Baylor University hosted a Feb. 21 groundbreaking ceremony for a significant project funded during the Give Light campaign, the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. The event honored the philanthropy of Paula Hurd and the late Mark Hurd, who together provided the naming gift for the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, and kicked off the construction of the 120,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility that will serve as an exciting new entry point to Baylor’s campus.
Paula Hurd and her daughters Kelly, BBA ’14, and Kathryn joined Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., and members of the Baylor Board of Regents to celebrate this significant project.
“True leaders step forward courageously when they are called upon to make bold decisions that will impact others for years to come,” Livingstone said. “Mark and Paula Hurd are truly leaders in every sense of the word for Baylor University. We are saddened that Mark could not be here to celebrate this historic day with us, but we are so thankful that we can honor his life and legacy at Baylor today and through this building that will bear his and Paula’s names.”
The groundbreaking served as a time to honor the legacy of Mark Hurd, a 1979 graduate of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, who died in October 2019. Mark Hurd was the chief executive officer (CEO) of Oracle Corporation and a member of Oracle’s board of directors. He also served as vice chairman for Baylor’s Board of Regents. Together, Mark and Paula Hurd served as co-chairs on the National Campaign Steering Committee for the Give Light Campaign.
The Hurds’ gift was the first major gift announced as part of the November 2018 public launch for Give Light. During that event, Mark Hurd spoke about the importance of supporting his alma mater and calling on his fellow alumni to give in support of the University’s aspirations for growth.
“Many people knew my husband Mark as a visionary business leader, so closely associated with creating significant growth at multiple companies. But, those who knew him personally knew that he was also passionate about giving back to the causes and organizations that he held dear,” Paula Hurd said. “As a family, we are proud that the welcome center will bear our family’s name and continue our family’s Baylor legacy — a legacy that began with him and continues through us. A legacy that is committed to serving our community and supporting programs and institutions that aim to have an impact upon our world.”
Site work on the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center is expected to begin this spring, with an anticipated completion date in spring 2022.