Baylor University Announces Funding of Two Baylor Academic Challenge Faculty Positions

September 17, 2019
Give Light

Positions are the first two of their kind funded by the one-to-one matching fund established in May by anonymous Baylor family

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 17, 2019) – Baylor University today announced the funding of two faculty positions under the institution’s new Baylor Academic Challenge matching program. The two $1.5 million gifts from Grady Rosier, president and CEO of the McLane Company Inc., and John and Nancy Jackson, who are Give Light National Campaign Steering Committee co-chairs, will create new faculty positions within the Hankamer School of Business and in support of the University’s Baylor in Latin America Initiative.

The two chairs are the first of their kind funded through the Baylor Academic Challenge, which was announced as part of a $100 million gift from an anonymous Baylor family in May. The matching program maximizes Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar qualifying gifts by other members of the Baylor Family. As a result of the Baylor Academic Challenge, the $1.5 million gifts by Rosier and the Jacksons will be matched, resulting in two $3 million chairs. The program has the potential to create as many as 17 new faculty positions to spur innovation, research and teaching in areas identified as priorities by the University.

“We are truly grateful for the excitement, the generosity and the vision of Grady Rosier and John and Nancy Jackson in choosing to invest significantly in Baylor’s future through the Baylor Academic Challenge funds,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “The Rosier Chair will greatly advance the Hankamer School of Business’s work in free enterprise, while the Jackson Chair will spur forward our Baylor in Latin America initiative. These two incredible gifts are a testament to the depth and breadth of what we are working to accomplish through the Give Light campaign, and we are grateful for passionate, generous members of our Baylor Family who have made legacy gifts to advance the mission and vision of Baylor University.”

The W. Grady Rosier Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise was established by Grady Rosier of Temple, Texas, to help advance Baylor’s aspirations as a Research 1/Tier 1 university through innovative research and teaching that informs public policy, focusing specifically on the free enterprise system and its influence on the free market economy. The Rosier Chair will serve within the Hankamer School of Business’s renowned department of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation. Rosier, who holds a B.A. degree from the University of Florida, leads the McLane Company, a supply chain services company based in Temple and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. He has been a generous supporter of Baylor University and the Hankamer School of Business though the McLane Company’s establishment of the McLane Scholars Reading Program to further the study of free enterprise for entrepreneurship students.

“The Baylor Academic Challenge provides our academic units with incredible opportunities to grow scholarship in priority areas – in areas of strategic importance and departmental need, and Grady saw very quickly that this was a wonderful opportunity to make a significant impact in an area he believes in,” said David Rosselli, vice president for advancement at Baylor. “Grady saw an opportunity to help Hankamer’s department of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation grow their influence and scholarship, and he enthusiastically and immediately stepped forward in leadership to establish the Rosier Chair in Free Enterprise. We are truly grateful for his vision and his generous support.”

Baylor alumni John, B.B.A. ’79, and Nancy, B.S.Ed. ’79, Jackson established The Jackson Family Chair for Baylor in Latin America to expand Baylor’s international footprint and advance the priorities of the Baylor in Latin America initiative. One of five key initiatives within Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan, the Baylor in Latin America initiative is intended to facilitate meaningful collaboration across content areas and disciplines that will help improve conditions in high-impact areas within Texas and Latin America in the following areas of inquiry: Health and Disease Prevention; Business Development and International Trade; Human Capital Formation and Education; Immigration, Migration and Human Trafficking; Congregational Development, Democratic Governance and Economics; and Culture and the Arts.

The Jackson Chair will initially focus on Latin American water constraints, while serving as a leader in the University’s strategic growth and contributing research toward Baylor’s goal of becoming an R1/T1 university, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s designation for doctoral-granting institutions with the “highest research activity.”

“The Jackson Family Endowed Chair for Baylor in Latin America provides institutional flexibility and responsiveness to hire elite faculty who can help advance Baylor’s position as a global leader, while contributing significantly to the academy,” said Baylor Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D. “As members of the Give Light National Campaign Steering Committee, John and Nancy are wonderful examples of how our alumni can make a transformational impact through their gifts and their service. We are truly grateful for their wonderful gift.”

President Livingstone announced the gifts during an event in Dallas celebrating Give Light, an ambitious campaign for the future of Baylor University. The campaign undergirds Illuminate and will impact every aspect of campus 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.

On May 4, Baylor announced the largest current gift in University history – a $100 million gift to the Give Light campaign. Made by an anonymous donor, the gift builds on the University’s historic strengths and provides a transformational investment in new areas of teaching, research and service. This transformational gift to Baylor is one of only four gifts of $100 million or more to institutions of higher education in Texas. A significant portion of the $100 million gift created a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge and provided the lead investment in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art $105 million facility that will become the new home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the Give Light campaign has raised more than $733 million, more than halfway to the $1.1 billion goal. Gifts supporting the University’s academic enterprise have established endowed funds for 19 faculty chairs and professorships, 433 scholarships and 140 funds for growth priorities. More than 60,000 members of the Baylor Family have made a gift to the campaign.

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.