At the January 1977 meeting of Baylor Round Table, members made history by voting to establish a Round Table Scholarship Fund. On February 23, 1977, the Executive Board met in the home of Mrs. Abner (Mary) McCall with 14 members present. During the meeting Mrs. McCall, chairman of the newly established scholarship committee, presented a motion to establish a scholarship with $500 on hand in a savings account in First Federal Savings and Loan plus any contributions and interest. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Jack Patterson and the motion carried. Mrs. McCall moved that the scholarship fund be allowed to reach $1,000 in principal before the first grant was awarded. The scholarship committee with the approval of the Executive Board was to determine the amount for the award. Mrs. William Brigham seconded the motion and it carried. Mrs. McCall further moved that the Baylor Financial Aid Office be asked to set up a letter of instrument from Baylor Round Table to instruct the Accounting Office in the handling of the fund to be approved by the Baylor Round Table Executive Board. Mrs. W. J. Kilgore seconded the motion and it carried. Discussion followed on guidelines for the committee. Mrs. McCall proposed that the award be presented in conjunction with Mortar Board's Woman's Day Awards program. Baylor Round Table was the largest organized group of women on the Baylor campus at this time and Mrs. McCall felt it important that Round Table have a presence in the Woman's Day program and to make a scholarship award to a deserving Baylor student. [Click here to view a list of the thirty charter contributors to the scholarship fund.]
At the same meeting of the Executive Board on February 23, 1977, the Board voted to recommend to the body that the Baylor Round Table Bylaws be amended as follows: "that section 10, article 7 be re-numbered to section 11, and that section 10 read: That a scholarship committee be appointed by the incoming president whose duty it shall be to supervise the Baylor Round Table Scholarship Fund with the approval of the Executive Board. The committee of three shall be chaired by a chairman appointed by the president for a term of five years." Mrs. McCall served as chairman of the scholarship committee for its first 20 years from 1977 until 1997.
In May 1977, thirty members of the Baylor Round Table became charter contributors to the Baylor Round Table Scholarship donating a total of $500.50. Abner V. McCall, then President of Baylor University, and Mrs. McCall offered to match the monies received from the appeal. Thus, the scholarship fund was established with a total of $1001.00. Each gift to the scholarship was to be placed in an endowment fund with only the interest being expended for scholarship awards. In this manner the fund would continue to grow and scholarships would be available to students in perpetuity.
On August 31, 1977, the Round Table Scholarship committee reported that total contributions to date of $701.50 and savings in the amount of $450.67 brought the scholarship fund total to $1,152.17 (corpus of $1,110.00 plus interest of $52.17). When the expendable fund reached $100, Round Table awarded the first scholarship to Beverly D. Lane.
Through the years monies for the scholarship fund have been solicited in various ways. Initially the appeal was made as an announcement by Mary McCall, chairman of the scholarship committee to all members of Round Table. A basket was passed at all meetings in which members could place their donations. Gifts to the fund could be made in memory of a deceased individual, in honor of those still living and to remember individuals when they were ill. In addition, an envelope was inserted in the Round Table yearbook in September to encourage members to make a contribution to the Scholarship Fund at the beginning of each academic year. The use of the envelope in the yearbook was discontinued in 1997 due to the rising cost of paper and printing, but a notation on the inside cover of the yearbook continues to give instructions about how to make a gift to the Scholarship Fund.
Another source of revenue for the Scholarship Fund since the 1990's has been proceeds from the Luncheon and Style Show held in May each year. A portion of the cost to attend the event is dedicated to the corpus of the Scholarship Fund. In later years a notation was added to the invitation giving members an opportunity to make an additional gift to the Scholarship Fund. Donors to the Scholarship Fund are listed on the luncheon program along with the names of those whom they have honored or memorialized with their gift.
During 2003-2004, all members were asked to consider giving an endowment gift of $100 to the Scholarship Fund to commemorate the 100th birthday of Baylor Round Table in an effort to increase the corpus of the fund. The name of each member contributing $100 was placed on a plaque denoting their participation.
For the past 36 years, the Baylor Round Table Scholarship Fund has provided scholarship aid to Baylor students. [Click here to view a list of scholarships recipients from 1978 until the present.] The need based award is made on an annual basis by the Office of Student Financial Aid. The recipient is presented to the membership of Round Table in May at the annual Luncheon and Style Show. It is fitting that this prestigious group of Baylor women had the vision and foresight to focus their energy on raising funds to assist capable and deserving students in their pursuit of a Baylor education.
The scholarship committee continues to look for new and innovative ways to raise monies for the scholarship in an effort to increase the amount of the corpus of the fund so that larger monetary awards can be given. As the cost of a Baylor education continues to rise, scholarship assistance will continue to be a vital component of attracting and retaining quality students.