Robust Year of Giving to Baylor Lays Foundation for Growth

June 20, 2018
Pat Neff Hall

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (June 20, 2018) – Baylor University today announced that the philanthropic support of students, alumni, parents and friends during the recently completed fiscal year (June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018) – which coincided with the first year in office of Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. – exceeded $113 million.

Marking the seventh consecutive year the University has surpassed the $100 million benchmark in fundraising, this amount is the second-largest annual fundraising total in Baylor’s history and a 12 percent increase over last year’s total. This year’s total also reflects an 8 percent increase in the number of donors whose gifts supported work across the University.

“Such philanthropic generosity is a remarkable testimony to Baylor’s ongoing strength and resilience and a powerful endorsement by the Baylor Family of our mission as a Christian research university,” Livingstone said. “This financial support is invaluable to strengthening Baylor as a place of transformational education for our students and a source of transformational change to our surrounding world.”

The generosity of the Baylor Family will impact students, faculty and a diversity of programs across campus and reflects a depth of engagement by students, alumni, parents and friends giving at all levels for the future of the institution. New gifts and pledges from Baylor alumni increased by 27 percent over last year, totaling more than $62 million, while matching corporate gifts grew by 18 percent. Of particular note, the total value of gifts and pledges made to Baylor’s endowment – a key component of institutional strength – increased by 70 percent over last year, and the total amount designated for student scholarships saw an increase of 48 percent.

Support for student-athletes through scholarships and programs continues to propel the Athletics Department vision: Preparing Champions for Life. For the fourth straight year, annual giving to athletics has exceeded $15 million. This comes at a time when a record number of student-athletes reached a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA for the 20th consecutive semester, 110 student-athletes graduated during the academic year, and 18 of 19 intercollegiate sports reached postseason for the second consecutive year.

Student giving played an important role in support of Baylor’s mission. As part of the senior class project, approximately 660 graduating seniors gave more than $12,300 to create the “Student Care & Wellness Fund” that will support students with emergency needs. In addition, on Jan. 24, Baylor students led the campus community in the annual Change the World in a Day initiative, with more than 905 donors raising $10,125 to support mission trips to aid in the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Rockport, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey.

Among the gifts to endow the academic pursuits of our faculty, Lynda (B.S.Ed. ’79) and Robert Copple (B.B.A. ’80, M.P.A. ’81) of Frisco created The Lynda and Robert Copple Endowed Chair in Christian School Leadership within the Baylor School of Education. The gift will enable Baylor to attract a visionary Christian leader to lay the academic and intellectual foundations of the Center for Christian Education (CCE) and establish the Center as the preeminent provider of professional development for leaders of Christian schools and for Christian leaders in non-sectarian school settings.

Also during the fall 2017 semester, a gift from David (B.A. ’60) and Shirley Lake of Tyler established The Lake Family Endowed Chair in Congregational and Community Health at the University. The gift created a unique joint venture between Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and George W. Truett Theological Seminary by supporting the work of a distinguished faculty member who will develop and implement a strategic initiative related to congregational and community health and will teach in both academic units.

More recently, The M. Stephen and Alyce A. Beard Chair in Business and Transactional Law was established in late May, funded through a gift from M. Stephen (B.B.A. ’71, J.D. ’73) and Alyce A. Beard (B.A. ’70). The chair recognizes Baylor Law’s prominence in practical training and scholarship through the fully integrated transactional program that prepares students for all types of positions within areas of business, commerce and intellectual property law.

Reflecting Baylor’s institution-wide commitment to service, for more than 15 years the department of communications sciences and disorders (CSD) in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences has partnered with the Waco Scottish Rite to host Camp Success, a free intensive summer language and literacy intervention program for children. In May, the program’s future was strengthened by a $1.6 million gift from the Waco Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation that will create a permanent endowment for Camp Success. The endowment will provide resources for the camp program and support for CSD faculty, staff and students while also supporting the growth of CSD’s nationally ranked graduate program and enhancing community outreach to raise awareness about this valuable resource for Central Texas children.

“The great variety of gifts, both in size and in the programs strengthened, is a reflection of the diversity and passions of the Baylor Family,” said David Rosselli, vice president for university advancement. “More than 19,000 donors chose to come alongside Baylor this past year as we pursue our aspiration to become a preeminent Christian research university. We are extremely grateful for their generosity. They are a tremendous blessing to our students and an invaluable source of support of Baylor’s mission.”


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.