In 1919, against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world economy, Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks forged a vision of a business school that recognized the need to train the next generation of business leaders. Baylor did not have a business program and students who wanted to pursue a business career found it necessary to leave Baylor during their junior and senior years to go to other institutions where business programs were being established. This loss of talented students deeply troubled President Brooks. He believed that a high quality business education, grounded in Christian faith, would provide the nation with business leaders who would do well, and do good. As America fought its way out of economic uncertainty, President Brooks persisted in his vision and in 1923-24 the School of Commerce and Business Administration enrolled its first class at Baylor.
In ways reminiscent of 1919, our nation once again faces a wide range of economic challenges and opportunities – widely fluctuating U.S. and world economic markets, the globalization of American business, unemployment fueled by uncertainty, industry specialization, technological advancements moving at breakneck speed that make communication instantaneous at home and around the globe. America is stronger for the technological advancements of the past century, but is struggling to restore a robust and diversified economy.
As they did in 1919, Baylor leaders see a profound opportunity for our University to step forward during these times of economic recovery to help our students, our nation and our world. A growing and vibrant world economy requires strong, principled business leaders, independent, entrepreneurial and visionary thinkers, equipped with high-level business skills and a strong sense of personal and professional ethics. This is an important time for business at Baylor. The new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation will provide the necessary space, environment and technology to prepare leaders for success in a highly dynamic global business environment.