Baylor University and Baylor Alumni Association Announce New Era of Partnership

March 8, 2016
Pat Neff Hall

(Matthew Minard/Baylor Marketing & Communications)

Media Contacts: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275 and Tom Nesbitt, Baylor Alumni Association, 512-617-5562
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WACO, Texas (March 8, 2016) – Baylor University and Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) today announced the settlement of all claims in their pending lawsuit. The University and the BAA have come together, motivated by a unity of purpose and a deep and abiding love for Baylor University, to advance a bold, forward-looking agreement that aligns support for Baylor students and engagement with all alumni.

"The ultimate goal of both University and BAA leadership has been to bring about a unified effort among all members of the Baylor family to continue to move Baylor forward in a positive direction," said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. "This agreement, with its emphasis on cultivating strong relationships between all alumni and their alma mater and its firm commitment to support student scholarships, is the remarkable result of diligent work by a group of dedicated servant leaders, for whom we are deeply grateful."

The agreement includes these important elements:

  • Baylor University will continue to operate its comprehensive outreach, events and engagement programs for all alumni, parents and friends across the United States and around the world through the Baylor Alumni Network.
  • The Baylor Alumni Association will remain an independent not-for-profit entity and will change its name to one of several options to be presented to the BAA board, likely the Baylor Line Foundation.
  • The Baylor Line Foundation will continue to publish the Baylor Line with editorial and operational independence.
  • The Baylor Line Foundation will focus its fundraising efforts towards student scholarship funds and will host activities and events that support its membership and purpose.
  • Baylor University will make a monetary contribution to the Baylor Line Foundation, which may be used in any way that furthers the organization's charitable purposes.

"The BAA is proud of its 157-year association with Baylor University. With this lawsuit behind us, we look forward to ushering in an exciting new chapter for our members and for Baylor, an institution we all hold dear. We are eager to move forward together – united as one Baylor family," said Tom Nesbitt, B.A. '94, president of the BAA.

The agreement also provides for the addition of three alumni-elected members to the Baylor Board of Regents. The first three Regents (serving one-, two- and three-year terms) will be agreed upon by both parties and appointed to the Board in June 2016. In 2017 and in each year following, all University alumni will be invited to participate in annual open elections that determine new alumni-elected members of the Board of Regents. The first alumni-elected Regent to replace the one-year appointee will be seated in June 2017.

"Over the past four years, the Baylor Board of Regents has expanded its membership by including a representative from the Baylor Bear Foundation and the Baylor 'B' Association, two student Regents and a faculty Regent. This diversity of perspectives has enhanced our conversations on a variety of topics. The majority of Regents are also alumni, and we value that distinct perspective and look forward to welcoming these alumni-elected Regents to the work of the University," said Richard Willis, B.B.A. '81, M.B.A. '82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. "I add my gratitude to all the individuals who worked so thoughtfully and deliberately on this agreement."

"The steadfast commitment and active engagement of alumni have been vital to Baylor since the University welcomed its first graduates in the 1850s," President Starr said. "We will continue in the years to come to serve the best interests of our alumni worldwide and to ensure that the light emanating from our cherished University continues to shine brightly and reflect positively on all who feel an affinity for Baylor University."