UPDATED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 10:25pm
Waco, TX — Baylor University announced today that it would name its new football stadium, McLane Stadium, after one of the most distinguished and generous alumni families in Baylor University history. The name honors Drayton McLane Jr. and his family's continuing generosity to the University and lengthy history of service to Baylor.
"Drayton McLane has done so much for Baylor University, and he has consistently demonstrated a deep love for his alma mater not only through his significant giving but also through his longtime service to the University as a Regent and chairman of the board," said Richard S Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. "With his continued generosity to the University, the board felt that naming our new football stadium McLane Stadium would appropriately honor Drayton McLane and his family for their remarkable generosity and visionary leadership, both of which have helped give rise to this extraordinary period in the history of our University. Drayton is a humble servant and did not seek such recognition, but he has reluctantly conceded to having his name on the stadium, and we are delighted."
In March 2012, Baylor announced a leadership gift for Baylor's new $260 million on-campus football stadium from Elizabeth and Drayton McLane Jr., their son Drayton III, a 1996 Baylor graduate, his wife Amy and their sons Drayton IV, Brooks and Walker, and son Denton, a 1999 Baylor graduate, his wife Amy and sons Jeff and Jake. The 45,000-seat stadium is now under construction on a 93-acre at the intersection of Interstate 35 and the Brazos River. The McLane's gift propelled the University to successful - and unprecedented - fundraising for the stadium, which will open in fall 2014.
The stadium also could include a $20 million alumni events center that would provide a home for Baylor alumni on game day and at other times. Last July, Baylor's Board of Regents approved expenditures for site preparation, a feasibility study and architectural renderings associated with the addition of an alumni events center at the stadium. The board also authorized fundraising to support construction of the center.
The alumni events center would be located on the south side of the stadium plaza and would include:
• a 40,000-square-foot, multi-story glass building
• potential for a rooftop terrace and shade canopy
• space for meetings and banquets
The facility also would be available to faculty, staff, students and the community for special events.
"I am humbled by the board's action, and have accepted their recommendation," McLane said. "In giving to Baylor, my family and I have always sought to shine a light on the University we love and which has such an important role to play in higher education. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of Baylor's continued success and look forward to joining all members of the Baylor family next season in the new stadium."
McLane's enduring relationship with Baylor began shortly after he graduated in 1958 with a bachelor of business administration degree.
In the spirit of the verse, "To whom much is given, much is required," McLane has remained a determined advocate for the growing needs of his alma mater and has advanced the University's mission through generous support. McLane's sons, Drayton III and Denton, along with a sister and niece, have carried on the Baylor family tradition and are proud and generous Baylor alumni.
As an expression of their own distinct passions and desire to propel the University forward, McLane and his wife, Elizabeth, have supported various initiatives across campus. In addition to providing the lead gift to build the magnificent new home for Baylor football beginning in fall 2014, their unwavering generosity is evidenced also in the McLane Student Life Center, the shimmering gold leaf finish on the dome of Pat Neff Hall, the McLane Organ in Jones Concert Hall, and the McLane Carillon chiming hymns and other music daily from the heights of Pat Neff Hall across the Baylor campus.
In February 2013, McLane received the Baylor Founders Medallion, one of the University's most distinguished awards that honors men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the University.