The President's Scholarship Initiative exceeds $100 million goal five months early
Beneath streams of green and gold confetti, Baylor President Ken Starr announced on April 23 the successful culmination of a three-year effort to raise $100 million in scholarship support for Baylor students. Starr launched The President's Scholarship Initiative after taking office in 2010.
At a celebratory Dr Pepper Hour in the Bill Daniel Student Center, Starr welcomed a lively crowd of Baylor faculty, staff, students, alumni and other friends of the university, and after a brief presentation, announced the completion of the initiative, which raised $102.5 million in less than three years, exceeding the lofty goal.
More than 12,000 scholarship donors contributed to the effort, including 5,652 who made their first-ever gift to the university. Across Baylor Nation, alumni, faculty and staff, students, parents and friends gave sacrificially to invest in the future of Baylor and its students.
"Right now is a time to say, 'Thank you, Baylor Nation,'" Starr said. "The goal was $100 million by the end of this calendar year. My dear friends, here it is, still April, and we've reached our goal."
One of his first priorities in office, The President's Scholarship Initiative was launched by Starr to address concerns expressed by the Baylor student body regarding the rising cost of higher education. In a matter of weeks, he rallied university leadership and a dedicated volunteer steering committee to come alongside Baylor in building momentum for an increased emphasis on scholarship support.
"What happened when we issued the call, is that we were simply transmitting a message that we received from you, the students," Starr said at the celebration event. "We received it loud and clear, and that message was: 'We need help.'"
The fundraising initiative focused on building a robust scholarship program that will provide access to a Baylor education to those with need, help recruit to Baylor some of the best and brightest young minds, attract the most talented student-athletes, and extend opportunities for students who can benefit from academic enrichment opportunities beyond the borders of Baylor's campus in Waco.
The President's Scholarship Initiative is an important first step in Starr's commitment to continue placing emphasis on scholarship assistance for current and future generations of students. Even as this effort comes to a close, Starr emphasized the need that still exists and encouraged the Baylor community to remain steadfast in supporting Baylor students.