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Alumni Association chooses 82nd president

Nov. 11, 2005

by KRISTEN PILCHER, reporter

Although she describes herself as the comic relief in most serious situations, Barbara "Babs" Baugh's commitment and service to the Baylor Alumni Association is no laughing matter.

Baugh will become the 82nd president of the association on Jan. 1.

A native Houstonian and the daughter of Sysco founder and Baylor supporters John and Eula Mae Baugh, Baugh grew up knowing Baylor was her future.

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Barbara Baugh
"My mother and father were college-aged during the Depression," Baugh said. "They met at the University of Houston night school, and one of the things they had in common was they both wanted to go to Baylor. Growing up, I didn't even know there were schools other than Baylor. I thought everyone went there for college."

Baugh attended Baylor as a music education major from 1960 to 1963. She graduated from the University of Maryland a year later after getting married.

Today, Baugh owns a travel company, Independent Traveler, in San Antonio, but she said she's never forgotten her Baylor roots. She's been involved with the association since 1980 -- attending meetings, setting up alumni groups in San Antonio, organizing trips to Baylor football games across the country and serving as an officer and director for association boards.

Baugh said she was honored when she was nominated.

"The thought of becoming president of the association never crossed my mind," she said. "I just want to be of help. ... I really believe in what the association stands for and what it's doing."

After her unanimous election to presidency in fall 2004 at the association's annual homecoming meeting, Baugh served as the president-elect for the next year.

"We vote on the new president of the association over a year before he or she takes office," Baugh said. "When new presidents are elected, they spend a year in the president-elect position. All paying association members are eligible to vote for president and other offices at the annual meeting."

She said a nominating committee, which is appointed by the president and composed of the president-elect and six other board members, nominates alumni to leadership positions within the association. The list of nominees for all offices is printed months before the voting session in the association's magazine, The Baylor Line.

Current Alumni Association President David Malone said electing Baugh was a good choice.

"I absolutely support her 1,000 percent," Malone said. "She's going to be a great leader. Her love and support of Baylor is a key trait in any president."

Malone said Baugh's greatest challenge will be establishing strong ties with Baylor's new administration.

"Her biggest responsibility's going to be creating a strong relationship with Baylor's new president," Malone said. "She's going to be setting the tone between the association and Dr. John M. Lilley, making sure he gets the kind of support he wants from the association."

Jeff Kilgore, executive vice president of the alumni association, said Baugh is well equipped to face her new responsibilities.

"With the advent of new administration, there'll be many opportunities for us to continue to redevelop our historically strong relationship as the general alumni organization for Baylor and all of its academic units, as was reaffirmed and adopted by the board of directors in 1994 and as was established in 1859," Kilgore said.

As president, Baugh's job includes becoming the chairwoman of the association's board of directors, attending association meetings and ensuring the association carries out its mission to support Baylor and its programs.

"As president, I'll try to represent the association in different ways, like meeting and greeting and working with the Baylor administration," she said. "I'm going to assist Jeff Kilgore in any way I can, and I'd like to generate enthusiasm for local alumni clubs."

In addition, Baugh said she plans to support the association's programs and "be a part of the healing process for the Baylor family."

Kilgore said he has no doubt Baugh will be successful.

"Her reputation shines in the Baylor family," Kilgore said. "In my mind, she truly represents what Baylor's all about. She's loved and respected by many in all places and walks of life."