Transformational Gift Highlights Remarkable Year of Giving to Baylor

July 17, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (July 17, 2019) – Baylor University today announced that the philanthropic support of alumni, parents, students and friends during the recently completed fiscal year (June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019) exceeded $243 million, a period coinciding with the successful public launch of the University’s $1.1 billion Give Light comprehensive philanthropic campaign.

Marking the eighth consecutive year the University has surpassed the $100 million benchmark in fundraising, this year’s total includes the largest current gift in University history, an anonymous $100 million gift to support growth in academics and provide the lead gift for a new Baylor Basketball Pavilion.

To date, members of the Baylor Family have made gifts and pledges totaling more than $700 million towards the priorities of the University that are outlined in the Give Light campaign. The 2018-2019 fiscal year also marks the largest annual fundraising total in Baylor’s history and reflects an 18.7 percent increase over the previous year in the total number of donors.

“We are profoundly grateful to the many members of the Baylor Family who have come alongside the University as part of Give Light. This is an important moment in Baylor’s history as we make strategic investments throughout our academic enterprise and across the campus, and everyone is serving an important role as we shape our future,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “This remarkable financial support is directly advancing our strategic priorities under Illuminate, our strategic plan, and strengthening our faculty and students where there is greatest need and the most opportunities for significant impact. Every gift moves us forward in our progress toward growth as a preeminent Christian research university.”

The generosity of the Baylor Family will impact students, faculty and a diversity of programs across campus and reflects a depth of engagement by alumni, parents, students and friends giving at all levels for the future of the institution. Of particular note, the total value of gifts and pledges made to Baylor’s endowment – an important component of institutional strength – increased by 13 percent over last year.

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 will build on the University’s historic strengths and provide 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. Over the past three years, only 38 of the millions of gifts made to higher education institutions nationwide have been $100 million or greater.

A significant portion of the $100 million gift will create a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge (BAC), incentivizing donors to establish endowed funds for strategic academic initiatives and other priorities of the University. The BAC will maximize Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors. In particular, the program seeks to endow up to 17 new faculty positions, helping Baylor generate additional funding to sustain and grow teaching and research in key areas by bringing additional outstanding scholar-teachers to campus.

The family who made this transformational gift also are passionate supporters of Baylor’s intercollegiate athletics program, and they recognize the significance and impact of investing in Baylor’s facilities for the long-term strength of Baylor Athletics. As such, the $100 million gift also includes a lead investment in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art facility that will become the new home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

The Baylor Basketball Pavilion, which will have a capacity of 7,000 fans, is a concept that takes its lessons from other Power Five schools that recently have constructed smaller basketball venues, as well as such historic basketball arenas as those at Duke, Kansas and Indiana. By creating a more engaged and energized atmosphere, the Pavilion will elevate Baylor’s home-court advantage and enhance the experience of fans. To be located adjacent to the Ferrell Center and along the Brazos River, the Pavilion will welcome thousands of alumni, students and friends, bringing the Baylor Family together and positively expanding the Baylor brand nationwide.

Support for student-athletes through scholarships and programs continued during the most recent fiscal year to propel Baylor Athletics’ vision: Preparing Champions for Life. For the fifth straight year, annual giving to athletics has exceeded $15 million.

In addition, student giving played an important role in support of Baylor’s mission. Baylor’s first-year students participated in the annual Change the World in a Day initiative, raising more than $3,300 to support work with Casas Por Cristo in the Dominican Republic. In late August, the Baylor Family made more than 2,700 gifts during the first-ever Baylor Day of Giving, raising more than $500,000 in a 24-hour period.

“Giving across all areas of the University is vital to the success of the University’s pursuits,” said David Rosselli, vice president for advancement. “We are grateful to all the students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends who have found their passions reflected in the campaign and look forward to illustrating how others can make a difference for the future of Baylor through their gifts of all sizes. This is a remarkable moment for Baylor and for all who love and support our mission.”

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the campaign has raised $709.9 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 as well as 422 scholarships. 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.