Gettermans Honored With Baylor's Founders Medal

Jan. 24, 2005
News Photo 2509Sue and Ted Getterman

Baylor University highlighted its 160th anniversary as the state's oldest continuously operating university with the presentation of the 2005 Founders Medal to Ted and Sue Getterman of Waco, during the 11 a.m. Chapel service Monday, Jan. 31, in Waco Hall.

Established in 1969, the Founders Medal is one of the most distinguished awards given by Baylor and is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the university.

"Like the founders of Baylor, the Gettermans have been involved in almost every aspect of the university," said Dr. Richard C. Scott, vice president for development. "Their greatest love is providing scholarships for students, and beyond that, they've had an interest in music, athletics and many other areas."

Both Baylor graduates, the Gettermans have endowed scholarships in the Schools of Music, Business and Education, athletics and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. They have honored many who have touched their own lives as well, having endowed scholarships to honor a close friend, a former pastor, their children's former teacher and their parents.

"If everyone could have an education, this would be a better world," Mrs. Getterman said. "We just wanted to make it better for students. It is the most gratifying thing that you could possibly do."

Mr. and Mrs. Getterman also have been interested in contributing to areas with the greatest need. After discovering a need, they made the largest gift to women's athletics in Baylor's history, resulting in Getterman Stadium, home of Baylor softball. Though their care for Baylor has been great, Mr. and Mrs. Getterman were not expecting the Founders honor.

"We were very surprised and very flattered," Mrs. Getterman said. "We believe that the things that have been given to us are the Lord's. We have always wanted to give something back because the Lord has blessed us so."

The Gettermans met at a pre-law party at Baylor. They were married while still in school and 56 years later, their love for each other and their alma mater is still going strong. "I am so proud of Baylor," Mrs. Getterman said. "You look at how beautiful the campus is, how much we've grown academically and how we have increased the endowment. And our sports program is doing so well. It is just gratifying to give to Baylor."

Mr. Getterman agreed, "It's been interesting living here and watching Baylor grow. You had to come to Baylor many years ago to appreciate the changes."

Through her service as a member of Baylor's Board of Regents, Mrs. Getterman sees the changes up close. "I think that 2012 (Baylor's 10-year vision) is important. Baylor has always done well under every president and made it to the next step, and I feel that is where 2012 will take us. I appreciate Dr. Sloan's vision. You drive around and look at the campus--how can you not be proud?"

In addition to their support of Baylor, the Gettermans have been active in the Central Texas community as well. Mr. Getterman (BBA '49, JD '51) is a former mayor of Waco. He was president and owner of the Seven-Up Bottling Co. in Waco, Bryan and Austin. In 1998, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Hankamer School of Business. He currently serves on Baylor's Bush Library Steering Committee and as a board member of the McDonald Observatory and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center.

Mrs. Getterman (BA '50) is a former president of the Junior League of Waco and has served on the boards of United Way, Waco Girls Club and Regis-St. Elizabeth. She served as a member of Baylor's Campaign for Greatness National Steering Committee and has been a member of the Baylor Board of Regents since 2001.

The couple also helped fund Hillcrest's Ted and Sue Getterman Wellness Center. In 1998, they received the Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center Distinguished Service Award, and they were named Waco's Philanthropists of the Year in 2000.

Mr. and Mrs. Getterman are members of Baylor's Development Council, Alumni Association, Heritage Club, Presidents Club, Athletic Director's Club and Baylor Bear Foundation. The Gettermans have two sons, Louis T. III and Holt (BBA '77), daughters-in-law Mikki and Debbie (BS '77) and five grandchildren. They are active members of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church.

Baylor was chartered by the Republic of Texas on Feb. 1, 1845, and each year the Baylor community celebrates its founding on the anniversary of its charter on the Monday or Wednesday nearest that date. This year commemorates Baylor's 160th year.

The face of the Founders Medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription, "Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana." The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall. A copy of the medal is on permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian Institution's National Numismatic Collection in Washington, D.C.

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