UPDATED: Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 9:32pm
Baylor University Press Release — Two years ago this month, Baylor University received a visionary gift from distinguished Baylor alumnus and philanthropist Drayton McLane Jr., BBA ’58, and his family to initiate fundraising to support an ambitious dream: a $260 million on-campus football stadium alongside the scenic Brazos River. That single transformational gift – at the time the largest capital gift in University history – initiated unprecedented momentum and launched a fundraising effort that has resulted in record-shattering financial support of Baylor benefiting all areas of the University, from academics to athletics.
On the second anniversary of the McLane’s historic gift, Baylor University announced the most successful two-year period of fundraising in the University’s 169-year history. From Feb. 1, 2012, through Feb. 28, 2014, Baylor’s total gifts and pledges of financial support surpassed $345.3 million, provided by more than 40,000 generous alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends.
During that two-year timeframe, donors provided the University more than $178 million in support for Baylor academic programs, faculty, student scholarships, facilities and other essential areas, while approximately $167 million has been committed in support of Baylor athletics. Over the course of these 24 months, more than 18,000 individuals became first-time donors to the University.
The vision of enhancing campus life through a dynamic on-campus McLane Stadium so stirred Baylor’s supporters, that it also lifted fundraising for other important University objectives:
• the successful early completion of the $100 million President’s Scholarship Initiative
• construction of a new $100 million Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation to house the Hankamer School of Business
• and additional student scholarships, new faculty chairs and support for specific academic programs across the disciplines
“This momentous outpouring of generosity, that, remarkably, continues unabated, is really a story about Baylor Nation and how thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends enthusiastically embraced the bold vision of Baylor alumni like Drayton McLane Jr. and Paul Foster,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. “Their historic gifts inspired more than 40,000 members of Baylor Nation – 18,000 of whom were first-time donors to Baylor – to join together, in unity of purpose and with gifts both large and small, to propel the University and to ensure that Baylor remains well positioned to ‘meet the needs of all ages to come.’”
In June 2013, Paul Foster, BBA ’79, and his wife, Alejandra, of El Paso made the largest gift from a living alumnus in Baylor’s history. Their $35 million gift not only supported the construction of McLane Stadium but also inspired an unprecedented number of alumni and friends to step forward in support of the new business school campus that will continue a transformational and innovative education for Baylor business students. The 275,000-square-foot facility will expand the business school’s size by more than 40 percent, while providing an outstanding collaborative learning experience for students among a highly corporate and sustainable business environment.
“We are experiencing a very special time in the history of our great University, and it is certainly reflected by the philanthropic spirit of the tens of thousands of Baylor alumni, faculty, staff, retirees, parents and friends who have generously and faithfully supported the University,’” said Richard S Willis, BBA ’81, MBA ’82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents.
“Drayton McLane’s leadership gift to the stadium initiative catapulted future fundraising to historic levels and ignited the imagination of Baylor Nation. We are abundantly grateful for their enthusiastic response, their support and trust, and their sacrificial giving to all areas of the University. People are excited about Baylor’s future and they want to be part of a University that is on the move.” Willis said. “By God’s grace, and with the support and active partnership of Baylor Nation, we remain steadfast in our commitment to Baylor’s distinct and important role in American higher education, and to providing our students with a transformative education that engages every aspect of their experience on our campus.”
Baylor soon will launch Phase II of its “From Here We Build” fundraising campaign. The second phase of the campaign includes a five-year, $320 million fundraising goal that focuses on:
• $100 million for student scholarships and faculty support
• $50 million for student life enhancements, such as global engagement, leadership development and career and professional development
• $50 million for academic and program development
• $120 million in capital projects, such as a new facility for the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas and the McLane Alumni Events Center at McLane Stadium
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.