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Gift from Steve and Penny Carlile Creates Plaza on the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation

Dec. 4, 2013

Carlile Plaza

The Steve and Penny Carlile Plaza will welcome students, faculty, alumni and friends to the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation with an attractive, strategically developed outdoor space that serves as an extension of the design and thoughtful use of environmentally aware construction elements of the facility.

"We look at our gift as part a larger effort to create one of the finest business school facilities in the country," said Steve Carlile, BBA '73, JD '75. "Penny and I believe that if God blesses you, then you should use those blessings in a way that helps others."

"We know that first impressions are important in the business world, and Steve and I place great value on living and working in a beautiful environment," said Penny Carlile, BA '73. "We're overjoyed to help create an inviting entrance to this important new landmark on the Baylor campus."

The $100 million, 275,000-square-foot Foster Campus for Business and Innovation will provide a new home for Baylor's nationally ranked Hankamer School of Business. Following a successful fundraising campaign for the project, including an historic gift from Paul L. Foster, BBA '79, of El Paso, construction will begin this month on property along Bagby Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets. The facility is scheduled for completion in July 2015.

"Steve and Penny Carlile have been remarkably faithful to Baylor University through their advocacy of our mission as an institution of Christian higher education and their generous philanthropy in support of student scholarships and capital projects," said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. "They are shining lights for their alma mater in East Texas, embodying Baylor's commitment to Christ and making a difference in the world through a wide range of business and personal activities."

The architectural design of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation features a variety of classrooms incorporating the latest technology for collaborative learning, innovation and problem solving. The facility, which also includes a centerpiece atrium, conference center and 350-seat auditorium, will expand the business school's size by nearly 40 percent.

"Both Steve and Penny Carlile have provided valuable counsel and support over the years," said Terry Maness, DBA, dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "Their gift to the new Foster Campus for Innovation and Business is in keeping with their passion for entrepreneurship and leadership development."

The Carliles described their gift as having multi-generational Baylor roots, with both of their fathers having earned business degrees from Baylor and their son, Lance, BBA '02, MBA '04, having graduated from Baylor.

"Penny's father was a life insurance salesman and well-known public speaker, and my father started off in accounting and then got into the oil and gas business," Steve Carlile said. "My father's Baylor education was the foundation of his business career, and his business success provided the foundation of our business career. We've worked hard to honor that legacy."

After graduating from Baylor, Steve and Penny Carlile returned to their hometown of Marshall, where they raised their two sons, Clay and Lance, and Steve became a partner in his family's oil and gas business, Marshall Exploration. Following the sale of the business in 1990, Steve became Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the family holding company, the Carlile Companies.

In 1996, Steve and Penny co-founded a direct-sales company known as Celebrating Home. Through the years, Celebrating Home has supported such charities as Habitat for Humanity, Make-A-Wish, American Cancer Society, Samaritan's Purse, Wounded Warrior Project, Hope International, Global Aid Network and Boys & Girls Clubs as a part of their effort to give back to those who are less fortunate.

"Penny and I both had the benefit of being raised in families that emphasized the need to worship Christ and share with others," Steve Carlile said. "Baylor is particularly good at showing young men and women that they can reach a success level that the world will admire and do so in a God-honoring way."

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