McCall Religious Liberty Award To Be Presented at Commencement

Dec. 12, 2005
News Photo 3238Mr. John F. Baugh

by Judy Prather, Baylor Alumni Association, (254) 710-6431

John F. Baugh of Houston will be presented with the Abner V. McCall Religious Liberty Award by the Baylor Alumni Association during fall commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Baylor University. The award is given to Baylor alumni or friends who exemplify the dedication and commitment to religious liberty demonstrated by former Baylor president, Judge Abner V. McCall.

"I have known Mr. Baugh intimately for the past 30 years, and I know both his heart and his actions regarding the absolutely vital importance of religious liberty," said Baylor President Emeritus Herbert H. Reynolds, who nominated Baugh for the award. "Mr. Baugh has done everything in his power on a sustained basis to undergird and support organizations and individuals who want to protect and enhance religious liberty. His unflagging concern for future generations is an ever present one."

Baugh is the founder of SYSCO Corp., a Houston-based $29 billion corporation with nearly 50,000 employees throughout North America and Canada. He served as chair of the firm's board of directors until 1985, when he moved into the role of senior chair until 1997. He continues as a distinguished tenure director and continues to go to work for several hours each day. In 1991, Baugh was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

The author of The Battle for Baptist Integrity and a Baylor regent emeritus, Baugh has also been the recipient of the alumni association's W.R. White Meritorious Service Award. The university has named him Alumnus Honaris Causa and awarded him with both the Herbert H. Reynolds Award and the Founders' Medal. The campus of George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business both bear his name.

Baugh is a founding trustee of Houston Baptist University and served as a director of the Baptist Foundation of Texas for more than 25 years. He is married to the former Eula Mae Tharp, and they are members of Tallowood Baptist Church of Houston. They have one daughter, Barbara, of San Antonio.

For more information, contact the Baylor Alumni Association at (254) 710-1121 or go to

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