Passing The Torch, Leaving A Legacy: Baylor Seniors Support Student Scholarships, Immortal Ten Memorial Eternal Flame

Nov. 13, 2008
News Photo 4611

Contact: Marty_Wold@baylor.edu, Baylor Fund Assistant Director, (254) 710-8853

Baylor University's Class of 2009 has taken to heart W.B. Yeats' words, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." This year's Baylor senior class gift will light the fire of education, both figuratively and literally. Students will not only contribute to the Senior Class Gift Endowed Scholarship, providing for future Baylor students' education, but they also will pay tribute to Baylor's heritage by supporting the addition of an Eternal Flame atop the Immortal Ten Memorial on campus.

"I am proud of the Class of 2009 for their commitment to honoring Baylor's proud history, as well as celebrating our future," said Baylor Interim President David E. Garland, who also serves as dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "It is uplifting to see these students' hearts for philanthropy and giving back. I want to thank all who support the senior class gift, because you truly are leaving a lasting legacy at Baylor."

The fundraising for this student-led initiative depends primarily on the efforts and contributions of seniors, though many parents choose to honor their senior by making a gift in their child's name. Recognizing that students often do not have significant financial resources, but wanting to encourage every student to take part in this project, the senior class gift committee is asking each senior to give at least $25. When making their gift, they will have the option to designate it to benefit the Senior Class Gift Endowed Scholarship or the Eternal Flame.

"Supporting the senior class gift shows where the heart of Baylor is," said Haden Duke, a Richardson, Texas, sophomore who is the first recipient of the Senior Class Gift Endowed Scholarship. The Senior Class Gift Endowed Scholarship was established by the Class of 2008 with the intent that following classes would add to the fund each year.

"Giving to the scholarship is not just giving money, it's giving people like me a chance to experience a college education," Duke said. "It's a privilege for me to receive this scholarship so I can go to Baylor and get the most out of my college experience."

"The Eternal Flame on the Immortal Ten Memorial will complete our vision for this important piece of Baylor history, and it will remind students of what it means to be a part of the Baylor family," said Dr. Dub Oliver, vice president for student life at Baylor.

The Immortal Ten Memorial commemorates the 10 Baylor basketball players who were killed when a train collided with their bus in 1927. "The Eternal Flame truly will 'light the ways of time' for future generations of Baylor students," Oliver added.

"We want to build a culture of giving back to Baylor for all it has given to us," said James Mattison, Baylor senior class president and a financial services and planning major from Indiana. "The endowed scholarship fund affects everybody, especially those not in the senior class, because the scholarships provided from our gift will go toward future students. The new focus of the senior class gift is to get the entire student body involved."

To that end, the senior class encourages not just seniors but also freshmen, sophomores and juniors to begin making contributions to the senior class gift as they are able. All members of the Baylor community also may purchase t-shirts benefiting the senior class gift, which are being sold for $5 at various campus locations leading up to the Baylor vs. Texas A&M game on Nov. 15.

For more information about the senior class gift or to make a gift, contact Marty Wold at (254) 710-8853 or visit www.baylor.edu/seniorclassgift. Gifts also can be made securely online at www.baylor.edu/onlinegiving.

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