Baylor Mourns Death Of Dedicated Supporter

Aug. 30, 2007
News Photo 4250Eula Mae and John Baugh in the Paul Powell Chapel at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Longtime Baylor University supporter and Alumna Honoris Causa Eula Mae Baugh passed away Aug. 29 in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 89. Baugh and her late husband, John F. Baugh, were ardent supporters of Baylor. From serving in volunteer and leadership roles for the university to generous financial support, the Baughs left an indelible impression on the University and the Texas Baptist community.

"Eula Mae Baugh will be fondly remembered at Baylor University for her gracious and gentle spirit and her deep commitment to her family and her Christian faith," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "Her husband once said that his one distinction was being married to Eula Mae. From their more than 70-year marriage to their faithful support of Baylor, the Baugh's dedication to the things they found important sets a good example for us as we continue to pursue excellence in Baptist higher education."

The Baughs' connection to Baylor dates back to Eula Mae's parents, who attended the university. Though neither John nor Eula Mae attended Baylor, they continued their vicarious relationship with Baylor as their children and grandchildren attended the university.

Mrs. Baugh, an Alumna by Choice both of Baylor and of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, was a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, served on Development Council and as a Friend of Truett and was a charter member of Old Main Society. In recognition of her devotion to Baylor, Mrs. Baugh received the Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Exemplary Service and was named an Alumna Honoris Causa of Baylor, an honor rarely given and the highest honor bestowed by the university upon non-alumni. In addition, the Baughs received the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award and the university's Founders Medallion, which is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions to the university have been unusually significant to the life and future of the university.

The Baughs' dedication to the university is illustrated by their support of more than 20 programs and projects at Baylor through the years. In 1989, Mr. and Mrs. Baugh established the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, which supports the theory of family-owned business. They made the lead gift to construct a permanent home for Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary in 1997. The Baughs were the first to be honored as members of the gold level of the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society, the highest level of the Medallion Fellowship, for their beneficence to the university.

In addition to their support of Baylor, the Baughs were steadfast contributors to the Texas Baptist cause. A member of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston, Mrs. Baugh also served as the first president of Auxiliary at Houston Baptist University.

The Baughs worked together to found Zero Foods, a frozen foods distribution business, in 1946. From giving up her garage (which served as the company's original headquarters) to keeping the books, Mrs. Baugh was integral to the company's beginnings. The business venture would ultimately become SYSCO Corporation, which now is the largest marketer and distributor of food service products in the United States.

"Baylor has lost one of its greatest friends. Eula Mae was the perfect mate for John, and the two of them together were Truett's greatest benefactors," said Paul Powell, longtime friend and retired dean of Truett Seminary. "She was one of the most gracious, caring ladies I have ever known."

Mrs. Baugh is survived by her daughter, Barbara "Babs" Baugh, who attended Baylor, and her husband, John Jarrett; granddaughters, Jackie Moore (BSED '86) and her husband, Kim Moore (BBA '81), and Julie Ortiz (BA'89) and her husband, Carlos Ortiz (BA '90); and great grandchildren, John Sterling Moore, Katherine Elizabeth Moore, Jacob Taylor Moore, John-Carlos Breck Ortiz and Alexa Mae Ortiz.

Funeral services for Mrs. Baugh will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?