Gift from Meyer Family Foundation Establishes Conference Center in Foster Campus for Business and InnovationNov. 21, 2013
Baylor University today announced a gift of $2.5 million from the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation, based in Waco, Texas, that will establish the Paul and Jane Meyer Conference Center within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, a major facility project formally approved by Baylor's Board of Regents on Oct. 18.
Floor plan showing the location of the Paul and Jane Meyer Conference Center within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. To the left of the Meyer Conference Center is the McClinton Family Auditorium.
The Meyer Conference Center will be located adjacent to the Hankamer School of Business academic space within the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. It will host events that bring together students, faculty, community leaders and professionals from across Texas and around the world to discuss topics at the forefront of today's business landscape.
"We believe Baylor University is the best venue for integrating the life and leadership lessons that are the legacy of Paul Meyer," Jane Meyer, president of the Meyer Family Foundation, said about her late husband, who died in 2009 following a groundbreaking career in leadership development and private philanthropy.
"Paul was actively involved in the Hankamer School of Business, and our family believes in Baylor's mission as a Christian educational institution."
The $100 million, 275,000-square-foot Foster Campus for Business and Innovation will provide a new home for Baylor's nationally ranked Hankamer School of Business. Following a remarkably successful fundraising campaign for the project, including an historic gift from Paul L. Foster, BBA '79, of El Paso, construction will begin in December on property along Bagby Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets. The facility is scheduled for completion in July 2015.
"The Meyer Conference Center will reflect Paul Meyer's values as an entrepreneur and leader by creating a collaborative learning environment for people from a wide range of professional fields and personal backgrounds," said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. "The Meyer Family Foundation has been making transformational gifts to educational institutions for decades, and this gift will dramatically advance Baylor's mission to be an agent for good in this world and a leader in ethically grounded business education and entrepreneurship."
The architectural design of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation features flexible learning spaces equipped with the latest classroom technology to prepare tomorrow's business leaders to seek innovation in problem solving across academic disciplines. The facility, which also includes a centerpiece atrium and a 350-seat auditorium, will expand the business school's size by nearly 40 percent.
"I deeply appreciated Paul's willingness to speak to our students on numerous occasions," said Terry Maness, DBA, dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "He generously shared with them his insights about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and to have a successful, spiritually grounded life. The Meyer Foundation's gift to the business campus is a continuation of the philanthropy Paul exhibited throughout his life and that has continued on through the generosity of his wife, Jane, and his family."
Paul Meyer moved to Waco in 1958 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. The Meyer Conference Center will house a catalogue of select speeches and other materials drawn from Paul Meyer's career that will be presented in an interactive environment.
"He was the most remarkable man, totally unlike anyone else," Jane Meyer said of her late husband. "My hope is that students will be inspired by Paul's life. When he spoke at Baylor, he often told students about the ideas he had pursued that didn't work out. He thought being willing to risk failure was an important part of success. He knew that you just had to keep going, moving past failure to reach your ambitions."
In 1984, the couple created the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation, which in the ensuing years has contributed approximately $67 million to groups primarily in the Waco area, including Baylor University, the Boy Scouts of America, Mission Waco and the Passport for Success program, which provides college scholarships for high school graduates from low-income families.