Baylor Marks Historic Moment With Dedication Of Truett Seminary

Feb. 22, 2002

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University will officially dedicate the Baugh-Reynolds Campus of George W. Truett Theological Seminary during ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, in the Paul W. Powell Chapel.

An overflow crowd is expected to attend the afternoon service at the new complex, located at Dutton Avenue and Third Street on the Baylor campus. A closed circuit broadcast of the ceremony will be available in the Paul and Katy Piper Great Hall and also in the seminary's auditorium classroom.

Among those participating in the ceremony will be Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., Truett Seminary's founding dean and The George W. Truett Professor of Evangelism; Dr. Paul W. Powell, dean of Truett Seminary; Dr. Charles R. Wade, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; Kurt Kaiser, the renowned Christian composer and performer who will be among the artists providing special music; members of the Truett faculty and Baylor administration; and Truett students.

Baylor President Emeritus Herbert H. Reynolds also will take part in the ceremony honoring Truett founders who were instrumental in the seminary's creation. They include John and Eula Mae Baugh of Houston, who in November 1997 provided a $5 million lead gift for the seminary's construction, and Paul and Katy Piper, for whom the Great Hall is named. Later tonight, the seminary will host a dinner and present honorary alumni certificates to Truett supporters.

Through a special gift by a Truett supporter, the seminary will give away 1,000 silver clocks inscribed with "The Night Cometh," the same words found on Truett's clock tower.

"Those words are taken from the words of Jesus, who said in John 9:4, 'We must work the works of him that sent me while it is day: for the night cometh when no man shall work,'" Powell said. "These words remind us of the urgency of what we do at Truett Seminary as we train ministers and missionaries for world-wide service."

The 64,000-square-foot Baugh-Reynolds Campus features the 550-seat Paul Powell Chapel, named in honor of Truett's current dean; the Piper Great Hall; the 100-foot by 100-foot landscaped, enclosed Reynolds Courtyard; a teaching chapel named in honor of President Sloan; classrooms and meeting rooms; and faculty and administrative offices. The complex also features the latest video and audio equipment in classrooms and meeting rooms, the seminary's first computer lab, and wireless networking that allows students and faculty to use laptop computers virtually anywhere at Truett.

With its chapel spire and nine-foot gold leaf cross soaring 124 feet, Sloan said the complex makes a highly visible statement about Truett Seminary's strength and mission.

"It's a clear indication of permanence and stability, and for the students and faculty who are here now it's a sense of place and community," Sloan said. "I think it's very important for the university that the Truett campus is part of the Baylor campus. You can't separate Truett from Baylor. Truett is one of the schools of Baylor."

After four years of planning, Truett Seminary began classes Aug. 31, 1994, at First Baptist Church of Waco with 51 students enrolled. Since then, the seminary has conferred master's of divinity degrees on more than 150 students, while also offering a doctor of ministry degree, a joint master of divinity/master of music degree in conjunction with Baylor's School of Music, and a joint master of divinity/master of social work degree in conjunction with the School of Social Work.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the new Truett Seminary campus was held Feb. 2, 2000, with construction beginning later that spring. Faculty and staff began moving into the new building last December, and nearly 300 students began classes in the new complex Jan. 14. An opening convocation was held Jan. 22 in the Powell Chapel.

For more information about Truett Seminary, call (254) 710-3755 or visit Truett's web site at www.truettseminary.net .

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