Foster Academic Challenge

Foster Academic Challenge

The Foster Academic Challenge sparked the funding and creation of 14 new endowed faculty positions at Baylor University over the course of two years. Funded by Paul (BBA '79) and Alejandra Foster, of El Paso, Texas, the Foster Challenge was initially launched in May of 2019 as part of a $100 million gift in support of the Give Light Campaign.

In September 2021, Baylor announced the successful completion of the Foster Academic Challenge, which generated significant support from alumni and donors to advance the aspirations of Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan.

Prior to the Give Light Campaign, Baylor University had received funding for two endowed research chairs, which are enhanced chairs that provide additional funds for faculty research compared to traditional endowed chairs. The University’s total of research chair endowments grew to six with the launch of Give Light. The establishment of the Foster Academic Challenge then sparked transformational growth, nearly doubling the University’s total research chair count in two years through the creation of 14 additional research chairs. The University now holds 22 research chair endowments to advance R1-level research and enhance the University’s efforts toward top-tier designation.

Endowed Faculty Positions

Fourteen endowed faculty positions have been added to the University’s future academic ranks through the Challenge:


Learn More about the Foster Academic Challenge
Nov
13
2021
WACO, Texas (Nov. 13, 2021) – Baylor University today announced the naming of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion in honor of Paul (BBA ’79) and Alejandra Foster, of El Paso, Texas. The naming is in recognition of Paul and Alejandra’s gift of $100 million in 2019 to the Give Light Campaign, which launched the public fundraising campaign for the Basketball Pavilion, home to Baylor’s National Championship basketball teams.
Sep
30
2021
WACO, Texas (Sept. 30, 2021) – Baylor University today announced the successful completion of the Baylor Academic Challenge (BAC), a dollar-for-dollar matching program that generated significant support from alumni and donors to establish 14 new endowed faculty chairs and significantly advance the aspirations of Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan.
Sep
16
2021
WACO, Texas (Sept. 16, 2021) – Baylor University today announced a $1.5 million gift from Jim and Tammy Snee of Austin, Minnesota, establishing an endowed faculty chair position to lead research efforts addressing food security through the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty.
Jul
22
2021
WACO, Texas (July 22, 2021) – Baylor University today announced the hiring of Alan X. Wang, Ph.D. as the inaugural holder of The Mearse Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering, becoming the first faculty hire to an endowed chair position funded through the Baylor Academic Challenge.
Apr
23
2021
On April 14, Baylor University held its third annual Baylor Giving Day. For 24 hours, Baylor’s alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends came together to give back and shine a light on the things they hold dear here. Baylor saw 3,942 people, foundations and organizations give to every academic unit and to all areas of the University, with a total of more than $1 million given to celebrate Baylor Giving Day.
Apr
15
2021
WACO, Texas (April 15, 2021) – Baylor University today announced an estate gift from John and Eula Mae Baugh, creating an endowed chair in physics. The Eula Mae and John Baugh Chair in Physics, which will receive matching funds through the Baylor Academic Challenge, will provide faculty funding within the department of physics and focus on innovative research and teaching in the area of materials science.
Sep
30
2020
WACO, Texas (September 30, 2020) – Baylor University today announced the naming of the deanship at the Hankamer School of Business to honor William E. (Ed) and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Florida, for their support of the Give Light Campaign and the University’s Hankamer School of Business. The William E. Crenshaw Endowed Dean within the Hankamer School of Business was funded through a portion of the recently announced $5 million gift from the Crenshaws. The new fund will provide endowment support for the initiatives, programs and projects essential to the School’s dean in executing their vision for Baylor Business and the mission of the School.
Sep
3
2020
WACO, Texas (Sept. 3, 2020) – Baylor University today announced a $5 million gift from William E. (Ed) and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Florida, in support of the Give Light Campaign and the University's Hankamer School of Business. A portion of the gift qualifies for the Baylor Academic Challenge program, creating two endowed faculty positions within the Hankamer School of Business that will receive dollar-for-dollar matching funds as well as support for the School’s dean. The gift also will establish an endowed scholarship fund within Baylor’s Student Foundation.
Jun
30
2020
WACO, Texas (June 30, 2020) – Baylor University today announced the funding of a new endowed faculty position within the Honors College, which will provide increased emphasis within the College on research in the Health Sciences. The $1.5 million gift from Dr. James Robert (JB) Parker of Amarillo, Texas, will combine with a match from the Baylor Academic Challenge to create The James Robert Parker Endowed Chair in Health Science and Leadership.