McMullen-Connally Faculty Center Honors Baylor Faculty, Houses Distinctive Art Collection

October 7, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275
WACO, Texas - Faber and Roxanna Connally McMullen never forgot the stalwart commitment of Baylor faculty. After all, it was Baylor faculty who laid the groundwork for Dr. Faber McMullen Jr.'s career as a respected cardiologist.

The McMullen-Connally Faculty Center, complete with the McMullen-Connally Family Art Collection, was dedicated Oct. 3, in tribute to the McMullens' parents, as well as professors who went the extra mile to serve students.

Eager to thank Baylor faculty for making possible his childhood dream of becoming a physician, Dr. McMullen noted, "Baylor is interested in preparing leaders." In uniting recognition of their Baylor mentors with the gift of the McMullen-Connally Family Collection, the McMullens are proud to know that "the collection lives on for the benefit of future generations."

"Through this gift, they claim to honor Dr. Robert B. Alexander, Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith, Dr. John Haley and Dr. Joseph Gast. Yet, they honor us all -- the teacher-scholars who have gone before us, those of us here today and the Baylor faculty who will follow," said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, interim provost at Baylor.

The 10,900-square-foot facility, which is modeled after the architecture of the Kellum-Noble House in Houston, showcases the McMullen-Connally Family Collection. Faculty can enjoy the work of significant artists from the California School of Watercolor, as well as selected works by Eastern and Texas watercolor artists. The personal collection has more than 300 pieces of art and artifacts.

"Thanks to the McMullens' generosity, this art will be enjoyed daily by all who enter the Faculty Center," said John McClanahan, chair of Baylor's fine arts department. "So long as beautiful examples of this work are collected and cared for, we will continue to be inspired. We are grateful to the McMullens for their friendship and for blessing us with art."

The main dining room, with capacity for 120 guests and courtyard dining with 20 additional seats, offers daily lunch service for faculty and executive staff, as well as prospective faculty candidates and visiting speakers. In addition, faculty and visitors may enjoy the Great Room, a relaxed atmosphere conducive to conversation and growing together as an academic community.

Three banquet rooms on the second story, equipped with audiovisual equipment, are available by reservation for meetings and special events. The President's Room, which provides another meeting area, also houses the McMullens' personal library collection.

"I offer the heartfelt thanks of Baylor faculty. This gift is not just a building -- it is an investment in our legacy of excellence," said Dr. Georgia Green, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate dean of Baylor's School of Music. "Many generations of teachers have come to Baylor and shaped the lives of thousands of Baylor students. We proudly preserve that legacy and will pass it on to those future generations of Baylor faculty."

Faber and Roxanna McMullen met at Baylor in fall 1950. Faber McMullen received his bachelor of science degree in 1953 and his medical doctor degree in 1956 from Baylor, and Roxanna Connally McMullen attended Baylor from 1950 until 1952 and received her bachelor of arts degree in liturgical art from Sacred Heart Dominican College in 1972.

The McMullens, who reside in Bellaire, Texas, also have contributed to the Cornelia Marschall Smith Distinguished Professorship in Biology, Armstrong Browning Library and the Dr. and Mrs. Faber F. McMullen Jr. Endowment Fund. They are members of the Baylor University Medallion Fellowship at the Bronze Level of the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society.

Donell Teaff, vice chair of the Baylor Board of Regents and Dr. Sarah-Jane Murray, faculty master of the Honors College and assistant professor of Great Texts, also participated in the dedication ceremony.

The McMullens' generosity promotes Baylor 2012 imperatives including attracting a world-class faculty and constructing aesthetically pleasing physical spaces on campus. The McMullen-Connally Faculty Center will advance the Baylor community's growth for years to come.