The Baylor University Chamber of Commerce traces its origin to February 26, 1919, when the Baylor Business Men’s Club was organized by a group of students interested in a business career. Headed by Henry Craig of Hillsboro, Texas, the club was formed when no business classes were offered at the University. The first officers of the club were Henry Craig, President; H.L. Roach, Vice President; and J.C. Jones, Secretary-Treasurer. This group of Baylor men, most of whom lived at Ma Greer’s boarding house on Fifth Street, felt a definite need for an organization to help promote Baylor University. Cited by the Baylor Lariat as “the most promising organization on campus,” the chamber was to the chief influence in building Baylor spirit.
Victory Loan Drive:
Working with the faculty, students and businesses of Waco, one of the club’s first undertakings was to help Waco reach its goal of $10,000 in the National Victory Loan Drive, a program set up by the Secretary of War immediately following World War I.
The Name Change:
Promoting Baylor University and initiating projects to benefit the university, the Baylor Business Men’s Club realized its kinship to that of a city chamber of commerce. Desiring to widen its purposes and strengthen itself by changing its name, the Business Men’s Club adopted the name “Baylor University Chamber of Commerce” on March 10, 1920. Simultaneously, the Baylor Chamber of Commerce affiliated with the Texas, East Texas, and Waco Chamber of Commerce.