Baylor University Names Mark and Paula Hurd as 2019-2020 Founders Medal Recipients

January 31, 2020

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Jan. 31, 2020) – On the 175th anniversary of its founding, Baylor University today announced that Mark and Paula Hurd have been honored with the Baylor University Founders Medal.

Established in 1969, the Founders Medal is one of the most distinguished awards given by Baylor and is reserved for men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of the University.

“It is an honor to have the opportunity to recognize Mark and Paula Hurd — two remarkable members of the Baylor Family — and their many significant contributions to the betterment of Baylor and society,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “Their bold vision for strengthening Baylor’s mission as a preeminent Christian research institution has inspired many others to come alongside the University to improve the lives of our students and help us set a standard for excellence.”

Mark Hurd was the chief executive officer (CEO) of Oracle Corporation and a member of Oracle’s board of directors, and was also serving as vice chair of the Baylor Board of Regents at the time of his death on October 2019. He attended Baylor on a tennis scholarship, lettering for two years in the sport, and graduated in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Paula Hurd earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. They married in 1990 and have two daughters, Kelly, BBA ’14, and Kathryn.

Mark Hurd began his service on the Baylor Board of Regents in 2014 and was elected vice chair of the Board in 2017. He has been recognized for his contributions to the University and its tennis program with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008 and for his philanthropic and personal involvement with the University with a Baylor Legacy Award in 2012. Mark also received the Baylor Business Legend Award from the Houston Baylor Business Network.

In November 2018, Mark and Paula gave a lead gift to launch the public phase of Give Light, a $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign for the future of Baylor and for which the Hurds served as campaign co-chairs. Their gift, one of the largest in Baylor history, will create a new entry point to the University — the Mark and Paula Hurd Center. Throughout the years, the Hurds have also invested significantly in the growth of the Baylor Tennis program. In 2011, the University’s tennis complex was named the Hurd Tennis Center, which was ranked by Tennis Magazine as the No. 1 college tennis facility in the United States.

Past recipients of the Founders Medal include such philanthropists and University supporters as Drayton McLane Jr., Jane Meyer, Louise Herrington Ornelas, Mary Russell McCall, Ted and Sue Getterman and Baylor Presidents Samuel Palmer Brooks, W.R. White, Abner V. McCall and Herbert H. Reynolds. A full list of past recipients is available here.

A copy of the Baylor Founders Medal is on permanent exhibition in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The face of the medal bears the likeness of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, with the inscription Pro Ecclesia Pro Texana. The obverse bears the likeness of Pat Neff Hall with the inscription “Baylor University Founders Medal,” in addition to the name of the recipient and year of presentation.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 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.