Baylor Celebrates 173rd Anniversary of Its Founding

Don and Ruth Buchholz
Don and Ruth Buchholz (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
Feb. 1, 2018

Don and Ruth Buchholz honored with the University’s Founders Medal

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
Follow Baylor Media Communications on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Feb. 1, 2018) – As Baylor University celebrates Founders Day, the 173rd year of its founding on Feb. 1, 1845 – before Texas was a state – the University also recognizes the men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of Baylor with one of its most distinguished awards, the Founders Medal.

The latest recipients of the Founders Medal are Don and Ruth Buchholz, B.A. ’49.

Committed to students, Don and Ruth Buchholz joyfully and generously share their resources to ensure a transformational Baylor education is accessible to generations of Bears. They are recognized as Baylor Founders for their generosity that includes support for Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing, the Hankamer School of Business and the McLane Student Life Center. Don served as a stock brokerage executive, a governor of the New York Stock Exchange and co-founder of Southwest Securities Inc. Ruth taught for Fort Worth ISD, was an executive secretary for several Dallas companies and worked for the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service in Germany. They are members of the University’s Endowed Scholarship Society, Old Main Society and 1845 Society.

First given in 1969, the face of the Founders Medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription “Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana.” The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall with the inscription “Baylor University Founders Medal,” plus the name of the recipient and year of presentation. One copy of the medal is on permanent exhibition in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

On Feb. 1, 1845, Baylor University’s charter was officially signed by Republic of Texas President Anson Jones. The University’s founders saw Baylor first and foremost as an institution for training Baptist ministers, but they also had an eye on the future. Early plans called for “an academical and theological institution” that would meet “the requirements of existing conditions,” but that also “would be susceptible of enlargement and development to meet the needs of all the ages to come,” as one of the founders wrote in 1844.

Today, Baylor – the only university chartered by the Republic of Texas that has remained in continuous operation – continues to grow to meet new needs. Building on its original mission, the University promotes exemplary teaching, encourages innovative and original research, and supports professional excellence in a wide variety of specialized disciplines. Baylor is a nationally ranked research institution, a vibrant, caring community of nearly 17,000 students, 3,000 faculty and staff members and more than 160,000 living alumni, the largest Baptist educational institution in the world and an active member of the international community of higher learning.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 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 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?