The entire Baylor Family is celebrating the largest current gift ever received by Baylor University — a $100 million investment in the future of the University made by an anonymous Baylor family as part of our $1.1 billion Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign.
This $100 million gift provides momentum as we advance Baylor’s progress toward growth as a preeminent Christian research university, building on the University’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of teaching, research and service.
A significant portion of the $100 million gift will launch the Baylor Academic Challenge, a dollar-for-dollar matching program that will incentivize leadership gifts of $1.5-$3 million from other alumni, parents and friends to create and fund new endowed faculty positions at Baylor. Hiring and retaining faculty members who are renown researchers and deeply committed to our Christian mission and educating students is essential to our goals under Illuminate.
Within higher education, named, endowed positions are prestigious pursuits for faculty, providing stability and crucial funding for research and teaching. The University will pursue faculty leaders who can spark innovation and discovery within areas of strategic growth while furthering Baylor’s mission of educating young men and women for worldwide leadership and service. The Baylor Academic Challenge will provide the resources necessary to bring additional outstanding scholar-teachers to campus.
In addition, the family who has made this transformational gift passionately supports Baylor’s intercollegiate athletics program, and recognizes the significance and impact of investing in our facilities for the long-term strength of Baylor Athletics. As such, the $100 million gift also includes a lead gift in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art facility that will become the new home of our men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The Baylor Basketball Pavilion, which will have a capacity of 7,000-7,500 fans, is a concept that takes its lessons from other Power Five schools that have recently constructed smaller basketball venues, as well as such historic basketball arenas as those at Duke, Kansas and Indiana. With the lead gift in place, Baylor Athletics is now in a position to secure additional philanthropic support and naming gifts related to the Pavilion. Further details about these efforts will be forthcoming.
By creating a more engaged and energized atmosphere, the Pavilion will elevate our home-court advantage and enhance the experiences of our fans. To be located between the Ferrell Center and the Brazos River, the Pavilion will feature a grand lobby and dynamic arrival experience for fans coming to games as well as integrated state-of-the-art basketball practice spaces, recruiting spaces, technologically equipped locker rooms, and basketball coaching and support staff offices.
Baylor basketball fans will enjoy a seating distribution that puts approximately 75 percent of seats on the sidelines with student seating close to the court along the baselines. In addition to improved sight lines, the Pavilion will offer a state-of-the-art video and audio experience and wider concourses and improved concession facilities.
In making their $100 million gift, this family has illustrated a belief in the promise of Baylor’s future, and they have expressed their hope that as a cornerstone of the Give Light campaign their philanthropy will inspire others to share their support in whatever amount they are able in areas of greatest need and most significant impact.