The Give Light campaign has provided numerous opportunities for the Baylor Family to come together in celebration of the University’s progress and to be inspired by the vision for the future. Alumni, parents and friends have gathered for Give Light events in Washington, D.C., Houston, New York City, Dallas and Los Angeles over the past year and have heard University leaders and passionate alumni share stories of Baylor’s impact in their lives and the world. Each city gave Baylor the opportunity to showcase many aspects of the Baylor experience. Following are a few highlights:
“I am seeking answers to questions realizing that the importance of the answers to these questions may only be realized in the lifetime of my children or grandchildren. And Baylor has made a place for that to happen.” Dr. Lorin Matthews, BS ’94, PhD ’98., Professor of Physics, College of Arts and Sciences
“We are going to be at the table because we believe that our nation and the world needs researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students, the future scientists and future discoverers who come from a Christian perspective and to bring that and present that to the world.” Dr. Dwayne Simmons, Biology Department Chair and The Cornelia Marschall Smith Endowed Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
“I went to Baylor thinking I was going to be the head coach of the football program and soon found out that I’m just there to do for the young people in my program what so many people did for me — to take their talents and nurture them and develop them and help them see themselves as far more than just a football player or basketball player, but to see themselves as the people that God intended them to be.” Matt Rhule, Head Football Coach
“The world needs a Baylor because what the world needs most is Christ. The world needs a place where undergraduate students and graduate students can be equipped, where their faith is also strengthened and their faith can be built up, so they can be spring-boarded out to spread God’s influence throughout the world. As a Christian research university, Baylor has a unique opportunity to impact the world for Christ in excellent undergraduate education that reflects God’s greatness and in excellent research that reflects God’s greatness. When we think about impact, when we are living for the Lord and serving Him, our impact is not only limitless, it is eternal.” Dr. Annette von Jouanne, Professor of Energy Systems, School of Engineering and Computer Science
“I loved my experience at Baylor. The faculty felt like family to me and I thrived there. And not only that, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I loved acting, I loved writing and I felt embraced by both of those departments and it gave me so much confidence that when I graduated from Baylor, I really felt like I could do anything.” Angela Kinsey, BA ’94, Emmy Award-winning actress and writer
One of Baylor’s distinctive characteristics is its identity as a research university built on Christian faith. Faith yields unique insights into the discovery of solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our world. When the Baylor Family joins with the University in the pursuit of discovery, Baylor’s impact grows and the University’s faculty and students thrive.
Three new faculty chairs have been funded through the Baylor Academic Challenge, which was announced as part of a $100 million gift from an anonymous Baylor family in May. The matching program maximizes the University’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar qualifying gifts by other members of the Baylor Family. Donor gifts of $1.5 million and above double through the Baylor Academic Challenge match and advance Baylor’s pursuit of R1/Tier 1 recognition.
The Mearse Endowed Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering, within the School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) was established by Bill, BBA ’78, MBA ’79, and Tanya Mearse of Houston. The endowed faculty position will help ECS attract and retain a distinguished faculty member, who will be a significant contributor in furthering the School’s position as a national leader in this area. The Mearse Chair will provide strategic growth for ECS as it seeks to strengthen curriculum and research in the areas of Materials Science and Health, two priorities of Illuminate.
The W. Grady Rosier Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise was established by Grady Rosier of Temple, Texas, to help advance Baylor’s aspirations as a Research 1/Tier 1 university through innovative research and teaching that informs public policy, focusing specifically on the free enterprise system and its influence on the free market economy. The endowed faculty position will serve within Hankamer School of Business’s Department of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation.
John, BBA ’79, and Nancy, BSEd ’79, Jackson established The Jackson Family Chair for Baylor in Latin America. The gift will expand Baylor’s international footprint, advance the priorities of the Baylor in Latin America initiative and facilitate meaningful collaboration across content areas and disciplines that will help improve conditions in high-impact areas within Texas and Latin America. The Jackson Chair initially will focus on Latin American water constraints.
The impact of giving propels programs to new heights in the short-term, but it also transforms the future, supporting growth, undergirding research and touching the lives of students and the entire Baylor community.
In 2015, Baylor’s Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences received an anonymous $10 million gift to transform the student experience, expand its service to those with speech-language needs and position the department for national impact as a leader in the field.
Four years later, those goals are being realized in amazing ways.
A newly renovated facility allowed for a major expansion of CSD programs. This included growth from two laboratory spaces to nine laboratories for teaching and research and a new clinic, with 30 patient rooms, two specialized teaching rooms, a secure, dedicated waiting room for patients, and additional offices for faculty and staff.
The Martin Family Endowed Chair in Communications Sciences and Disorders brought Dr. Diane Loeb to the program as department chair. The department is pursuing cutting- edge research that translates into clinical innovations and advances.
Undergraduate enrollment is growing and more undergrads than ever are involved in research alongside faculty. This connection helps students expand their knowledge, faculty broaden research capacity and encourages students to pursue doctoral programs and continue to advance this vital profession.
On-campus graduate enrollment in the last five years has almost tripled. New facilities and the strong reputation of the CSD program have brought students from across the country to continue their studies in CSD at Baylor. In addition, the growth has yielded more internships and clinical experiences in the central Texas area and expanded the services available through many partner organizations. In 2018, CSD began an online master’s degree program. The first class of 162 graduate students began the program in August 2019.
William K., BA ’52, LLB ’54, JD ’69, and Mary Jo Robbins, whose previous gift named the Robbins College, recently provided additional support for the expansion of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic to increase lab spaces and resources related to services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The renovation and completion of clinical facilities will include a large interdisciplinary intervention room, additional treatment rooms, and lab space to specifically address the needs of clients with ASD.