Prominent Baylor Alumni To Receive Annual Commencement Awards

  • News Photo 1367
    President Emeritus Herbert H. Reynolds
  • News Photo 1361
    Lyndon Olson
May 15, 2003

Two prominent Baylor University alumni -- one a former Baylor president, and the other a former United States ambassador -- will receive annual awards during spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17, at the Ferrell Center. The Baylor Alumni Association will present the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony and the Price Daniel Distinguished Public Service Award during the afternoon ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Herbert H. Reynolds, Baylor University's president from 1981 to 1995, will receive the Truett award, which is presented annually to an individual closely associated with Baylor whose record exemplifies the life and career of the renowned Baptist minister.

Reynolds earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity University and a master's degree and doctorate in experimental and clinical psychology from Baylor. In March 1969, after retiring from the Air Force, he joined Baylor as executive vice president and, on June 1, 1981, was named Baylor's 11th president.

During his presidency, more than $180 million in renovated and new facilities were added at Baylor, endowment quadrupled, and the university's total net assets tripled. During the 1990-1991 year, Reynolds led Baylor in an historic and far-reaching charter change to protect academic and religious freedom for the university, and in 1990-1993 he founded George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He retired from the Baylor presidency on May 31, 1995, subsequently serving as chancellor from 1995 to 2000. He currently serves as president emeritus and lives in Waco.

Lyndon L. Olson, Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, will receive the Daniel award, which is presented annually to a person whose record in public office exemplifies the spirit of selfless dedication to public service represented by the life and career of the late Governor Price Daniel.

Olson earned a bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1969 and attended Baylor Law School before serving as a member of the Texas State House of Representatives from 1973 to 1978. From 1979 to 1987, he was chairman and member of the Texas State Board of Insurance. Olson served as the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 1998 to 2001, having been nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Olson currently lives in Waco and serves as a senior advisor to Citigroup in New York City. He previously was president and chief executive officer of Travelers Insurance Holdings, Inc., and the Associated Madison Companies, Inc., in New York City. Olson was appointed to the negotiation team on international reinsurance issues at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1987. He also was one of the negotiators for the United States-Israeli Free Trade Agreement, and he led a Trade Delegation on Financial Services to Russia and China in 1985.

For more information, contact the Baylor Alumni Association at (254) 710-1121.

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