Baptist minister William M. Tryon was the first to suggest that a Baptist university be established in Texas "to meet the needs of the current generation of students as well as those of all ages to come." District Judge R. E. B. Baylor joined in the promotion of the idea, and they were supported by the members of the Texas Baptist Education Society, which was affiliated with the Union Baptist Association. James Huckins, the first Baptist missionary to Texas, was the university's first full-time fund-raiser. These three men are credited as being the founders, though there were many others who probably worked just as much to see the University established.
The Founders Medal was established in September 1969 and is one of the most distinguished awards given by Baylor University. This award is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the University. One copy of the medal is on permanent exhibition in the National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The face of the medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription "Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana." The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall with the inscription "Baylor University Founders Medal," plus the name of the recipient and year of presentation.