BUWAH HISTORY & MISSION
The Baylor University Women's Association of Houston (BUWAH) was formed in 1987. The charter membership represented 446 ladies from classes dating back to 1922 and included friends of the university, an integral part of the extended Baylor family. A strong financial base was established through the generosity of 173 founding members.
The organization is independently organized, self-governed and non-profit. Its stated purpose is the preservation and extension of bonds of friendship, furtherance of education and continuation of interest in Baylor University. While sharing these mutual goals, the membership shows great diversity indicated by age, geography (over 90 zip codes), family structure and vocation.
The first year there were three outstanding major events: the Fall Charter Membership Brunch, Forum (a day long educational seminar), and the Spring Luncheon/Annual Meeting. Two endowed funds were established, one to provide scholarships to Houston area women planning to attend Baylor and one for the university's library. By-laws were ratified, a yearbook was printed and the first edition of the newsletter was published.
In the second year, high priority was given to increasing the philanthropic funds, with the immediate goal of funding the endowed scholarships. Individual donors were termed "Lamplighters" after the lines of Robert Browning:
"God gives each man one life, like a lamp, then gives That lamp due measure of oil; lamp lighted-hold high, Wave wide its comfort for others to share."
Since its formation, BUWAH has maintained a membership of approximately 400 Baylor graduates and friends of the university. It continued the Fall Brunch, Forum and the Spring Luncheon as annual events for several years and added Neighborhood Coffees in 1991 to give members the opportunity to get together for a mid-season casual event. In 1997-98, the Neighborhood Coffees were combined into the Winter Coffees with both a daytime and early evening event. Forum was moved to every other year and the first fund-raising dinner/auction was held in the winter of 1998. In 1998-99, the evening Book Review and the Mother/Child event replaced the Winter Coffees.
The organization has expanded its commitment to providing scholarships since its first $1000 scholarship was awarded in 1990. In 1993, BUWAH began awarding two $1000 scholarships, and in 1996 four $1000 scholarships were granted. In 1997 and 1998, two $2000 scholarships were granted. The first $10,000 multi-year scholarship was awarded in 1999, and in 2015, multi-year scholarship support was increased to $4,000 per year for each student. The scholarship recipients are presented each year at the Spring Luncheon/Annual Meeting.