As Baylor experienced some of its brightest moments during the last 18 months -- from riveting athletic achievements and academic accolades to the swell of community support that salvaged our place in the Big 12 Conference and enlightened a path to Pro Futuris -- Baylor Nation rose up like never before.
Behind the scenes of this unfolding story, many alumni, friends, organizations and foundations and even current students contributed as they were able, with gifts large and small to demonstrate their belief in Baylor and its distinct mission.
Baylor University's fundraising results for Fiscal Year 2012 are among the university's best on record. Collective support totaled more than $105 million in gifts, strengthening the financial backbone of the university and helping to meet needs across campus.
Your participation has provided scholarship funds, brought new facilities and programs to reality and helped to meet the ongoing costs associated with providing transformational higher education with unequalled opportunities for students to grow in scholarship, leadership and service.
From his first day on campus, President Ken Starr made clear that Baylor's students would be his top priority. To address the escalating cost of higher education, he launched The President's Scholarship Initiative (PSI) in fall 2010. Through this three-year initiative to raise $100 million in student scholarships, Judge Starr has called the Baylor family to join together, each giving as they are able, to support Baylor students in their pursuit of the distinct Baylor education.
Baylor alumni and friends have championed the initiative, already giving more than $82 million in support of student scholarships. Many have been compelled by this clarion call to make their very first gift to the university, while others have taken their giving to the next level by establishing their first scholarship. Every gift, of every size, has been crucial to the mission of providing for future Bears.
A historic athletic season led many Baylor fans to translate their excitement into scholarship support for student-athletes, but the most overwhelming response from Baylor Nation has been for scholarships in academic areas that resonated with their individual passions and interests.
Although Baylor's scholarship program is vibrant, offering needed financial assistance to students, continued support of The President's Scholarship Initiative is needed to fill the growing gap of unmet need among Baylor students.
This academic year, about 90 percent of students have received some form of financial aid. That includes 12,300 who are on scholarships funded by operational funds and 3,279 benefitting from scholarship awards through endowment funds.
Scholarships are critical to providing access to deserving students and to Baylor's ability to aggressively recruit the best and brightest. As the initiative progresses into its final year, we are grateful for the generous, and often sacrificial, support of the Baylor family.
A short drive through Baylor's campus reveals a changing landscape. Towering cranes and construction crews serve as ever-present reminders that our storied campus is constantly growing, ready to host new generations of Baylor students, alumni, faculty and staff, and visitors.
Boasting one of the most beautiful university campuses in the nation, it is the generosity of faithful Baylor donors that makes transformational capital projects and improvements possible. The coming year will see many exciting developments on our campus.
In 2011, Baylor announced plans to build a new football stadium, bringing a landmark athletic facility back to Baylor's campus. Within several months, longtime supporters Drayton, BBA '58, and Elizabeth McLane and their family set the project in motion with an incredible lead gift, the largest capital gift in the university's history.
Soon, other Baylor leaders stepped forward, including Clifton, BBA '63, and Betsy, BA '71, Robinson and Paul, BBA '79, and Alejandra Foster.
Gifts from John Eddie, BBA '76, JD '78, and Sheridan Williams and Walter, BBA '59, JD '65, and Sheila Umphrey, whose gifts ranked among the top 10 capital gifts ever at Baylor, named the John Eddie Williams Field and the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Bridge at Baylor Stadium, respectively.
The much-anticipated new stadium will soon become a signature facility for Baylor University, adding to the growing sense of pride Baylor Nation shares in our ever-changing, beautiful campus along the Brazos.
Baylor's endowment is a mixed investment portfolio of approximately $1 billion in size that provides more than $50 million a year to fund scholarships, professorships and other important university initiatives. In Fiscal Year 2012, that meant 3,500 students and 1,100 academic programs received support from the endowment.
The university's endowment assets are managed by a team of investment professionals led by Dr. Brian Webb, BBA '77, MBA '79, a former managing director of UBS Global Asset Management. With a mixture of stocks, bonds, alternative investments, private equity investments and real assets, Baylor's endowment has easily outperformed its return objective, its benchmark and the average American university endowment over the last 10 years.
At the same time, Baylor's endowment numbers certainly have room to grow. Universities measure the health of their endowments by calculating endowment per student, a statistic that provides a common comparison across universities of all sizes and gives an indication of an institution's ability to support its students without heavily relying on tuition dollars. Baylor's endowment per student ranks near the bottom when compared to peer institutions.
As endowed funds ensure the future financial health of Baylor University, current funds are needed to proved the necessary resources to support our students and ongoing programs on an annual basis. Unrestricted annual gifts equip the university with the resources needed to fund our greatest needs each year.
In Fiscal Year 2012, Baylor worked to educate and equip more than 15,000 students across 12 distinctive academic units and 144 baccalaureate, 77 master's, 33 doctoral, one juris doctor and two education specialist programs. Students participated in 260 different student organizations and clubs, and Baylor boasted 19 varsity sports competing in Division 1 NCAA competition within the Big 12 Conference.
Over $12 million was provided through donor support for immediate needs and to fund current scholarships, excellence funds and operating costs across the university.
Annual funds help meet many basic needs such as technology updates, equipment and supplies for academic areas and programs. But did you know, they also:
There are many ways to give back to the Baylor family, one of which is through financial sacrifice. Your sacrifice becomes the provision for the students of today who have dreams and visions of leading and providing change in a hurting world. It is true that you may never know the full impact of your gift. Whether it stretches to the banks of a Kenyan river, a boardroom on Wall Street or a hospital in your own hometown, you know that you are a part of something greater. The mission of Baylor continues to be the same, and the need to support our students continues to be great.
Will you join with us to help Baylor continue to thrive? Every gift regardless of size makes a difference in the life of your university. To make your gift, visit baylor.edu/give or call 1-800-Baylor-U, option 4.