Positioned at the corner of I-35 and University Parks Drive, the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will be a high-impact addition to the campus landscape. Baylor University's campus draws approximately 60,000 prospective students, families, alumni and other guests each year, and the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will become the front door – for many, the first impression of our beloved institution. More than 100,000 travelers each day - more than 40 million each year – pass the University along the I-35 corridor, and this convergence of factors supports the need for a prominent access point for Baylor.
Visitors to our city want to experience all that Waco and Baylor have to offer. The Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will be a hub of engagement opportunities - from learning about Baylor past, present, and future to enjoying vibrant alumni, academic and student life activities, taking part in meaningful engagement opportunities that advance the work of the University, and participating in networking events that strengthen the Baylor-Waco partnerships.
Anchoring a larger development on the property, the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will feature a 120,000-square-foot complex designed to create interest and enthusiasm in the University through a high-tech and interactive experience. The welcome center will serve as the hub for visitors to Baylor’s campus. Strategic development of the property surrounding the new facility is anticipated to include businesses that will solidify the center as a travel and visitor destination for both Baylor and the Waco community.
Features of the Baylor "experience center" will include robust interactive, immersive technologies which envelop visitors in everything Baylor - our traditions, triumphs and future. The space will also feature a Spirit Center and a high-tech auditorium and will employ staff who connect with visiting alumni and guests.
The Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will function as a destination itself, as well as an entry point for those planning to explore more deeply Baylor's academic programs, musical and theatrical performances, social activities, alumni activities, athletic events, graduation ceremonies and more. Convenient parking and an on-campus shuttle service will provide a comfortable and easy means for navigating campus.
Learn More about the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center
WACO, Texas (Feb. 24, 2020) – At its regular February meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents celebrated the groundbreaking of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center – a new multi-purpose facility that will serve as an exciting new entry point to Baylor’s campus – and approved the final phase and project budget of the $21.2 million restoration of the University’s iconic Tidwell Bible Building.
WACO, Texas (Feb. 21, 2020) – Baylor University today hosted a groundbreaking ceremony honoring 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 kicking off the construction of a new multi-purpose facility that will serve as an exciting new entry point to Baylor’s campus.
WACO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2019) – At its regular fall meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved phase 1 design and fees for the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center and the Baylor Basketball Pavilion and approved design and construction fees to fit-up shared research lab space for mechanical engineering in the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC).
WACO, Texas (Nov. 2, 2018) - Baylor University today announced a lead gift from Mark and Paula Hurd, which spurs the institution’s $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign to create the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. Efforts for the new center are the cornerstone of “Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor,” the University’s fundraising initiative announced on Nov. 1, 2018.
Each of us has been entrusted with a great light that can illuminate the path for future generations. When the Baylor Family gives financially to support University priorities, we give light to Baylor's bright future.