C. Gus Glasscock, Jr. Endowed Fund for Excellence in Environmental Sciences
From scholarships to program funds, Baylor's endowment provides resources that do more than keep the lights on – they power discovery and spark students' interests.
For more than 15 years, the C. Gus Glasscock, Jr. Endowed Fund for Excellence in Environmental Sciences has done just that – funding Baylor students' hands-on approach to scientific research. To date, the Glasscock Fund has opened the door to research for more than 120 undergraduate students.
Gus Glasscock, who graduated from Baylor in 1938, was an oil executive, rancher and early advocate for alternative energy sources. In 1993, Gus and his wife, Bonnie, decided to set plans in place through their estate to support scientific research at Baylor. They created a charitable remainder unitrust – an estate planning tool that provided them an income during their lifetime, with the remainder left to Baylor.
Since 2005, the Glasscock Endowment has provided funding for students conducting research in environmental sciences. The process is simple, but valuable: students interested in research must submit proposals to a panel of faculty members who select the funded projects.
According to faculty, the process of applying is just as important for the hundreds of students not selected for research funding as for the student researchers themselves.
"In addition to the numerous academic (and practical) contributions funded projects ultimately make to the field of environmental science, the more general process of competitively vetting research proposals provides a critical learning opportunity for all students that choose to apply," said Brian E. Raines, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Strategic Planning in a recent report on Glasscock funds. "Proposal preparation requires students to combine critical thinking, problem formulation, problem solving and written communication skills in ways that are rarely encountered in a traditional classroom setting."
Awards from the Glasscock Fund have ranged from $2,000 to $10,000, covering subjects from sediment mapping to whale earwax to the risks of exposure to engineered nanoparticles in the environment. Through it all, students work with Baylor faculty, engaging in a different way with their professors and strengthening mentoring relationships.
Gus and Bonnie Glasscock had a vision for supporting Baylor's students. Because of their philanthropy, generations of future Baylor Bears will see their Baylor experiences enriched by research through the Glasscock Fund.