Baylor/Waco Foundation Celebrates 50 Years Of Enhancing Quality Of Life In Central Texas
- Jack Jeffrey, joined by his wife, Mary Ann, was one of several past Baylor/Waco Foundation presidents who participated in the anniversary festivities. Jeffrey recalls how Baylor/Waco Foundation helped bring the community together after the damage inflicted by the 1953 tornado.
- Wilton Lanning recalled that when he started to work as a banker for J. Olin Hudson in 1960, one of his first assignments was to raise money for Baylor/Waco Foundation. Lanning has been a stalwart advocate for Baylor/Waco Foundation ever since.
- As Baylor alums and active members of the Central Texas community, Margaret and John Hawes, 1979 Baylor/Waco Foundation president, and Judy and George Graves, a past member of the Baylor/Waco Foundation board of directors, are representative of how Baylor/Waco Foundation brings together the university and the city for mutual benefit.
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Leaders in the Central Texas and Baylor University communities joined together to celebrate the Baylor/Waco Foundation's "Big 5-0" with an anniversary dinner on April 28. Gathering at Baylor's Mayborn Museum Complex, the organization commemorated its golden anniversary of serving as a hometown support group and stirred up excitement for the 50th anniversary campaign.
"Baylor/Waco Foundation started out relatively small, but it is an important increment to the things that have been accomplished in this area," said J. Olin Hudson, longtime Central Texas businessman and the president of Baylor/Waco Foundation in 1980. "There were times when we looked to the future and the amount of money we were trying to raise when it wasn't easy to do, but it's been very fortunate for Baylor, the community, the city of Waco and the state of Texas."
Since 1959, Baylor/Waco Foundation has been working to support projects that enhance the quality of life in Central Texas. Projects such as Little League Baseball's Southwestern Regional Headquarters in Waco, high quality exhibits at Waco museums, and educational opportunities, ranging from autism services to the Waco Mammoth Site, represent just a few of Baylor/Waco Foundation's community contributions.
"Fifty years is a long time that Baylor/Waco Foundation has been providing for the future," said Baylor Interim President David E. Garland, who also serves as dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "You can see all the wonderful things happening on campus today, and we're still looking for ways to benefit our campus and community."
As Jack Jeffrey, a retired Waco businessman and 1964 Baylor/Waco Foundation president, noted, the foundation's projects benefit "the young, the middle-aged and the old, and brings them all together."
This year's projects include:
"Sleep, Little One," a CD of lullabies, recorded by the Baylor University Women's Choir, that every child born in Waco in 2009 will receive;
the Baylor/Waco Foundation Victory Gallery in Baylor's Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, within the Highers Athletics Complex;
a Musical Soundscape in the Mayborn Museum Complex;
the Baylor Addictions Research Consortium;
the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" series archives at The Texas Collection;
Baylor's Steppin' Out;
Santa's Workshop at Baylor; and
the 50th anniversary signature project, the Baylor/Waco Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund, benefiting students from Central Texas.
"Baylor/Waco Foundation has provided millions of dollars to support the projects we've heard about tonight," said Brett Bunce, 2009 campaign chair. "We are well on track to meeting our goal, and any additional funds beyond our goal will be placed in the scholarship fund. One-hundred percent of gifts go directly to our projects."