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Former regent gives $5 million to Truett seminary

Nov. 11, 1997

By Ashlee Ross

Staff Writer for The Baylor Lariat

AUSTIN--John and Eula Mae Baugh of Houston announced Monday at the Baptist General Convention of Texas that they are giving $5 million for a building for George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

'It's a matching gift made for $5 million,' said Stacy Houser, director of student life and church relations at Truett. 'Mr. Baugh's been very, very concerned about Baptist life in Texas and he has a real vision behind the gift.'

Baugh is a former university regent and retired senior chair of the SYSCO corporation.

Truett Seminary has met in facilities at the First Baptist Church of Waco since 1994, when the theology school first opened.

'It's the huge jump-start we've needed for the seminary facility. Additional funds will be required,' said Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The construction on the facility will be done in different phases, Schmeltekopf said. The planning of the seminary building is still in the early planning phase.

Two possible locations include land across University Parks Drive from the main entrance of campus and Edgefield Park on Bagby Avenue.

'Now we can't just play around with the possibility of having it, because now we do,' Schmeltekopf said.

The Rev. Levi Price Jr., a Baylor regent, pastor of the First Baptist Church of El Paso and chair of the Truett Seminary advisory board said, 'It's a wonderful, wonderful thing.

'Every time we have a board meeting we talk about having our own place,' Price said. 'Having our own place will make seminary education different because we'll be on campus. We're thankful to First Baptist Church, but this is like a dream come true.'

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