Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. had a surprise announcement for the record crowd in attendance at the annual Philanthropy Banquet Oct. 8. The University exceeded its goal of raising $500 million in its Campaign for Greatness one year and more than $27 million ahead of schedule.
Begun Jan. 1, 1999, the campaign was scheduled to run until December 2005. Instead, it will close officially Dec. 31 of this year, with any additional gifts and commitments received before then added to its total.
"Our alumni and friends have shown unusual dedication and support for Baylor's current and future students," said Richard Scott, vice president for University Development. "Even though the past several years have presented several economic challenges, we are greatly pleased that we can close this campaign a year early."
More than 35,000 individuals, foundations, companies and organizations committed their financial support to Baylor during the campaign. These gifts benefit all areas of the University, Scott said, but especially endowed scholarships. Since 1999, the University has increased endowed scholarship funds from $184.4 million to $241.5 million, he said, with 427 new endowed scholarship funds created during the campaign. The earnings distributed from endowed scholarship funds have assisted more than 18,000 students since 1999.
Sloan also announced at the dinner that an anonymous donor recently created an endowed scholarship fund with a $2 million gift.
"The financial support of the Campaign for Greatness has provided the foundation for many of the initiatives within Baylor 2012," Sloan said. "With your sustaining support, we are continuing to make a difference in the lives of Baylor students.
"We have seen great accomplishments since the beginning of the campaign, but our work is not finished," he said. "We must continue to attract gifts from foundations, corporations, alumni and friends to support the University's mission to educate students in a Christian environment."
Also at the banquet, 11 honorees were inducted into the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship, a designation for those whose cumulative gifts to the University exceed $250,000. Honorees include Jay and Jenny Reid Allison, Sadie Jo Black, Harry Chavanne, Lorene Davidson, Clyde and Julia Hughes, Craig and Patty Lewis, Troy and Billye Mays, Earl and Barbara Patrick, Elizabeth Parkhill Scott, Dary and Linda Stone and Jim and Julie Turner.