Regents Announce Lead Gift From Baylor Alumni For Indoor Football Practice Facility

  • News Photo 4601
    An architectural rendering of the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility
  • News Photo 4600
    Location of the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility at Baylor University
  • News Photo 4602
    An architectural rendering of the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility
Oct. 31, 2008

Media contacts: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275 and Nick Joos, associate athletic director for communications, (254) 710-3043

WACO, Texas - The Baylor University Board of Regents today announced that the university has received a significant naming gift from Baylor alumni Jay and Jenny Reid Allison of Frisco, Texas, for the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility, which will complete the Alwin O. and Dorothy Highers Athletic Complex. The announcement came at the conclusion of the board's annual Homecoming meeting.

"We are so thankful for Jay and Jenny Allison's selfless support of Baylor student-athletes," said Interim Baylor President David E. Garland. "Baylor is blessed to count the Allisons among our most dedicated alumni."

"I am deeply appreciative of Jay and Jenny Allison making the generous naming gift that enabled this project to come to fruition," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "The Allison and Reid families have strong connections and loyalties to the Baylor football program and this gift will serve to build upon this rich legacy.

"The Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility will complete the Highers Athletics Complex in first class fashion and afford Coach Briles, his staff and student-athletes one of the best indoor practice facilities in the Big 12 and nation," McCaw said. "I am grateful to the Board of Regents and Interim President Garland for the strong support that they afford Baylor Athletics and our football program."

The new $12.1 million facility, which will be constructed with private funds, will be located adjacent to the two natural grass practice fields on the marina side of the Highers Athletics Complex and will feature a 100-yard field with a synthetic playing surface. The building's façade will be an attractive brick, consistent with the look of other Baylor athletics facilities. With the Allison's gift, Baylor will become the 10th Big 12 Conference program to construct an indoor football facility.

"This is a great day for Baylor football, and I'm grateful for the generous gift Jay and Jenny Allison have made to make the indoor practice facility a reality," said Baylor head football coach Art Briles. "I'm also appreciative of Ian McCaw's leadership in continuing to advance this important project, as well as the support of Dr. Garland and the Baylor Board of Regents.

"It is humbling that a former Baylor football letterman wanted to give back by helping provide a facility that will serve future Bears for many years to come," Briles said. "We are in the process of becoming a force in the Big 12 Conference and this gift will further that momentum."

The Allisons said their gift was the perfect way to profess their gratitude for God's blessings and Baylor University, allowing them to honor God, express their passion for Baylor football and celebrate the Baylor family, while putting into action the valuable lessons they learned while at Baylor.

"Playing football under Coach Grant Teaff taught me to continue to give my best - no matter what," said Jay Allison, a three-time Baylor football letterman who played for Baylor's 1974 Southwest Conference championship team. "We love Baylor football and want to help the Bears give their best at each and every game. And that starts at practice."

"My family has had more than 20 Baylor graduates, starting with my parents, Dr. Bryce Z. and Edna White Reid, and many of us have been student-athletes," said Jenny Allison, whose father was a member of the Bears' 1949 Dixie Bowl team that defeated Wake Forest, 20-7, in the program's first-ever bowl game. The Allison's children, Baylor graduate student Jency (BA '08), Logan, Lucas and Aubrey, also enjoy athletic pastimes of all kinds.

"We are very grateful for God's gifts, as well as the wonderful people at Baylor, and we consider it a privilege to support Baylor athletics in this way," Jenny said.

In addition to their passion for Baylor football, the Allisons also are highly committed to education: between the two of them, Jay and Jenny Allison hold five Baylor degrees. Jay earned his bachelor of business administration degree in 1978, his master of science degree in 1980 and his law degree in 1981. Jenny earned her bachelor of science in education degree in 1978 and her master of science in education degree in 1980. Since 1987, Jay has been a director of Comstock Resources, Inc., a NYSE oil and gas company, and has been president and CEO of the company since 1988. He was elected chairman of the Board of Directors in 1997.

The Allisons are longtime supporters of Baylor athletics, naming the Jay and Jenny Reid Allison Skybox Complex at Floyd Casey Stadium and funding the Basketball Hall of Honor in the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility, as well as establishing endowed scholarships for football student-athletes. They are members of the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship at the James Huckins level, the Athletics Hall of Honor and the Endowed Scholarship Society and are lifetime members of the Baylor Alumni Association. Jenny is president of the Baylor University Women's Council of Dallas, and Jay recently completed nine years of service on the Baylor University Board of Regents.

"Having served as a Regent with Jay, I've seen the commitment he and Jenny have to Baylor," said Dr. Howard K. Batson, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. "The Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility provides a critical component of the vision for the Highers Athletics Complex and will lay the groundwork for future victories."

"We're proud to leave this Baylor legacy for our children and grandchildren," Jay said. "Everything we have belongs to God, so we're pleased to honor Him by serving Baylor."

The Jay and Jenny Allison Football Practice Facility is part of the $46.2 million Highers Athletics Complex, a cornerstone in Baylor Athletics' five-year, $90 million Victory With Integrity campaign which was launched in February 2005. To date, more than $65 million has been raised through the campaign in capital, endowment and annual support.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility will be held in November, and the facility is slated for completion by the start of preseason camp next August.

In other business, Baylor Regents approved the establishment of a new academic department of military science that will house an Army ROTC unit to run parallel with the existing Air Force ROTC program. The new department will provide global leadership training to current and future Baylor students, provide an additional source for students interested in service to the country via the armed forces, provide merit-based scholarship opportunities to high-quality students, and provide a value-added corps of cadets to facilitate community service activities and campus assistance.

Regents also approved a name change to a previously approved degree program from Doctor of Science Physician Assistant-Emergency Medicine (DScPA) to Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) with a major in emergency medicine. The program, which is affiliated with the U.S. Army and administered by the Baylor Graduate School, has been available at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Regents approved expanding the program to Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash.; Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Killeen; and William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, El Paso.

In addition, Regents approved a new joint Baylor-U.S. Army doctoral program, the Doctor of Science Physician Assistant Studies (DScPAS) with a major in clinical orthopaedics. The program will be offered at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, El Paso; Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio; Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash.; and Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga.

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