Gift from Mark and Paula Hurd to Create Welcome Center at Baylor University

November 2, 2018

WACO, Texas (Nov. 2, 2018) - Baylor University today announced a lead gift from Mark and Paula Hurd, which spurs the institution’s $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign to create the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. Efforts for the new center are the cornerstone of “Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor,” the University’s fundraising initiative announced on Nov. 1, 2018.

“Baylor University provides all of its students the skills necessary to succeed in academics, sports, business and life,” said Mark Hurd, a 1979 graduate of Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business and current CEO of Oracle. “From the unparalleled expertise of its professors to a culture that fosters integrity, service and excellence – Baylor University continues to transform its students into tomorrow’s leaders.”

The Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center is slated to be a 120,000-square-foot complex designed to create interest and enthusiasm in the University through a high-tech and interactive experience, and serve as the epicenter for academic, cultural and social activities. Strategic development of the property surrounding the new facility is anticipated to include businesses that will solidify the center as a travel and visitor destination for both Baylor and the Waco community.

“As we celebrate the official launch of Give Light, we are filled with deep appreciation for Mark and Paula Hurd’s leadership as co-chairs for our campaign and for their inspirational gift that will transform the Baylor campus,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “As they have on many occasions, Mark and Paula have stepped forward as champions of excellence and as shining lights for the vital role Baylor plays in higher education as a Christian research university.”

“The Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center will become a beautiful landmark on our campus and a wonderful front door to Baylor University,” said Brett Dalton, chief business officer for Baylor. “This new facility will serve as a hub of engagement opportunities – from learning about Baylor past, present and future to enjoying vibrant activities, taking part in meaningful engagement opportunities that advance the work of the University and networking events that strengthen the Baylor-Waco partnership.”

“The Hurds embody the selfless service of the Baylor Family through the generosity of their time, leadership, gifts and experiences,” said David Rosselli, Baylor’s vice president for university advancement. “We could not be more appreciative of their significant support of the public launch of Give Light, as we look to strategically raise Baylor’s profile as the world’s preeminent Christian research university.”

Mark Hurd also serves as a member of the Oracle Board of Directors and the Baylor Board of Regents. In 2012, he was awarded the Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award for his philanthropy and extraordinary service. Mark and Paula, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, are Baylor parents and supported Baylor’s national championship tennis program by upgrading and renovating the Hurd Tennis Center, which was recently ranked by Tennis magazine as the best facility in college tennis.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.