Against the backdrop of the end of World War I and a struggling American economy, Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks forged a vision for a business school at Baylor to train academically prepared and ethically grounded business leaders to guide American business into a vibrant future. Through tough economic times, he persisted, and Baylor's School of Commerce and Business Administration welcomed its first students in 1923.
Prompted by stringent accreditation standards and the necessity of more space, the University resolved to raise funds for a new building to house the business school and by 1956 had raised $500,000. A building committee was created in 1958 to proceed with plans to design and build a new building. Earl Hankamer, a Baylor board member during this time, offered an additional gift of $500,000 to cover construction and furnishing costs.
Hankamer envisioned an exquisite, professional building, modeled after a mid-20th century bank. In 1960, the distinctively designed building was completed. In honor of Mr. Hankamer, the building was named the Hankamer Building and the school name also was changed to the Hankamer School of Business.
In the 90 years since the birth of Baylor's business school, business alumni have gone on to extraordinary success across all disciplines--entrepreneurs who have piloted multi-million-dollar businesses, CEOs who guide successful corporations, accountants, marketers, managers, sales executives, financial analysts, healthcare executives and more. Business alumni also have recognized the value of the strong business foundation they received at Baylor.
A philanthropic spirit and dedication to Baylor's future are two principles Dr. Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business, hopes to instill in today's students.
"At the end of the day, our goal is to help each student land that first job, but we also want to solidify their values," Maness says. "We want them to have made lifelong connections to staff and faculty members so they will want to return and bring their knowledge and experience to future students."
Through groups like the the Baylor Alumni Network's Business Network, alumni find opportunities to interact on a regular basis with fellow graduates in their cities. From local networking events to programs featuring notable business leaders, participants often make connections leading to employment, gain professional development and stay informed about the University.
"I cannot stress the importance of alumni engagement and support enough," Maness says. "A vast majority of our projects come through our alumni contacts. They open doors and allow us to interact with companies and often serve as faculty and business mentors."
The stories of many members of the Baylor family who have given back to the University in support of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation will be woven into the fabric of the new facility and will provide encouragement and inspiration to the generations of Baylor business students who will follow in their footsteps. Among the many stories are the lessons learned from these faithful Baylor stewards.
As a highly successful entrepreneur and executive chairman of Western Refining Inc., an independent refining and marketing company in El Paso, Paul L. Foster understands the importance of education and giving back to both his local community and his alma mater.
He generously provided a historic gift of $35 million to support both the new football stadium and the University's $100 million initiative to construct the new business center.
"I'm excited about the future of Baylor in general and the business school in particular," Foster says. "I've always had a warm spot for Baylor. Dean (Terry) Maness was my fraternity sponsor while I attended, and I kept in touch with him. I knew that I wanted to make a major contribution to the University and spoke with him before deciding where I could make the most impact. Both in my experience as a student, and now financially, Baylor is a matter of pride for me."
Foster began his freshman year at Baylor with a full academic scholarship studying pre-med. He soon discovered pre-med was not for him and subsequently lost his scholarship. He recalls sitting down with his father to discuss his options and choosing to pursue a degree in accounting.
"The rest of my college career was spent working one or two jobs at a time to pay my way through school," Foster says. "This was probably the most significant experience in my life. It taught me discipline and focus, and translated later into a pretty good work ethic--to see what is important and what isn't."
Recently inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame, he serves on the Texas Economic Development Council and the Texas Business Leadership Council. In August, Texas Gov. Rick Perry named Foster to be chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents.
Foster's most recent gift represents the largest from a living alumnus in Baylor's history. His previous support to the University includes a naming gift for the creation of the Paul L. Foster Success Center, where students of all majors may access resources from academic advising to career and professional development.
Jay and Jenny Allison have strong Baylor roots. Jenny can trace more than 20 Baylor graduates in her family tree, including her parents. Her father played football for Baylor and was a member of the first Baylor football team to ever play in a bowl game. After graduating from Baylor with a BBA in 1978, completing a master in economics, and graduating from Baylor Law School in 1981, Jay began practicing oil and gas law. In 1983, he co-founded a private independent oil and gas company which acquired Comstock Resources in 1987. Today Jay serves as chairman and CEO of Comstock Resources Inc. Jay and Jenny live their lives guided by these principles: Give your best, love your family, treat all people with equal respect and honor Christ in everything.
Bob and Laura Beauchamp have witnessed the Baylor experience through the lives of their children and recognized that Baylor's commitment to excellence permeates the campus and the classroom. Bob is a successful executive in the computer software industry, having begun his career at other leading high technology companies before joining BMC Software in 1988. He has held a number of senior roles, including global leadership of the company's strategic marketing, research and development, and mergers and acquisitions organizations, and became president and CEO of BMC in 2001. At a time of tremendous change in the technology industry, he led BMC to a period of strong profitability and has guided the organization to become one of the world's largest and best-performing software companies.
Steve and Penny Carlile own and operate Celebrating Home, a direct sales company which markets a wide variety of home décor and accessories. After completing their Baylor degrees, Steve and Penny returned to their hometown of Marshall, Texas, to begin their careers. Established on the enduring Christian principles of dignity, integrity, loyalty and truth, Celebrating Home was launched in 1996 as an expression of their belief that God should be the priority in one's life and work. Today, Celebrating Home employs more than 500 people in full-time positions and thousands of designers across the nation. Celebrating Home also partners with numerous charities to make a difference in our world including work on homes for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, product sales to support Haitian earthquake relief through Samaritan's Purse International Relief Organization, and others.
After graduating from Baylor in 1971, Bill and Pat Carlton returned to Little Rock, Ark., where Bill began applying what he had learned to his family business, Carlton-Bates Co., the electronic components supplier co-founded by his father. After taking the helm of the company in 1984, Bill tapped into his experience as a student worker in the business school's computer lab to help design and implement an improved inventory management system for the company--a move that improved inventory cost efficiencies and began a period of tremendous growth. Bill sold Carlton-Bates in 2005, but he wasn't ready to retire. He found a new challenge as a business consultant to other companies in the early stages of development or on the cusp of growth. For the Carltons, helping young entrepreneurs make good, quick decisions, take care of customers and move forward at a faster pace is exciting and fulfilling.
Ed Crenshaw is CEO of Publix Super Markets Inc., an employee-owned, private supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Fla. Founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins, Ed's grandfather, Publix built Florida's first supermarket with piped-in music, air conditioning, cold cases for frozen and refrigerated items, in-store donut/bakery and flower shop as well as electric-eye automatic doors. Publix has expanded into a Fortune 500 company with 140,000 employees and operations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. After graduating from Baylor with his BBA degree in 1973, he began work in Publix, learning the business from the ground up--first as a grocery bagger, then stocker, roles in distribution and purchasing, store and division director, and company executive. Ed and Denise are a strong advocates for Food for All, a hunger relief organization, and Publix has been a partner with the organization since 1990, raising more than $20 million to eradicate hunger.
Dan Hord III comes from a family of entrepreneurs. His great-grandfather, Sam Rayburn Hord, founded the Burdett Oxygen Co. of Texas in 1917 and supplied industrial gases for welding to Central Texas businesses. Dan earned his BBA degree in entrepreneurship and marketing in 1989 and began working in his family's growing company, helping to increase their holdings, automate operations and improve operational designs. Dan is currently the co-managing partner of HEDLOC Investment Company, L.P., managing partner of Western Property Group and director of Western International Gas & Cylinder, the leading wholesale distributor of acetylene and propylene in the United States. The Hords are passionate about Baylor and the strong business foundation graduates find in its programs. Their leadership has encouraged other Baylor alumni to find ways to give of their time and resources to their alma mater.
Paul McClinton found his passion for business at Baylor. After launching his first business venture as an undergraduate, he earned a BBA degree in 1962. Paul got his start in business pushing a "Goodie Cart" around Martin Residence Hall. He convinced the Baylor administration to give him, rather than a national company, the contract for installing and managing new vending machines on campus. With $750 gained from selling his car and the financial backing of a college friend's family, Paul and his new company, Automatic Chef, were launched into the business world in fall 1960. Automatic Chef's business dealings soon expanded within Waco and beyond. After selling the company in 1987, he served in leadership roles with several companies, particularly in the areas of marketing and merchandising. The McClintons currently reside in Waco where Paul serves as chairman of Credit Corp. of America.
"Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can." Paul J. Meyer adopted these words of the great theologian John Wesley for his own and lived them fully. The Meyers moved to Waco in 1958 and Paul began to work for the Christian publishing company Word Records. In 1960, he founded Success Motivation Institute (SMI), a company dedicated to motivating people to reach their full potential. Over the years, SMI grew into an international group of companies serving more than 60 countries with total sales exceeding $3 billion. Paul's groundbreaking leadership in the marketing of personal development materials established him as one of the fathers of the personal development industry. In 1984, Paul and Jane established The Meyer Family Foundation to generously support their community.
Bill Robbins, a veteran of the Korean War, is founder and CEO of North American Corp., which originated in 1971. Headquartered in Houston, North American is principally engaged in consulting, finance, investments, and oil and gas activities. After beginning his career as legal counsel for Humble Oil and Refining Co. (now Exxon Corp.), he served as an officer and director of various international subsidiary companies of Union Carbide Corp. from 1963-1971. The Robbins' long-time support of the business school established the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership in 2011, an interdisciplinary foundation for many of Baylor's health care-related initiatives, including teaching, external programming and health services research. The Robbins Institute is a natural expression of the family's commitment to tell the world about Jesus, educate and heal the sick--the mission of the Robbins Foundation.
Growing up in Amarillo, Randy and Stacy Sharp first met in second grade. Stacy made her way to Baylor following high school, but Randy transferred to Baylor his sophomore year--after a personal conference with then Baylor President Abner McCall to be admitted. Both Randy, property manager and treasurer of Mays Investment Co., and Stacy, president of Mays Inc., graduated in 1976 with BBA degrees and say that Baylor is where they made lifelong friends. They are passionate about the mission of Baylor. The Sharps serve as directors of the Mays Foundation, which was established by Stacy's family in 1965 to serve benevolent, charitable, educational or missionary undertakings, and they have supported Baylor in many ways.
A Texas native and youngest of four brothers, Bob Simpson was salutatorian of his high school graduating class and attended Baylor University on scholarship. While at Baylor, he recognized a love for numbers that led him to work at Merrill Lynch while still a student and set the course for his career. After graduating magna cum laude from Baylor in 1970 and earning his MBA in 1971, Bob joined Arthur Andersen as a CPA and began work on the Texas Rangers baseball account. In 1985, he co-founded Cross Timbers Oil & Gas Co. the precursor to XTO Energy, which he sold in 2009 to ExxonMobil. When the opportunity presented itself, Bob joined a partnership to buy the Texas Rangers. He became co-chairman of Rangers Baseball Express, and a majority owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club and has utilized his business acumen to strengthen the Rangers brand.
Godfrey and Suzanne currently reside in California, where Godfrey has served as president and CEO of Splunk Inc., since 2008. He was named chairman of the board in 2011. After graduating from Baylor in 1975, Godfrey decided to move to California and reinvent himself. After spending a few years in the real estate industry, Godfrey recognized the dawn of the personal computer industry and in 1981 joined Apple Computer, then a small company with approximately 500 people. He spent 11 years in sales, marketing and operations and began his first management role at Apple in the mid-1980s. Witnessing the birth of a new industry has helped him think creatively about how technology can improve business. Godfrey has led Splunk from a small start-up company with a big idea to a successful organization serving 6,000 customers in 80 countries. Godfrey is a Waco native and he and Suzanne enjoy strong ties to Baylor and Waco.
Julie and Jim Turner say they would not be who they are today without Baylor. Julie earned a master's degree in physical education and went on to teach at Baylor and San Jacinto College. Jim, a Baylor basketball standout, has had a long and very successful business career. Crediting Baylor for challenging him to achieve on the court and in the classroom, Jim made his way through several summer jobs into the soft drink industry. Business success in Dr Pepper bottling franchises as well as other beverage brands has helped the Turners develop the No. 1 privately owned bottling company in the U.S. Jim has been honored with the most coveted awards in the beverage industry and today serves as principal of JLT Beverages. Jim also is chair-elect for the recently formed Baylor Scott and White Health.