Baylor University’s Trailblazer Scholars Program Surpasses $2 Million in Fundraising

February 11, 2021
Trailblazer Scholars Program

Applications for scholarship program open for 2021-2022 academic year; Inaugural cohort of Trailblazer Scholars named after Baylor’s first Black graduates, Rev. Robert Gilbert and Mrs. Barbara Walker

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Feb. 11, 2021) – Baylor University announced today that fundraising for the Trailblazer Scholars Program has surpassed $2 million since the program’s creation in July 2020, pairing with the University’s commitment of $5 million to establish the program.

The Trailblazer Scholars Program is receiving applications until Feb. 15. The inaugural Gilbert-Walker cohort of Trailblazer Scholars is named after Baylor’s first Black graduates Rev. Robert Gilbert, BA '67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, BA '67.

An interdepartmental collaboration designed to recognize the importance of fostering diversity, equity, belonging and mutual respect at Baylor University, staff from the Division of Student Life and the Department of Multicultural Affairs and faculty from across campus spent the Fall 2020 semester planning and laying the infrastructure for the Trailblazer Scholars Program. The University committed $5 million in scholarship support at the program’s launch in July, and since then, the Baylor Family collectively has given more than $2 million in gifts and pledges, moving the University forward significantly toward its goal of $5 million raised for the endowment.

“I am grateful for the alumni, parents and friends who have joined so quickly and enthusiastically in giving to help fund these important Trailblazer Scholars,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “We are grateful to the Baylor faculty and staff who have spent so many hours thoughtfully planning and preparing for our first cohort of Trailblazers. We look forward to equipping and learning from these men and women who are our future leaders in such critically important conversations surrounding how we as a community foster diversity and how we as Christians practice mutual respect in conversations where we may not always agree.”

Baylor’s incoming freshmen, as well as upper-level students, who demonstrate a commitment to advancing racial equality, diversity and a sense of belonging are welcome to apply. Students in the Trailblazer Scholars Program will participate in leadership and service opportunities through Baylor’s Department of Multicultural Affairs and through other groups and programs on the University’s campus. Scholarship funds will be awarded annually and are renewable to students who maintain a 2.5 GPA and are actively committed to conversations and initiatives advancing racial conciliation on Baylor’s campus and throughout the nation.

As part of Baylor’s commitment to listen, learn and take actionable steps regarding racial healing and justice in America, the Trailblazer Scholars Program also reflects the University’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. Since July 2020, Baylor alumni, parents and Alumni-By-Choice have given to support program funding, immediate scholarship support and to fund endowed scholarships for the Trailblazer Scholars Program.

In addition to gifts that will provide immediate support, the following endowed scholarships were established in the last seven months to provide sustainable resources for the Trailblazer Scholars Program:

  • Howard and Sue Cowan Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Roderick Morrison Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • James and Lydia Perry Trailblazers Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Bell Family Trailblazers Endowed Scholarship Fund
  • Blankenship/Marshall Family Endowed Trailblazers Scholarship Fund
  • Camille Griffin Trailblazers Endowed Scholarship Fund

More information about how to support the Trailblazer Scholars Program is available on the giving website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 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.