Baylor Regents Approve Construction of New Business School Campus, Phase Two of Track and Field Complex

  • Full-Size Image: Business School Rendering - Exterior Southwest View
  • Full-Size Image: Business School Rendering - NW Mall Entry
  • Full-Size Image: Track and Field Stadium Phase 2
Oct. 18, 2013

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Board also approves new Ph.D. programs in mechanical engineering and higher education leadership, plans for refurbishment of North Russell Hall

WACO, Texas (Oct. 18, 2013) - At its annual Homecoming meeting today, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved construction of the new $99 million Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation that will house the University's nationally ranked Hankamer School of Business. Baylor plans to break ground on the 275,000-square-foot facility in December.

The board's approval to move forward with construction of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation follows a period of successful fundraising for the new home for Baylor's business school. Fundraising for the business school project accelerated when the University received a historic gift from El Paso businessman and civic leader Paul L. Foster, BBA '79, chairman of the board and executive chairman of Western Refining Inc. The Foster Campus will be built on property across from the new East Village Residential Community on Bagby Avenue between Third and Fourth streets and is expected to be completed in July 2015.

Baylor has been working with Overland Partners of San Antonio to plan the new Foster Campus for the business school. The architectural design features a highly corporate and sustainable business environment, including a centerpiece atrium that will showcase some of the school's signature classrooms, such as the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center. The design also includes a 350-seat auditorium to accommodate guest lectures and special events, and a variety of classrooms that will incorporate the latest technology for collaborative learning, innovation and problem solving. The new building is expected to expand the school's size by nearly 40 percent.

Baylor Regents gave their approval to begin phase two of the new $18.1 million on-campus track and field stadium, which is under construction along the Brazos River on the far east side of the 93-acre Baylor Stadium property. The new facility - designed by Kansas City-based Populous, which also planned Baylor Stadium - will accommodate 5,000 spectators and participants. Phase two of the project will add a 10,300-square-foot team building containing hydrotherapy pools, a training room, offices and meeting rooms, storage space and improved landscaping. In May, regents approved phase one of the project, which included a 6,000-square-foot team facility and a 13,500-square-foot indoor practice facility. The track and field stadium is slated for completion in fall 2014.

The board also approved $1.1 million to begin design and engineering work to refurbish North Russell Hall, part of the University's major plan to renovate existing residence halls over the next 10 years. South Russell Hall is currently being refurbished with updated rooms with new furniture and fixtures, new study, social and spiritual spaces, the addition of a living-learning component to the complex with a faculty-in-residence apartment and use of the lower level for a classroom, fitness area, game room and lounge. The South Russell project is expected to be completed by fall 2014. Work on North Russell will begin in summer 2014.

Regents also approved two new doctoral programs: a Ph.D. in higher education studies and leadership and a research-oriented Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

The Ph.D. in higher education studies and leadership will emphasize research and high-quality graduate education, while integrating Baylor's Christian heritage and mission. The program is expected to begin in fall 2014.

"In light of the many challenges facing higher education, Baylor stands in a unique position to develop a Ph.D. program that takes a more holistic approach and integrates ethics and spirituality to the study of colleges and universities," said Jon Engelhardt, dean of the School of Education. "Rather than producing Ph.D. graduates with narrow technical expertise, we envision educating graduates with a broad background that will provide the profession with individuals equipped to study and think about higher education in light of a broader potential for human flourishing."

The new doctorate in mechanical engineering, offered by the School of Engineering and Computer Science, will focus on three important technical areas within the mechanical engineering discipline: thermo-physics and energy, novel and advanced materials, and biomechanics experimentation, design and simulation. Research efforts in these areas will be enhanced by cross-cutting themes that include entrepreneurship, Christian values and ethics, and missions and service. The program is expected to begin in fall 2014.

"The Ph.D. in mechanical engineering will help fulfill our mission by advancing rigorous scholarship in the field of engineering within the context of Baylor's faith foundation and Christian perspective," said Dennis L. O'Neal, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. "While the program will provide a significant boost to the University's collaborative research base, including mechanical engineering's pivotal role in the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC), the program also has the potential to generate substantial levels of external research funding. Our mechanical engineering department has been successful at increasing the level of external funding over recent years, and the addition of a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering will greatly enhance the department's scholarly productivity and competitiveness for such funding."

"When Baylor alumni return this weekend to our campus for the nation's oldest Homecoming - or participate in that great celebration remotely - they will discover a University that is on the move in so many areas of University life," said Richard S Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. "As I drove past stadium construction to meetings this week in the remarkably transformed BRIC research facility to approve with fellow regents construction for a new home for our award-winning School of Business, I was struck by how rapidly and how dramatically Baylor is strengthening its position as a national leader in higher education.

"But in my interactions with our meritorious achievement recipients as well as those faculty who guide our academic and new degree programs, lead our many athletic teams and oversee our student life activities, I was reminded that Baylor, at its core, remains deeply committed to its Christian mission," Willis said. "We are working hard to move Baylor forward, but we continue to honor, to preserve and to celebrate the essential elements of our history that set us apart as a University to this day."

Baylor Meritorious Achievement Awards Recipients Honored

On Thursday night, Baylor Regents recognized the recipients of the Baylor Meritorious Achievement Awards at a dinner in their honor at the Mayborn Museum Complex. The awards acknowledge Baylor's important role in American higher education and recognize those who have made significant contributions in a variety of areas which reflect Baylor's distinct mission.

Eight individuals and two couples were selected this year as the recipients of accolades, including Baylor Alumnus of the Year, Baylor Young Alumnus of the Year, Baylor Medal of Service Awards (Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service, Pro Texana Medal of Service, Business Leadership Medal of Service, Healthcare Medal of Service), Baylor Legacy Awards, the traditional Baylor University Founders Medal and Distinguished Achievement Award.

The 2013-2014 Baylor Meritorious Achievement Award honorees are:

• Godfrey Sullivan, BBA '75, president and CEO of Splunk Inc., Alumnus of the Year

• Michele Perry, BA '99, CEO and executive coach, Edge Creative Consulting, Young Alumna of the Year

• Bill Glass, BA '57, minister, founder and CEO, Champions for Life, Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service

• Thomas Phillips, BA '75, former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice, attorney with Baker Botts L.L.P., Pro Texana Medal of Service

• Vinnie Johnson, '80, chairman, The Piston Group, Business Leadership Medal of Service

• Maj. Gen. (Ret) David Rubenstein, MHA '89, former Deputy Surgeon General of the Army, clinical associate professor of health administration at Texas State University, Contributions to the Professions-Healthcare Medal of Service

• Bob Simpson, BBA '70, MBA '71, founder of XTO Energy, co-chairman of Rangers Baseball Express LLC and a majority owner of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Baylor Legacy Award

• Jim, BBA '69, and Julie Turner, BA '67, MS '68, principal of JLT Beverages LP, Baylor Legacy Award

• Harold, BBA '56, and Ann Cunningham, BMEd '56, retired from Arthur Andersen, former Baylor vice president for finance and administration/chief financial officer and vice president for special projects, Baylor Founders Medal

• Robert Griffin III, BA '10, Washington Redskins quarterback, Distinguished Achievement Award


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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