Baylor University Announces $3.7 Million Naming Gift for Development Center at Basketball Pavilion, Scholarships
Gift from Jay Allison and Jenny Reid Allison provides significant momentum for the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion
WACO, Texas (Feb. 24, 2023) – Baylor University today announced a $3.7 million gift from Jay and Jenny Allison of Frisco, Texas, to support the Give Light Capital Fund, as well as scholarships benefiting Baylor Law and the George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Baylor will recognize the couple’s philanthropic support through the naming of the Jay and Jenny Allison Development Center within the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion.
“We are extremely grateful for Jay and Jenny’s incredible support of Baylor Athletics, both through their most recent gift and for their history of giving to the priorities and needs of this institution through capital projects and scholarship support. Our student-athletes, fans and staff alike, benefit greatly from their love of Baylor,” said Mack B. Rhoades IV, Baylor Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “The Jay and Jenny Allison Development Center, another remarkable gift provided through their generosity, will play a central role in the preparation of our Baylor Basketball student-athletes. We are proud to see the Allison name once again connected to such vital support and programming for our student-athletes and coaches and their future success.”
The majority of the Allisons’ gift supports the capital priorities of the Give Light campaign, Baylor’s comprehensive fundraising campaign which has seen the Baylor Family give to $1.29 billion to support Illuminate, Baylor’s strategic plan. The Allisons also provided $200,000 to be split evenly between Baylor Law and Truett to create two scholarship funds, the Jay and Jenny Allison Endowed Scholarship in Law and the Jay and Jenny Allison Endowed Scholarship for Truett Seminary.
“We celebrate Jay and Jenny’s generous gift, knowing that their commitment to Baylor’s Christian mission is evident through their support of our students and the University’s priorities,” said Baylor Vice President for Advancement David Rosselli. “From their leadership through gifts of time, talents and treasure, Jay and Jenny are demonstrating just how impactful our Baylor Family can be on Baylor’s future. We are grateful for their continued commitment to excellence, both in the facilities where we train our student-athletes to the scholarship support we provide to all students, they have truly created a legacy of support and encouragement here at Baylor.”
The Jay and Jenny Allison Development Center within the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion will provide dedicated practice and training facilities for Baylor’s NCAA National Championship Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs. The Allison Development Center will feature private practice courts, locker rooms and team lounges for each program, as well as office facilities for the coaching staffs and shared sports performance spaces, like strength and conditioning rooms, athletic training and treatment spaces, as well as hydrotherapy and nutrition areas.
The seat selection process for Bear Foundation members for the Foster Pavilion continues, with the deadline of March 31, 2023, for current season ticket holders to join phase 1. To learn more about that process, please click here.
The Allison Development Center will be a main feature of the Foster Pavilion, a 223,547-square-foot facility that will serve as the new home for Baylor Basketball. The pavilion will hold a capacity of more than 7,000, with improved sight lines and access to concessions via an integrated concourse that will not force fans to leave the game for refreshments. Improved concessions and two 2,000-square-foot video end boards will help to cultivate a boisterous home-court advantage to rival other facilities in the conference.
Site preparation and ground work began on Foster Pavilion in March 2022, with an expected opening of the Pavilion in January 2024. Construction will continue on the Allison Development Center after the Pavilion’s completion, with a later opening expected in Summer 2024. The Foster Pavilion complex will be located along the Brazos River on the west side of Interstate-35, adjacent to Baylor’s Robinson Tower. The Pavilion will serve to further connect Baylor’s campus to Robinson Tower and downtown Waco. To view more renderings and learn additional details about the project, please visit the Baylor Athletics website.
A legacy of support
Jay (B.B.A. ’78, M.S. ’80, J.D. ’81) and Jenny Reid (B.S.Ed. ’78, M.S.Ed. ’80) Allison have been faithful supporters of Baylor University and its students since their days as recent graduates. The Allisons’ generosity has greatly advanced the University’s mission and left a lasting legacy across campus. Their visionary giving includes the lead gift for the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility and the Basketball Hall of Honor in the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility, as well as support for the construction of McLane Stadium and the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. Baylor students also have long found a friend in the Allisons through their support of endowed student scholarships with Baylor Athletics, the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and through various funds within the Hankamer School of Business. Jay and Jenny were also honored as Baylor University’s 2014 Parents of the Year. Jay and Jenny were honored with the Baylor Athletic Directors Hall of Honor Legacy Award, Baylor Athletic Hall of Honor Achievement Award and Baylor University Endowment Scholarship Golden Bear Circle.
The Allisons have established an incredible legacy at Baylor, as all four of their children are also Baylor graduates: Jency (BU ’08, M.S.Ed. ’09), Logan (BU ’13), Lucas (BU ’14) and Aubrey (BU ’16) and son-in-laws Jeremy Weeks (M.S.Ed. ’09) and Declan Kirk (B.S. Biology ’16). Jay’s and Jenny Reid Allison’s extended families count more than 30 Baylor graduates, representing more than 70 years of Baylor ties, including her parents, Dr. Bryce (BU ’50) and Edna (BU ’51) Reid. In 1949, Jenny’s father, Dr. Bryce Reid, played on Baylor’s Dixie Bowl champion football team.
M. Jay Allison has been a director of Comstock Resources Inc., a NYSE oil and gas company since 1987, and Chief Executive Officer since 1988. Mr. Allison was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bois d’Arc Energy Inc., a NYSE oil and gas company, from the time of its formation in 2004 until its merger with Stone Energy Corp. in 2008. He received B.B.A., M.S. and J.D. degrees from Baylor University in 1978, 1980 and 1981, respectively. He served as a Director of Tidewater Inc., a NYSE oil and gas service company for 10 years and on the Dallas Wildcat Committee Board of Directors. Mr. Allison also served on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army, as a trustee of Howard Payne University and also served for 18 years on the Board of Regents for Baylor University.
Jenny Reid Allison’s professional career began in Waco public schools, where she worked with students with special needs. She has continued to follow her passion for working with students and supporting education, especially where it promotes Christian values. Jenny helped create a scholarship “fun” run to benefit Frisco ISD students, and Jenny and Jay helped to create Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, Texas.
As members of the Baylor community, Jay and Jenny have invested significantly of their time as volunteers, including as co-chairs for the National Campaign Steering Committee for the Give Light Campaign. A “wonderful Baylor ambassador,” Jenny is past President of the Baylor Women’s Council of Dallas, previously served on the Dean’s Board of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and was recognized as a Baylor “Woman of Distinction” in 2012. As a Baylor student, Jay lettered in football for three years and was a member of the 1974 Southwest Conference team that played in the 1975 Cotton Bowl. He has continued to stay involved with Baylor Athletics as a member of the Letterwinners Association, and in 2016, he was inducted into the “B” Letter Winners “Wall of Honor.”
Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on Nov. 1, 2018. To date, the campaign has raised $1.29 billion. The Campaign has seen 88,685 alumni, parents and friends give to the University’s priorities, as well as establishing 791 endowed scholarships and 44 endowed faculty positions. For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit www.baylor.edu/givelight.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 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 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.