Founders Medal Presented To Allbrittons

January 30, 2003

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University presented its most distinguished award - the Founders Medal - to longtime Baylor benefactors Joe L. and Barbara Balfanz Allbritton during the annual Founders Day celebration Jan. 29 in Waco Hall.
The Founders Medal was established in September 1969 and is given to those whose service and contributions have been significant to the university's growth and prosperity.
Named a distinguished alumnus in 1974, Joe Allbritton earned his bachelor's of law degree from Baylor in 1949 and also was bestowed an honorary doctor of laws degree from Baylor in 1964. He is chair and chief executive officer of Riggs Bank, N.A., in Washington, D.C., and is former chair of Houston International Bank of Luxembourg, S.A., and former chair of the executive committee of First International Bancshares Inc., Dallas. He is the owner of several network-affiliated television stations and is the former publisher of the Washington Star.
Joe Allbritton served on the Baylor Board of Regents from 1989 to 2001 and also is a former member of the Baylor board of trustees and executive committee, a former chair of the Baylor College of Medicine Board and a member of the Baylor Foundation board. He is active in a number of civic and professional organizations and has served as a trustee of The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation in Austin, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Los Angeles, The George Bush Presidential Foundation in College Station, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., the Houston Symphony Society and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Barbara Allbritton has served as vice president of Allbritton Communications, a director of Riggs Bank, N.A., a director of Houston Financial Services, and vice president and director of Perpetual Corp. She also has been recognized for her leadership among arts and cultural organizations in Washington, D.C., and Houston.
Together, the Allbrittons have provided decades of philanthropic support to Baylor through such projects as the Moody Memorial Library, the Baylor Ballpark, the Robert B. Sloan Jr. Teaching Chapel at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, the Allbritton House, the Law School Faculty Fund, the Glenn Capp Best Freshman Debate Award, The Abner McCall Chair in Evidence at Baylor School of Law, the Joe L. and Barbara B. Allbritton Endowment Fund in support of the Glenn R. Capp Chair of Forensics and the Allbritton Art Institute. In addition to the Founders Medal recognition, they have been inducted into the Old Main Society and the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship.
The Allbrittons have one son, Robert Lewis Allbritton.
The university community annually celebrates the founding of Baylor University on the anniversary of its charter. Baylor was chartered Feb. 1, 1845, and observes its founding on the Monday or Wednesday closest to that date. In 1995, Baylor celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary, and this year commemorates its 158th year.
For more information on Founders Day and past recipients of the honor, visit