Baylor University Announces Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion Naming
Naming honors historic $100 million gift supporting Pavilion, Baylor Academic ChallengeMedia Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia
WACO, Texas (Nov. 13, 2021) – Baylor University today announced the naming of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion in honor of Paul (BBA ’79) and Alejandra Foster, of El Paso, Texas. The naming is in recognition of Paul and Alejandra’s gift of $100 million in 2019 to the Give Light Campaign, which launched the public fundraising campaign for the Basketball Pavilion, home to Baylor’s National Championship basketball teams.
The Fosters’ gift, which until now was anonymous, also sparked unprecedented support for faculty through the creation of a dollar-for-dollar matching program for qualifying gifts providing faculty support to Baylor in support of Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan. Known at the time as the Baylor Academic Challenge, the program which prompted the funding of 14 faculty endowed chairs will now be known as the Foster Academic Challenge.
“Alejandra and I are extremely proud of Baylor and all that it stands for, and we are grateful for the opportunity to invest in the long-term future of Baylor,” said Paul L. Foster. “Through the Academic Challenge grant, our investment will help Baylor attract and retain some of the best faculty in the nation, and to fund critical research initiatives for many years to come. And through our investment in the Pavilion, we hope to help Baylor to continue its tradition as a national leader in Men’s and Women’s Basketball and many other sports and activities. We are confident this will be one of the best multi-purpose sports and entertainment venues in the country.”
On May 4, 2019, the institution announced the largest current gift ever received by Baylor University from the then-anonymous philanthropists. Since that time, the Fosters agreed to allow the University to name the Basketball Pavilion and Baylor Academic Challenge in their honor. Planned as a state-of-the-art home for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the Foster Pavilion’s location will be announced in early 2022, with groundbreaking for the project scheduled to begin by summer 2022.
“Paul and Alejandra Foster have truly been champions for Baylor University and our students, and we are excited to make this announcement so that our Baylor Family can join with us in celebrating their transformational philanthropy,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “Paul and Alejandra have established a legacy of generosity that opens the door to incredible opportunities for our students, from the Paul L. Foster Campus of Business and Innovation and the Paul L. Foster Success Center to the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion and the Foster Academic Challenge. We give heartfelt gratitude for their commitment to the Baylor Family.”
“Alejandra and Paul’s transformational generosity will provide our student-athletes the opportunity to compete, train and develop in a state-of-the-art facility,” said Mack B. Rhoades IV, Baylor Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “We are thrilled to build this exciting environment, which will enhance our student-athlete and fan experience for our basketball programs. Our fans will see increased capacity of sideline seating so they can be closer to the action, providing a strong home court advantage. The Foster Pavilion will house a robust development center with academic rooms, team lounges as well as a fully-equipped athletic performance and nutrition center with dining area. We are deeply grateful for the Foster’s generous gift to Baylor and Baylor Athletics and are honored to build the Pavilion in their name.”
In addition to the Foster Pavilion, $25 Million of the Fosters’ $100 million gift also created the Baylor Academic Challenge, which will now be known as the Foster Academic Challenge. The dollar-for-dollar matching program sparked transformational growth, nearly doubling the University’s total research chair count in two years through the creation of 14 additional research chairs. The University now holds 22 research chair endowments to advance R1-level research and enhance the University’s efforts toward top-tier designation.
A Legacy of Impact
This historic gift is not the first area of Baylor’s campus to be shaped by Paul and Alejandra Foster. In 2013, they gave a $35 million gift, which at the time was the largest gift from a living alumnus in Baylor’s history, to name the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. At the time Paul said he hoped his gift, a portion of which also provided support for McLane Stadium, would inspire others to support the Hankamer School of Business’s new home. The Paul L. Foster Success Center also bears his name in recognition of Paul’s significant contributions to student support services.
Paul L. Foster is the founder and CEO of Franklin Mountain Investments, a diversified investment and operating company. He also serves as a director on the boards of Franklin Mountain Capital, Franklin Mountain Energy, Jordan Foster Construction, Vomaris Innovations, the El Paso branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, and WestStar Bank. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Borderplex Regional Economic Alliance and is a member of the World Presidents Organization.
Paul is a former Chairman of The University of Texas Board of Regents, a former Chairman of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), and a former member of the University of Texas System’s University Lands Advisory Board. He is a past member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Business Leadership Council. He was the founding Chairman of El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCo).
Alejandra De la Vega-Foster is Vice President of Almacenes Distribuidores de la Frontera, a company that operates convenience stores in the City of Juarez, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico. She also owns the Domino’s Pizza franchise in Juarez and holds the franchise rights for La Madeleine Country French Café in El Paso, Texas, southern New Mexico, and Arizona markets.
Together, Paul and Alejandra are philanthropists and significant supporters of the Borderplex cities of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Avid sports enthusiasts at all levels of competition, they are co-founders of Mountain Star Sports Group, owners of the El Paso Chihuahuas Triple-A Baseball team, the FC Juarez Bravos Liga MX Soccer club, and the El Paso Locomotive USL Soccer club.
The Fosters have received numerous honors at Baylor University, including the Baylor Legacy Award and the Baylor University Distinguished Alumni Award. They have been honored for their faithful support of Baylor as Legacy Members of the 1845 Society. From 2008-2010, Paul served on the board of advisors for Baylor's Hankamer School of Business. He is a current member of the Baylor Bear Foundation.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 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.