Baylor Class Of 2011 To 'Build Hope' Through Welcome Week House-Building Project

News Photo 4185
Aug. 2, 2007

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275
Development Contact: Cathy Pleitz, director of development for Student Life, (254) 710-8500

Baylor University's Habitat for Humanity chapter - the nation's first collegiate chapter of the non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry - will mark its 20th anniversary with Project Build Hope, a venture that will bring together incoming Baylor freshmen on a project like few before. More than 2,000 members of the Class of 2011 will lay the foundation for their Baylor experience together by framing a Habitat house on campus during Welcome Week.

The framing will begin Aug. 18 near Fountain Mall on campus. The project is part of the university's "First Step" (FirStep) project, a volunteer experience for incoming freshmen that illustrates the central importance of vocation and service in students' lives, one of the imperatives in Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision.

"The desire to do something good pulls everyone together in Baylor Habitat," said Sonya Maness, a senior archaeology and museum studies major from Houston and president of Baylor Habitat for Humanity. "Our volunteers have school, jobs, family and friends - and a passion to do good works. I look forward to letting freshmen know what Habitat is about."

As Baylor Habitat celebrates its history as the first university chapter of Habitat for Humanity, Baylor's incoming freshman class will be a crucial part of the first house the organization has fully sponsored. To fund the building of the home, the members and officers of Baylor Habitat for Humanity have been campaigning for a year, applying for grants and approaching Baylor students, faculty, staff and parents, as well as individuals and businesses in the community for monetary support.

"To whom much is given, much is expected. These students have the privilege and honor to attend a great university like Baylor and that comes with a degree of responsibility to give something back," said Karin Klinger, assistant director of student activities for student organization development.

"I hope that the incoming class will see the dedication and commitment that Baylor has to positively impact our local community," Klinger added. "I hope they will take ownership in this house and see that it is something they have poured themselves into and that a local family will never be the same because of their effort. I want to see this project take some significant strides in helping us connect better with the local community."

Though the house will be moved to its permanent site after Welcome Week, Baylor Habitat for Humanity hopes that the freshmen, as well as the rest of the Baylor family, will get involved in building this Baylor-sponsored home, scheduled to be completed in November.

"Project Build Hope is a great opportunity for Baylor students to develop as servant leaders," said Dr. Dub Oliver, vice president for student life. "With alumni support, we can unite the campus in service and enhance a Habitat for Humanity homeowner's life."

Baylor Habitat for Humanity is recognized by Habitat for Humanity International as the first campus chapter of Habitat, founded in 1987. Since then, more than 800 chapters in 35 countries have been created to serve both their local communities and communities abroad. In Waco, Baylor Habitat has helped Waco Habitat for Humanity build more than 100 houses during the past two decades.

For more information or to support this project, contact Cathy Pleitz, director of development for Student Life, at (254) 710-8500 or Cathy_Pleitz@baylor.edu. Visit Project Build Hope for more information.

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