Gus Glasscock Honored During Environmental Studies Celebration

Nov. 22, 2000

Although the recently renovated Goebel Building - new home to Baylor's environmental studies department - looks like a brand new facility, the legacy built by former regent and longtime Baylor friend Gus Glasscock Jr. remains deeply rooted in the department.

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, Baylor administrators, faculty, staff, students and friends gathered to honor Glasscock, and celebrate the department's new location and the future of environmental studies.

"What a privilege it is to have Mr. Glasscock with us today to celebrate his spirit of generosity," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "The best things in life come from the impact of giving."

Glasscock helped establish the first facilities for the environmental studies department which later bore his name. He continues to support and stay in touch with Baylor from his Houston office and his 8,500-acre ranch in Columbus, just west of Houston. During this past academic year, he initiated a scholarship fund to award seven annual scholarships to environmental studies students.

The ceremonies Tuesday included the induction of Glasscock into the Medallion Fellowship, with the medallion presentation made by Sloan and President Emeritus Herbert H. Reynolds.

"I'm overwhelmed," Glasscock said during brief comments made to the standing-room-only crowd of about 50 people. "I really feel like this is my family. Thank you all."

Sloan and Reynolds also unveiled a bronze plaque to honor Glasscock, an oil and ranch man who attended Baylor in the 1930s. The plaque, which gives a history of the Glasscock family involvement with Baylor, particularly in environmental studies, will be mounted in the entrance of the Goebel Building.

Among those in attendance on Tuesday were Richard C. Scott, vice president for university development; Dr. Wallace Daniel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Ben Pierce, associate dean for sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Maxwell Shauck, chair of the aviation sciences department and several environmental studies faculty and staff members, as well as Glasscock scholarship recipients and other students.

Dr. Lee Nordt, acting chair of environmental studies, presided over the event. Dr. Dudley Burton, professor of environmental studies, gave the invocation.

Dr. Larry Lehr, senior lecturer in environmental studies, offered words of tribute and gave a slide presentation documenting Glasscock's history and long-standing relationship with Baylor.

"This is a real tribute to the far-thinking philosophy Mr. Glasscock has given to us as a department," Lehr said. "We couldn't have done this without him."

Several Glasscock scholarship recipients attended and were able to meet their benefactor and thank him personally for the first time.

"It was really great to meet him," said Mandolin Shannon, a junior scholarship recipient. "The spirit he's contributed to this department will live on in the faculty and students and be handed down to future generations."

Mitch Martzen, a sophomore scholarship recipient, said he was honored to meet the man behind the name so prominent in Baylor environmental studies.

"It was awesome to get to know his background. I'm really appreciative of his foresight into environmental studies," Martzen said.

Another scholarship recipient on hand was Lehr, who attended graduate school on a Glasscock scholarship and recently earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University.

"Thank you, Mr. Glasscock," Lehr said after his slide presentation. "You changed my life."

Reynolds noted that since his early dealings with Glasscock, his main concern has been academics and education. "In 1971, environmental studies was not a big word. You were tremendously far-sighted along with your mother (Lucille Freeman Glasscock) and your wife (Bonnie Glasscock)."

He further commended Glasscock for his perseverance to see his ideas become a reality.

"Your legacy is this program," Reynolds said. "There's no way this would be here without your vision, financial support and undergirding in every way possible."

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