Baylor University is celebrating a remarkable period of fundraising success in support of our students, faculty and programs due to the unwavering generosity of the Baylor Family.
During the recently completed June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, fiscal year—which coincided with the first year in office of Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Phd—the University exceeded $113 million in gifts, pledges and planned giving commitments. Marking the seventh consecutive year Baylor has surpassed the $100 million benchmark in fundraising, this amount is the second largest annual fundraising total in the University’s history and a 12 percent increase over last year’s total. This year’s total also reflects an 8 percent increase in the number of donors whose gifts supported work across Baylor.
“Such philanthropic generosity is a remarkable testimony to Baylor’s ongoing strength and resilience and a powerful endorsement by the Baylor Family of our mission as a Christian research university,” Livingstone said. “This financial support is invaluable to strengthening Baylor as a place of transformational education for our students and a source of transformational change to our surrounding world.”
The University’s successful year is the result of students, alumni, parents and friends giving at all levels for the future of the institution. Two gifts made near the end of the fiscal year exemplify the wide reach of Baylor’s impact and the strong support of the University’s mission.
Baylor stands at the forefront of practice-oriented law schools and is ranked as one of the top-five law schools in the nation for litigation and advocacy training. The Law School’s tradition for preparing future lawyers gained strength with the establishment of The M. Stephen and Alyce A. Beard Chair in Business and Transactional Law. Funded through a $2.5 million gift from M. Stephen and Alyce A. Beard, the Chair recognizes Baylor Law’s prominence in practical training and scholarship through the fully integrated transactional program that prepares students for all types of positions within areas of business, commerce and intellectual property law.
Elizabeth “Beth” Miller, a leading national scholar and expert in business organizations law, is the chair’s inaugural holder, Baylor Law announced. She is the foremost authority on Texas business organizations law as well as a nationally recognized expert on the law of limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships.
Prior to moving away from his private practice in 2000, Stephen, BBA ’71, JD ’73, was president of the Pakis, Giotes, Beard and Page PC law firm in Waco, where he specialized in business and construction law. Alyce, BA ’70, serves on the Baylor Alumni Network Board of Advocates and the Board of the University’s Martin Museum of Art.
“Baylor Law’s capacity to continue to develop leaders in business and transactional law depends on strong academic programs led by exceptional, inspirational professors,” he said. “I personally have participated in, and benefitted from, the intense academic training that Baylor Law offers. I am inspired to invest in its future by supporting this important faculty position. Alyce and I are committed to the principle of giving and sharing the blessings we have received.”
For more than 15 years, Baylor’s Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders (CSD) has partnered with the Waco Scottish Rite to host Camp Success, a free intensive summer language and literacy intervention program for children. Its demonstrated effectiveness and growing reputation in the area have led Camp Success to grow at a rapid pace—graduating a program-high 84 children in the summer of 2017.
Now the program’s future is fortified by a $1.6 million gift from the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation that will create a permanent endowment for Camp Success. The endowment will provide resources for the camp program and support for CSD faculty, staff and students while also supporting the growth of CSD’s nationally ranked graduate program and enhancing community outreach to raise awareness about this valuable resource for Central Texas children.
“Through the endowment of Camp Success, the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation desires for all children to be able to read, opening the doors and windows of the world to them and thus allowing them the opportunity to become all they can be,” Claude Ervin, chairman of the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation, said.
This year, 48 CSD graduate students will work alongside department faculty, with support from Baylor CSD undergraduates, to provide evaluation, therapy and pre/post-testing for 96 children ages from 5 to 17 with language and literacy disorders that affect vocabulary, word relationships, sentence structure, sound structure, reading, writing and spelling. This intensive clinical experience yields significant results for the children and prepares CSD students as professionals who are ready to lead and serve in their field.
“Camp Success is a ministry to the children and their families, some of whom have struggled with language and reading difficulties for years. This intensive intervention program also transforms the lives of our undergraduate and graduate students as they see growth and success in the children they treat,” said Camp Success director Michaela Ritter, EdD ’03, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders and associate dean for undergraduate studies and international experiences in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.