Baylor Discovery Center Receives Major Gift

Dec. 15, 1998

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. today announced a major gift from longtime Waco residents Harry and Anna Jeanes that moves the much-anticipated Discovery Center project closer to groundbreaking.

The 110,000-square-foot center - which will be named the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center - will house the Strecker Museum of Natural Science and Cultural History, the Anding Exhibitions Gallery, the expanded Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Place for Children, the Southwestern Bell Discovery Theater, the AT&T Information Centers and the department of museum studies. The Jeanes' gift - the largest to date - along with other gifts puts the Discovery Center at 80 percent of the $7.5 million needed for Phase I of the campaign. The entire project totals $15 million.

"Harry and Anna Jeanes are among Baylor's most loyal and steadfast supporters," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "They also have meant a great deal to this community, and their investment in the Discovery Center will pay dividends for the university and Central Texas residents for decades to come. We are profoundly grateful for their generosity."

"Baylor is the only university in the nation that offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in museum studies. I've known Calvin Smith (museum studies chairman and director of the Strecker Museum) for many years, and I know what a wonderful job he's done. He's waited a long time, and we thought we could help get this started," Jeanes said. "Also, one of the nicest things about the center is that it's not only for Baylor, but it's for all of Central Texas."

The Jeanes are both graduates of Baylor. Jeanes, the former chairman and CEO of First Federal Savings, served two nine-year terms on the Baylor board of trustees/regents and was chairman in 1983 and 1984. He was elected regent emeritus in 1990. Jeanes is a recipient of Baylor's W.R. White Meritorious Service Award, and he and his wife, the former Anna Sturgis, have also received the Herbert H. Reynolds Award and the James Huckins Medallion.

More than 75,000 people annually visit the current museum complex. Over 60,000 children from throughout Central Texas are served by programs through the Ollie Mae Moen center. Baylor officials project that the Discovery Center will attract 200,000 visitors annually.

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