Baylor Announces Gift Commitment to Benefit Business School Students, Boost President's Scholarship Initiative
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Baylor University today announced a generous commitment from the Callaway Foundation, benefiting students in the Hankamer School of Business and increasing the existing Callaway Foundation Endowed Scholars Fund scholarship to $1 million. The commitment also brings the total fundraising of The President's Scholarship Initiative -- a three-year effort Baylor launched in 2010 -- to more than $24 million.
"Days like these call for celebration: not only on behalf of the students' lives these scholarships will forever impact, but also as a celebration of those who have made it all possible," Baylor President Ken Starr said. "Like so many of us in the Baylor family today, J.L. and Bonnelle Callaway had a vision for what scholarships could accomplish in the lives of students from small towns, such as Cameron, Texas. We are deeply grateful for all that the Callaway Foundation has done for our beloved Baylor students and to usher forward the Callaways' legacy."
J.L. Callaway was an executive for McLane Company Inc. in Temple, Texas, for more than 57 years. Providing the inspirational leadership that bridged the gap between Robert McLane and his son, Drayton McLane, J.L.'s hard work, Christian values and integrity built the value system that created McLane Company's operating principles -- helping the company become the leading convenience store and restaurant distributor in the United States.
In 2002, not long before they died, J.L. and his wife, Bonnelle, formed the Callaway Foundation in hopes of helping students from C.H. Yoe High School in Cameron, Texas, attend college and realize their dreams. Creating an endowed scholarship to Baylor University in the School of Business was the first act of the Foundation, which is administered by Kevin and Hope Koch. The current gift is one of several generous contributions they have made to Baylor on behalf of the Foundation in order to further fulfill its mission of "creating better people, a better school and better community" through scholarship support.
"I had the fortune to be able to work with Mr. Callaway for a big part of my career, and he loved business. I think he would've enjoyed being able to provide an opportunity for a small-town person from Cameron to be able to go to such a fine university, like Baylor, and study business, because he never had that opportunity to have a college education himself," Kevin Koch said. "The Callaways were a strong Christian family that believed in Christian education, and Baylor exemplifies all of that, so it is the perfect place to invest in their vision. And Hope being a faculty member there has enforced that because we've been able to see, on a firsthand basis, the commitment that Baylor has to quality Christian education and to the students.
"We know that the University is going to be a good steward of the Callaways' vision. So that made [building up the scholarship fund] an easy commitment, to reflect these two really great people and what they meant to the Cameron community, the Central Texas community and the larger Christian community, as well."
As an assistant professor of information systems at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, Hope Koch's own experience working with students on a daily basis keeps the need for more scholarship support at the forefront of her mind.
"I really wanted to go to Baylor as a high school student, but we did not have the resources. I grew up in a trailer park. My mother never graduated from high school, and my father struggled to maintain his job at a factory. So I went to a college where scholarships were offered to me," Hope said. "I am so thankful that, through the Callaways, we are able to support students with stories like mine. The President's Scholarship Initiative is so very needed with how the cost of education is rising. And, as a faculty member, I back the Initiative completely."
Every graduating senior from C.H. Yoe High School who applies for a scholarship will receive one to the college of his or her choice, courtesy of the Callaway Foundation. Students begin earning scholarship money their freshman year in high school. Based on their contributions to the school and to the community, they can earn from $750 to a full scholarship, motivating students to work hard to earn greater levels of scholarship support. The Callaway Foundation Endowed Scholars Fund at Baylor provides full tuition to a student enrolled in the Hankamer School of Business. And with the recent commitment, the fund will be able to support more students, making the Baylor experience more accessible to those high school students who are working diligently but lack resources.
"Student scholarships are vital to the life of our program and provide leverage as we seek to attract the most highly qualified students, regardless of their financial resources," said Terry Maness, dean of Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. "I can't emphasize enough how significant the foresight of individuals like the Callaways and the support of organizations like the Foundation continue to be in the lives of our exceptional students -- tomorrow's business leaders."
"It has truly been a gratifying experience to meet each recipient of the Callaway Endowed Scholars Fund and witness the richness that being at Baylor and in the Hankamer School of Business brings to each of their lives," said Bill Dube, director of Baylor's Endowed Scholarship Program. "The Callaways used their carefully stewarded resources to form the Foundation so that students like these could have the opportunity for a better future. And it is profoundly encouraging to see what is happening as a result of their selfless generosity."
Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275