Baylor's Bright Future

Baylor University’s alumni, parents and friends continue to support the Give Light campaign’s priorities, providing significant resources to academic units, capital projects and scholarship endowment in an effort to build a stronger foundation for the University they love.

“The Baylor Family is changing the trajectory of Baylor University through the Give Light Campaign,” said Baylor Vice President for Advancement David Rosselli. “Nearly 86,000 alumni, parents and friends have chosen to give toward a bright future for Baylor — to honor their ties with this University by giving so that future generations may experience the same Christian mission and excellence in higher education that marked their time here. We are humbled and grateful for our Baylor Family and their incredible commitment to That Good Old Baylor Line.” 

Hankamer Exceeds Goal

Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean of the Hankamer School of Business
Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean of the Hankamer School of Business

In June, the Hankamer School of Business celebrated as its donors reached $125.8 million in total gifts to the School, eclipsing its original campaign goal of $125 million. The second-largest academic unit, Hankamer saw alumni make up an impressive 63 percent of donors to the School’s campaign efforts. 

“We are grateful for the Business alumni who have given so generously to support our students, provide resources for our faculty and ensure that the good work started within the Hankamer School of Business continues to multiply and increase in impact,” said Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean of the Hankamer School of Business. “We have a bright future here at Hankamer, and we are grateful for the alumni, parents and friends who are committed to Christian higher education and the role that we can play in forming future Christian business leaders.”

The Hankamer School of Business received gifts and pledges totaling more than $85 million toward its endowment, supporting everything from new faculty chairs and professorships to scholarships and program funds. The endowment giving represents permanent resourcing that will provide annual support for the School. Another $31 million in current gifts and pledges will provide immediate impact within the School, providing Dean Mazumder with resources and flexibility as he begins his second year at the helm. A further $9.5 million in capital support rounds out the School’s fundraising to date.

Throughout the University, students are already feeling the effects of the Baylor Family’s giving. Baylor donors have established 710 endowed scholarships since the start of the campaign — many of which are already easing the financial burdens of current students and their families. Many new endowed programs have been created, and other heritage programs bolstered by endowment. The University has also seen 40 endowed faculty positions created, and faculty members are being hired to fill those new positions. In total, Baylor alumni, parents and friends have given or pledged more than $505 million in endowed fund support. Significant gifts to the Give Light Capital Fund continue to progress Baylor’s capital priorities, including the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion and the Fudge Football Operations Center.

Garrison Capital Gift Honored

In August, Katie, B.S. ’85, and Jimmy Garrison, B.B.A. ’85, of Boerne, Texas, made a gift commitment to the Give Light Campaign to provide significant support for the capital priorities of Baylor Athletics within the campaign. Baylor recognized the couple’s philanthropic support through the naming of the Dimmitt Garrison Family Berm within McLane Stadium and the Dimmitt Garrison Family Lobby within the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion. 

The Dimmitt Garrison Family Berm

The Dimmitt Garrison Family Berm brings an attractive new feature to a well-loved space within McLane Stadium. The existing berm, located in the South End Zone in front of the video board, has long served as a family-friendly seating option for Baylor fans. This football season, fans will notice a new red brick retaining wall, capped in the University’s iconic white stone, distinguishing the berm from the John Eddie Williams Field.

The Dimmitt Garrison Family Lobby will be a central gathering place within the Foster Pavilion, a 223,547-square-foot facility that will serve as the new home for Baylor Basketball. (See full story on page 24.)

Tim and Sharalynn Fenn Family Chair in Materials Science

In July, Tim and Sharalynn Fenn of Houston established an endowed faculty chair position to attract, retain and support a visionary Christian leader who is focused on the growth and development of Materials Science and its associated field. 

Julia Chan, Ph.D., B.S.'82, Tim and Sharalynn Fenn Family Chair in Materials Science
Julia Chan, Ph.D., B.S.'93, Tim and Sharalynn Fenn Family Chair in Materials Science

The Tim and Sharalynn Fenn Family Endowed Chair in Materials Science will receive matching support through the Baylor Illuminate Chair Matching Program, providing greater support for the chair’s research and activities. The Baylor Illuminate Chair Matching Program supports the University’s efforts to generate high-impact research and scholarship, focusing especially upon the key academic initiatives of the Illuminate strategic plan, by matching endowment gifts to establish research faculty chairs. The program provides matching support for new endowed chairs, with preference given to chairs that support the five Illuminate initiatives: Health; Data Sciences; Materials Science; Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics; and Baylor in Latin America.

Sharalynn, B.B.A. ’91, and Tim, B.B.A. ’92, decided to establish The Fenn Family Chair after learning about the University’s focus, through Illuminate, in growing faculty support for research and scholarship within Materials Science.

“We wanted to meet needs at Baylor,” Sharalynn said. “It wasn’t about what we wanted. It was really about what Baylor needed.”

Materials Science is an umbrella term covering research, study and innovations in the materials that humans use — from new fabrics that create fire-retardant clothing, to composite materials that make up stronger, lighter airplanes and automobiles, to innovations creating biological sensors or biomaterials for medical applications. Through Illuminate, Baylor is prioritizing resources and support for this interdisciplinary area. From research funds to endowed chairs like the Fenn Chair, Baylor is making strides to keep pace with this growing field.

Tim and Sharalynn Fenn met in junior high where Sharalynn was Tim’s 8th grade student assistant in his 7th grade Spanish class. Tim Fenn is the Office Managing Partner in Latham & Watkins’ Houston office and former Chair of the firm’s Houston Tax Department with a particular focus on business taxation as it applies to partnerships and corporations. Sharalynn Fenn, née Sanders, earned a B.B.A. in human resources management from Baylor in 1991. Sharalynn served as a bank merger project manager at Bank of America and its predecessors before leaving her position to care for the couple’s children. They have two sons, Charles, a 2022 graduate of Dartmouth College who was recently commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and Greydon, who is a sophomore at Baylor, majoring in accounting through the Hankamer Scholars program within the Hankamer School of Business.