Parents of a current Baylor student who wish to remain anonymous provided a gift in excess of $1 million to the Baylor Department of Geosciences that will dramatically enhance students’ educational experiences by increasing the department’s capacity to provide undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to conduct research under the mentoring guidance of faculty members.
The gift, announced in May, also will significantly enhance the department’s ability to attract outstanding students and to prepare them for successful careers.
“Baylor University is deeply grateful to these generous and forward-looking philanthropists for making a gift that strengthens our institutional commitment to using research and scholarship as tools for education,” then Interim President David E. Garland said. “Baylor parents such as these who demonstrate their belief in our mission are invaluable partners to the university.”
The Department of Geosciences is in a period of strong growth. Housed in the Baylor Sciences Building with research space in the adjacent Carlile Geology Research Building, the department emphasizes interdisciplinary study and develops geoscience graduates who work in industry, academia and government sectors of employment. Geosciences faculty members have developed state-of-the-art courses and pursue research that involves one-on-one mentoring of students.
“This remarkably generous gift will create more diverse opportunities for our undergraduates to conduct research of their own, which is a growing trend both within Baylor and throughout higher education, as well as strengthen our graduate students’ research activities,” said Dr. Stacy C. Atchley, BS ’84, MS ’86, chair and professor of geosciences. “This is a gift that literally will put tools into the hands of our students while also providing a strong base of support for academic advancement through research.”
The gift is composed of three separate elements: an endowment for undergraduate studies in geology; an endowment for graduate research in geology; and the Hammer-Chisel Endowed Fund, whose proceeds will purchase hammers, chisels and other geological equipment.
“As parents of a current Baylor student, the couple who made this gift powerfully embody the spirit that unites all members of the Baylor Family, from our students and alumni to parents and grandparents of students,” Vice President for University Development Dave Rosselli said. “These parents also exemplify the heart of our newly formed Parent Leadership Circle—a robust network of Baylor parents who collaborate to provide financial support and guidance to our students and collectively advance Baylor’s continued growth as a Christian research university.”
The donors said that watching their student thrive at Baylor amid the abundance of meaningful social activities and the dynamic academic opportunities motivated them to express their deep gratitude to the university, and specifically to the department in which their student is studying.