Baylor Students To Benefit From Robinsons' $5 Million Scholarship Gift

November 12, 2007

Contact: Mark Minor, Baylor University Development, (254) 710-2561

Baylor University announced today a $5 million gift from Clifton and Betsy Robinson of Waco that will provide the financial means for some of the nation's highest achieving high school students to obtain a top education at Baylor.

The gift will establish the C. Clifton Robinson and Betsy Sharp Robinson Endowed Scholarship Fund in the Honors College at Baylor. The scholarships will provide need-based financial assistance for academically gifted incoming freshmen, as well as some current Baylor students, who will be known as "Clifton and Betsy Robinson Scholars." Scholarship recipients will study in any of the four Honors College programs - Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, the Honors Program, University Scholars and the Great Texts Program - which were established when the Honors College was created in 2002.

"Clifton and Betsy Robinson continue to generously support the family legacy of embracing the Baylor mission and helping it to prosper locally, in Texas, across the nation and around the globe," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "The Robinsons' endowed scholarships will make a Baylor education possible for talented students who also demonstrate the greatest need. I thank the Robinsons for supporting Baylor students, the Honors College and Baylor 2012 through this landmark gift."

The Robinsons' gift advances several Baylor 2012 imperatives, such as establishing an environment where learning can flourish, initiating outstanding new academic programs and attracting a top-tier student body.

"Clifton and Betsy Robinson have been longtime supporters of Baylor. Their generosity to the university, our students and now the Honors College is deeply appreciated," said Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor. "Because of the interdisciplinary aspect of the Honors College, many programs, students and faculty will benefit from this gift, which will leave a mark of excellence on some of the finest Baylor students within the University."

"The recruitment of talented young people, and the Honors College in particular, is an important component of Vision 2012 and that's what I wanted to support," Clifton Robinson said. "In my business life, I feel like I owe Baylor everything because it taught me how to be successful. I think that everything that Baylor stands for - excellence, moral character and integrity - are all the things I've tried to adopt in my business life. I owe much of my success to Baylor so I like to give back to the institution that has given so much to me and my family."

The Robinsons, who both grew up in Waco and graduated from Baylor, are longtime supporters of Baylor through scholarships, athletics and capital projects. They are members of the Medallion Fellowship and the Endowed Scholarship Society, and in 1994, they received the Herbert H. Reynolds Award for Exemplary Service. Betsy is a member of Art Angels at Baylor; she also is the founder of Fuzzy Friends Rescue. Clifton is a member of the Bear Foundation, Baylor/Waco Foundation and Friends of Baylor, which the Robinsons helped create.

"It's my own opinion that giving back is not an option, it's an obligation. It's like Winston Churchill said, 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,'" Robinson said. "Giving and supporting Baylor unconditionally is the mission of Friends of Baylor of which I am so proud."

For the 2007-2008 academic year, Baylor awarded more than $23 million in need-based scholarships to qualified students. With more than 75 percent of current students receiving some type of financial assistance, Baylor has focused on increasing endowed scholarships to help keep Baylor affordable for families, while providing students with the highest quality Christian education at Baylor.

Baylor's student body also continues the university's trend for academic quality. Since 1999, the average SAT score for Baylor freshmen has risen 50 points. This fall, Baylor's incoming freshman class set another record with an average SAT score of 1219.

For more information, please contact Mark Minor at (254) 710-2561.