Regents Hear 2012 Progress, Including $2.5 Million Gift for Paul L. Foster Success Center; Approve Sid Richardson Renovation, New U.S. Military-Baylor Master's Program In Nutrition

  • News Photo 3359
    Rendering of Paul L. Foster Success Center, which will unite six academic departments under one roof - the Sid Richardson Building, prominently located on the central axis of campus.
  • News Photo 3360
    Paul L. Foster of El Paso.
July 14, 2006

by Paul Carr, interim vice president for marketing and communications, (254) 710-4693

The Baylor University Board of Regents concluded its three-day July retreat on Friday by hearing updates on the significant progress made in achieving the imperatives of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision.

One of the latest milestones in the achievement of the vision received a major financial boost on Friday, as Regents announced that Baylor's highest capital priority - the Paul L. Foster Success Center - has received a $2.5 million gift from an anonymous donor.

"We are excited for the opportunity to move forward and begin this significant project immediately," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "The donor, who has asked to remain anonymous, is a true friend of Baylor and of all of its students. One of the major goals of Baylor 2012 is nurturing an environment where learning can flourish, and this gift will further encourage our students to use their God-given strengths to reach their goals and serve a global society."

The donor's gift, along with a $3 million lead gift from Paul L. Foster, president and CEO of Western Refining Co. of El Paso and a 1979 Baylor graduate, will unite in one location all departments devoted to developing Baylor students to their full potential. Currently, Success Center programs are scattered in various sites across campus.

During its meeting Friday, Baylor Regents approved beginning the renovation of all four floors of the Sid Richardson Building, which will house all Success Center services, as well as the departments of mathematics and clinical psychology. The renovation and remodeling project is expected to be completed by fall 2007.

Regents heard reports about additional significant progress in achieving the goals of Baylor 2012. A few of the highlights included:

• substantial increase in demand to attend Baylor, which has created a dramatic lowering of the acceptance rate from an 80 percent acceptance rate in fall 2003 to a 43 percent acceptance rate for the current year's applications;

• a significant increase in the average SAT scores of incoming freshmen;

• increases in the number of nationally competitive research expenditures, research publications and students graduating with doctoral degrees;

• the creation of the Honors College, which now has about 1,300 students;

• an increase in community ministries and partnerships, and discipline-specific mission trips, where students can apply what they are learning in their majors in service to the world;

• completed construction of the world-class Baylor Sciences Building; the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, the centerpiece of the Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex; and the North Village Residential Community, which increased the percentage of students who live on campus from 30 percent in 2001 to 35 percent today;

• construction started on the Brooks Village and Residential College, which will further increase the number of students who live on campus beginning in fall 2007;

• completed renovation of the Morrison Constitution Hall for use by the Honors College and completed renovation of the pool facilities at the Baylor marina for use in health, human performance and recreation academic programming;

• a significant increase in the number of alumni events through Baylor Network, with 20,000 participants at 448 events in 26 Texas cities, as well as 31 cities in 18 other states;

• an increase in international study abroad programs from 50 in 2002 to 73 programs today, including a 35 percent increase in the number of Baylor students participating, from 633 in 2000-2001 to 855 in the most recent academic year;

• and an increase in Baylor's endowment, which has grown from $599 million in 2001 to $870 million today.

"Baylor 2012 is working and achieving great results," said Jim Turner, chairman of the Board of Regents. "The update we heard today clearly shows that Baylor 2012 is transforming this university through growth in research, involving our students in more on-campus activities, and in growing our students both academically and spiritually."

"We've already well exceeded the goals of research and research funding in 2012," Lilley said. "And as we move toward increased academic investigation and creative endeavors, we continue to be mindful of the importance of inspirational teaching and mentorship, which is so much a part of Baylor's past, present and future."

In other action, Regents approved a new U.S. Military-Baylor University Masters Program in Nutrition. In 2005, the Army Surgeon General approved the Army Medical Specialist Corps initiative to convert entry-level training for Army dieticians from a 10-month internship to a 21-month combined master's degree program and dietetic internship. In January, Baylor was selected to sponsor the intensive program, which will provide dieticians the essential knowledge and training that modern military medicine demands. The first students will begin classes in December 2006 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

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