Hankamer School of Business.

“Ted gave so graciously of his time and talents to Baylor and to the Hankamer School of Business,” said Terry S. Maness, D.B.A., dean of Baylor’s business school. “Ted served on Hankamer’s advisory board while Sue served as a Baylor Regent. Their financial support for the Hankamer School of Business through their endowed business scholarship provided a means for students to attend Baylor and helped us achieve program recognition on a national scale as well as a historically high academic profile of our students. Ted made a difference, and he will be greatly missed.”

Along with his devotion to Baylor’s academic programs, Getterman and his wife are well known for their commitment to Baylor’s athletic programs. They gave the largest gift to women’s athletics in the history of the University, which resulted in Getterman Stadium, dedicated in 2000. This gift was followed subsequently by funds for the Getterman Indoor Softball Facility in 2010.

“Baylor Athletics is deeply saddened by the passing of Ted Getterman, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to Sue and his family who remain in our thoughts and prayers during this time,” said Ian McCaw, vice president and Athletics Director at Baylor. “Ted was a great friend and wonderful man who enjoyed enriching the lives of others. His friendship and support was an incredible blessing to our athletics program.”

"Baylor Softball has lost one of its most loyal supporters,” said Baylor head softball coach Glenn Moore. “We will forever be indebted to Ted and Sue Getterman for their generosity that has raised the bar in our sport, nationwide. Our prayers are with Mrs. Sue and the Getterman Family.”

Ted and Sue continue to touch students’ lives through their funding of scholarships and programs in Baylor’s Honors College, Hankamer School of Business, School of Music, School of Education, George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Martin Museum of Art. They also have paid tribute and memorialized various family members and friends by establishing scholarships in their honor.

“Ted was a prince among men,” said Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor. “Gracious and gentle, he and Sue responded, usually without being asked, to the needs of our students with enthusiasm and joy. Their scholarship funds in the Honors College have made, and will continue to make, a Baylor education possible for bright, hard-working students with great financial need. More than a benefactor, Ted was a friend to us and our students.”

Ted and Sue were recognized for their contributions to Baylor in the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society at the silver level for their faithful and selfless generosity, received the Presidents Medallion, were inducted as Fellows in the Golden Bear Circle of the Endowed Scholarship Society and also were members of the Old Main Society and the 1845 Society.

Their generosity extends beyond Baylor. Getterman was heavily involved in the Waco community, serving as mayor in 1975 and again in 1978. Ted was on the City Council from 1972-1978. Ted and Sue were faithful philanthropists in their hometown, paying particular attention to the healthcare needs of their fellow Central Texans. Getterman served on the Hillcrest Health Foundation Board of Trustees, and the couple supported many programs and initiatives at the hospital. In 1996, the Gettermans provided funding for the Getterman Wellness Center, which offers cardiac, pulmonary and stroke rehabilitation.


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