Waco Couple Donates $1 Million to Armstrong Browning Library, Museum Complex

May 17, 1999

Dr. and Mrs. Howard Dudgeon Jr. of Waco have donated $1 million to Baylor University to create the Howard and Jane Dudgeon Museum Studies Interpretive Classroom and Learning Center in the proposed Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center. The couple's gift also will fund the Jane and Howard Dudgeon Excellence Fund for the Armstrong Browning Library.

"We have been involved with both the Strecker Museum and the Armstrong Browning Library for many years," said Jane Dudgeon. "We believe that the Discovery Center can serve Baylor and Waco splendidly, and the Armstrong Browning Library is a gem. I'm proud that Baylor has such a wonderful and beautiful facility."

The Museum Studies Interpretive Classroom and Learning Center will be an 80-seat lecture hall equipped with "smart" screens, individual table-sized work spaces, teleconferencing capabilities, assigned personal storage areas for student research projects and computer access to resources including collections, libraries and photos.

"This gift is far reaching and extremely important in helping us achieve our goal of making a difference in the future preparation, presentation and preservation of our cultural and natural heritage," said Calvin Smith, chair of the department of museum studies and director of the Strecker Museum Complex. "We are deeply honored to receive such an important and significant contribution, which allows us to make a major impact on our students and the profession as a whole."

The Excellence Fund for the Armstrong Browning Library will help establish a fully-annotated research database with an estimated 70,000 entries integrated by a specially designed software system. The database will enable scholars to study the works and lives of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and their circle of associates.

Howard and Jane Dudgeon are both native Wacoans. Howard Dudgeon attended Baylor before graduating from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Mrs. Dudgeon, the former Jane Brazelton, received her bachelor's degree from Baylor, and their son Howard Dudgeon III serves as Baylor treasurer. Dr. Dudgeon, a surgeon, served as Waco mayor and on the Waco school board, and Mrs. Dudgeon has been an active community volunteer working with such organizations as the Junior League of Waco and the Waco Cotton Palace Pageant and as a judge at Baylor's History Fair for several years.

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