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. In addition to the approximately 60,000 prospective students, families, and other guests passing through our existing Wiethorn Undergraduate Admissions Center, the beautiful Baylor campus draws attention from more than 100,000 travelers each day - more than 40 million each year - along the I-35 corridor. Add to these impressive numbers the growth in Waco tourism over the past three years, and you have a convergence of factors that support the need for a prominent front door to the University.
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 be an approximately 50,000 to 60,000 square-foot Baylor "experience center" focused on bringing prospective students, families, partners, and supporters into the Baylor story. They will "experience Baylor" in a way that creates interest and enthusiasm through a focused, high-tech, high-touch and high-value experience — consistent with Baylor's mission, brand, and purposes.
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, a high-tech auditorium, immersive and interactive exhibits and will employ staff who connect with guests during their experiences.
The 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.
Beyond the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center, the property's development is anticipated to include numerous related businesses. The synergy of additional projects will enhance the value of this travel destination.