Gift from Carlton Family Foundation Creates Dean's Board Room in the Foster Campus for Business and InnovationDec. 19, 2013
WACO, Texas (Dec. 19, 2013) - Baylor University today announced a gift of $1 million from the Carlton Family Foundation, led by Bill and Pat Carlton of Little Rock, Ark., that will create the Carlton Family Foundation Dean's Board Room in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.
The Carlton Family Foundation Dean's Board Room, centrally located in the dean's office suite, will seat up to 40 people and allow the administrative team managing the school to collaborate with on-campus groups and to interact with significant guests to the Baylor campus. The room will facilitate the business school's growth as the dean, executive staff and faculty members strengthen ties with industry leaders and dynamic thinkers with expertise in areas where Baylor has a current level of excellence, is developing programmatically or is studying promising opportunities.
"One of the things I've taken away from my career in business is that to be successful you have to keep learning, and Baylor was the place where I first learned how to learn," said Bill Carlton, BBA '71, founder of the Carlton Group, a capital advisory firm headquartered in Little Rock, Ark. "Pat and I hope that when professors or visitors walk into the dean's board room and see the Carlton family name, they will understand there are many people across Texas and the nation supporting how Baylor University prepares young men and women to make a difference in their professions and communities."
The $100 million, 275,000-square-foot Foster Campus for Business and Innovation will provide a new home for the University'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 this month on property along Bagby Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets. The facility is scheduled for completion in July 2015.
"As students at Baylor in business and the liberal arts, Bill and Pat Carlton experienced firsthand how a Baylor education can sharpen the mind and spirit of each generation of leaders," said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. "As generous supporters of our ever-broadening development as a leader in higher education, Bill and Pat have empowered Baylor to continue pursuing our mission with exceptional facilities and the confidence that a 'great cloud of witnesses' is surrounding us and encouraging us at every step."
The architectural design for the new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation building features a highly corporate and sustainable business environment, including a centerpiece atrium that will showcase some of the school's signature classrooms, such as the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center. The design also includes a 350-seat auditorium, accommodating guest lectures and special events, and a variety of classroom spaces that will incorporate the latest classroom technology for collaborative learning, innovation and problem solving. The facility will expand the business school's size by nearly 40 percent.
"Bill and I have been friends since our time at Baylor together - we graduated in the same year, 1971 - and I've appreciated his counsel and support during the two terms he has served on the Hankamer Advisory Board," said Terry Maness, DBA, dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "He and Pat are very community-minded, actively involved in the Little Rock area, and we are honored to have them choose to support Baylor as another means of improving the world around them."
Before founding the Carlton Group in 2006, Bill Carlton was chairman and CEO of the Carlton-Bates Co. of Little Rock, an electronic components supplier co-founded by his father in 1957. He sold the company to Fortune 500 company Wesco International Inc. of Pittsburgh in 2005. Carlton had worked in the family business for 35 years, serving as chief executive officer for the last 21 years. During his tenure as CEO, the company's annual revenue grew 650 percent to $276.4 million, placing it at No. 26 on Arkansas Business's annual list of the state's largest private companies.
Carlton noted that the family's gift to Baylor has roots that stretch back to the days when his grandfather, Claude S. Carlton, studied business at Baylor and earned a degree in 1917. "My grandfather always believed that if you got an education, then everything else would come along with it," Carlton said. "His father died when he was a teenager, and as the oldest of the family's eight children he used the family's resources to send all of his brothers and sisters to Baylor or Mary Hardin-Baylor before he went to college himself."
Bill and Pat, BA '71, passed down that Baylor tradition to their two children, both of whom earned degrees from the University - Joanna Rose Carlton, BBA '98, and the late John William Carlton, BA '02.
"Baylor has such a great reputation as a Christian university that Pat and I are very proud to be alumni, but the biggest compliment to the school for us was that our children decided to make Baylor their college, too," Carlton said. "They could have gone anywhere they wanted to, and they chose Baylor."
In addition to creating the Claude S. Carlton Endowed Scholarship Fund at Baylor, the Carltons have extended their philanthropy to other causes on campus, including the Paul L. Foster Success Center's Office of Access and Learning Accommodation.