Baylor University Announces $100 Million Gift to Give Light Philanthropic Campaign

May 4, 2019

The largest current gift in Baylor history will support the Baylor Academic Challenge to incentivize donors to establish endowed funds for strategic academic initiatives and other priorities of the University

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (May 4, 2019) – Baylor University today announced a transformational $100 million gift – the largest current gift in University history and the largest gift to date to the University’s $1.1 billion Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign. The gift is from an anonymous donor and will advance Baylor’s progress towards growth as a preeminent Christian research university, building on the University’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of teaching, research and service.

A significant portion of the $100 million gift will create a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge and also will support other components of the Give Light campaign to be announced in the near future.

The Baylor Academic Challenge will maximize Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors, fueling the University’s academic enterprise. The program seeks to increase the number of endowed faculty positions, helping Baylor generate additional funding to sustain and grow teaching and research in key areas.

“This is a truly momentous day in the 174-year history of Baylor University, as we celebrate Give Light and this extraordinary $100 million gift from members of the Baylor Family that illustrates their powerful belief in the promise of the University’s future and Baylor’s distinct place in higher education,” Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., said. “We are deeply grateful to these members of the Baylor Family whose spirit of generosity and undying love for Baylor and its Christian mission will galvanize support from others who will come alongside and invest in Baylor, our strategic priorities under Illuminate and our faculty and students in areas of greatest need and significant impact.”

President Livingstone announced the $100 million gift during an event in Houston celebrating Give Light, an ambitious campaign for the future of Baylor University. The campaign undergirds Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan, and will impact every aspect of campus life – spiritual life, academics, athletics, student life and service learning – while also bolstering financial support for students and for the priorities of Baylor’s 12 schools and colleges.

“This is a great day for Baylor University,” said David Rosselli, vice president for advancement for Baylor. “We give thanks for the generosity and vision of this family, and for the transformational effect this generational gift will have at Baylor. It is especially heartening to see the way that this family is encouraging our Baylor alumni, parents and friends to come alongside their generous commitment through the academic matching program – and how their call to support the University will truly reap incredible blessings for Baylor and so many generations of Baylor students to come. This builds upon an incredible tradition of philanthropy here at Baylor, and I am grateful for the support it will create among our alumni, parents and friends.”

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the Give Light campaign has raised $692 million, more than halfway to the $1.1 billion goal. Gifts supporting the University’s academic enterprise have established endowed funds for 17 faculty chairs and professorships, 411 scholarships and 129 funds for growth priorities. More than 53,000 members of the Baylor Family have made a gift to the campaign.

Continued fundraising during the Give Light campaign is focused on support of:

  • Endowed funds to equip faculty as teachers and researchers, provide student scholarships and launch growth priorities.
  • Expendable funds to support immediate needs, bolster athletics and provide global learning experiences.
  • Capital projects that add physical capacity for academic and athletic growth.

The foundation of the Give Light campaign and the University’s Illuminate strategic plan is built on the four pillars that have shaped Baylor throughout its history: an unwavering commitment to Christian faith formation, academic excellence, the pursuit of solutions and ideas that advance society, and opportunities that shape the whole person through arts and athletics.

The Illuminate plan has identified five areas of focus – Health, Data Sciences; Materials Science; Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics; and Baylor in Latin America – which will enable the creation of centers of research excellence through multidisciplinary scholarship and collaboration with faculty appointments from departments, schools and external partners. These interdependent initiatives will connect with one another through faculty partnerships, calls for research and provision of funding.

For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit


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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.