Bob and Joyce Packard represent the Baylor experience for many generations of alumni. From Bob’s more than 50 years of teaching Packard Physics, where it is estimated he taught more than a quarter of all Baylor alumni, to Joyce’s service in many capacities, culminating in her time as dean of women, the Packards shaped significantly the journeys of many a Baylor student.
When the Packards retired from Baylor, many of their former students came together to establish The Robert G. and Joyce Hornaday Packard Endowed Scholars Fund. The fund provides scholarship support for deserving students throughout Baylor, with recipients becoming known as Packard Scholars.
“We claim all our Baylor students as if they were our own children,” Joyce said. “And we are humbled that our students have helped so many generations, and that they, in turn, are seeking out ways to continue this legacy of service. We love our students, and we are proud to be part of their Baylor story.”
Bob, who celebrated his 94th birthday this year, and Joyce are still active in the Baylor community from their home in Waco. However, current Baylor students know the couple more through their scholarship than through their teaching and service.
For Packard Scholar Elizabeth Drews, an Omaha, Nebraska, senior who is on the pre-medical track as a biology major, learning about the Packards extensive Baylor legacy was a thrill and a surprise.
“Obviously, I feel very grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Packard and the people that established a scholarship in their honor,” Drews said. “It’s a little bit of an imposter syndrome feeling when you read about them and everything that they did for the University. You wonder, why me? Why did I get this scholarship when these people were so great? But more than that, it’s definitely gratitude.”
Drews described her Baylor experience as transformative in the education she has received, as well as in the way she has grown as a person through leadership opportunities and through opportunities to grow her faith.
Through Baylor, she has volunteered at the Talitha Koum Institute—a therapeutic nursery for underserved populations in Waco—and the Waco Family Health Center. These volunteering experiences helped her find her calling. She is now applying to medical school with the determination to become a primary care physician, either
in pediatrics or in family practice, where she can serve low income and uninsured families in urban settings.
And to be a Packard Scholar? Drews said it is inspiring.
“It makes me think about what I want my impact and my legacy to be on this campus,” Drews said. “How do I want to impact other people? Right now, I see my legacy as I have helped a lot of freshmen transition to campus and college life at Baylor through Welcome Week and being a Peer Leader. I have all these younger students behind me who I have watched mature, and then they are all leaving their own legacies, too. It is a chain effect.”
For the Packards, this is what they hope students will take from their scholarship experiences.
“Baylor students and their spiritual, emotional and academic growth and development have been our life,” Joyce said. “We hope they, in turn, will pass on what we have been doing for them, and I feel that they will, knowing Baylor students. This tradition of serving and giving to others will live on forever—the line never ceases.”
To learn how you can create a lasting legacy or give to honor a faculty mentor or family member, visit: baylor.edu/giving or call 254-710-2561.