Baylor Honors Ralph And Jean Storm With 2007 Founders Medal

February 1, 2007

Contact: Cindy Dougherty, Baylor University Office of Development, (254) 710-2561

Baylor University presented one of its most distinguished awards - the 2007 Baylor University Founders Medallion - to Ralph Storm of Corpus Christi and, posthumously, to his wife, Jean, during the university's annual Founders Day celebration on Jan. 31.

The presentation of the medallion by Baylor President John M. Lilley was in recognition of the Storms' service and commitment to the university through the years. Established in 1969, the Founders Medal is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the university.

"As loyal alumni of Baylor University, the Storms were deeply spirited and exuded Baylor ideals in a way that ignited a love of the university in those around them," President Lilley said. "Although Baylor has produced countless servant-leaders since her founding, it is difficult to find two individuals who have embraced the Baylor mission more fervently than Ralph and Jean."

In addition to their devotion to Baylor, the Storms also were known as leaders at First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi and in their community. Jean served in ministry to the sick and homebound of First Baptist Church and served on numerous committees, at the church recreation center and as a Sunday school teacher. When she died in 2003, more than a dozen people attempted to fill the void.

Over the years Ralph has faithfully served the church in nearly every capacity from helping Jean to serving as a Deacon and Sunday school teacher, and has worked quietly behind the scenes on the big issues for Baylor, First Baptist Corpus Christi and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In recent years, Ralph served as president of the Corpus Christi Chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the moderator of, chair of the Board of Trustees for Palmer Drug Abuse Program and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.

"Ralph and Jean are ordinary folks who have lived extraordinary lives because they lived their lives with open hearts and open hands," said Dr. Hulitt Gloer, Professor of Preaching and Christian Scripture at Truett Seminary, Visiting Professor of Law at Baylor Law School and former pastor of First Baptist Church of Corpus Christi. "Their lives revolved around family, church and Baylor."

Ralph served as a Baylor Trustee and Regent for 27 years. He is a lifetime member of the Baylor Alumni Association and Founders Association and a member of the Medallion Fellowship, Heart of the Order, Old Main Society, Heritage Club, Development Council, Baylor Bear Foundation, Friends of Truett Seminary and the Endowed Scholarship Society. In recognition of his service to Baylor, Ralph was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor in 1978 and was awarded the Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Meritorious Service to Students in 1985.

"Ralph and Jean Storm have spent their lives -- like our founders -- serving Baylor and the church with energy, optimism, perseverance, generosity, humility and integrity," said Ella Prichard, a 1963 Baylor graduate and a longtime friend of the Storms. "If we have one regret today, it is that Jean is not here. But, as Ralph says, she's enjoying the occasion from a superior vantage point. It is indeed fitting to honor Ralph and Jean Storm for their embodiment of the ideals and standards set by our founders."

The Baylor community celebrates its founding on the anniversary of its charter. Baylor was chartered by the Republic of Texas on Feb. 1, 1845, and each year the celebration is observed on the Monday or Wednesday nearest that date. Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in the state of Texas and is the world's largest Baptist university.

The face of the Founders Medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription, "Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana." The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall. A copy of the medal is on permanent exhibit in the National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.