The Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center: A Place for the Entire Baylor Family

July 20, 2023
Hurd Welcome Center Entrance

Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (July 20, 2023) – When it opens this fall, the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center will truly have a place for the entire Baylor Family. The facility honors the many people and traditions of Baylor, especially the late Mark Hurd and his wife, Paula. Mark and Paula dreamed of creating a space where prospective and current students, alumni and visitors would be able to learn about the University, visit for homecoming and games, celebrate events and find top-notch Baylor gear, all in one location. It is a place for students as they start their Baylor journey, for families and parents to gather while visiting campus and for Baylor Alumni to reunite.

In addition to the technological wonder of the four interactive columns and the fun and symbolic details throughout the building, a few special spaces in the Welcome Center deserve introductions.

Spirit Shop

On the first floor is a Spirit Shop like nothing Baylor has had before. The shop will offer a wide variety of gear for fans to fling their green and gold near and far. Included in the space is a Nike “store within the store,” featuring the latest and greatest Baylor-branded Nike apparel. The Spirit Shop will be separate from the Baylor Bookstore on 5th Street, which will remain open and focus on textbooks, books and other classroom materials.


The Ballroom in the Hurd Welcome Center provides an upscale, high-profile banquet facility that will significantly increase the opportunities for the University to host large-scale events. Like so much of the Hurd, the space is exceedingly flexible, with seating for approximately 650 to 850 guests, depending on the event. It includes the same impressive technological capabilities found throughout the facility and can be subdivided into multiple rooms to host smaller meetings or academic conferences.

Fudge Family Auditorium

On the south end of the second floor, the Fudge Family Auditorium is suspended over the entrance to the Hurd and offers an impressive panoramic view overlooking Baylor’s campus. With floor-to-ceiling windows that transform into a presentation screen, the auditorium’s state-of-the-art video and audio capabilities will help provide a memorable impression for up to 250 guests. The space is named for Jeremy and Kristy Fudge of Parker, Texas, and their family, who have provided transformational support for Baylor’s Give Light campaign capital priorities, including the Fudge Football Development Center.

McLane Family Alumni Center

If the Hurd Welcome Center is considered the front door to Baylor, the McLane Family Alumni Center is the beautiful, inviting living room. Situated on the northwest end of the second floor, the McLane Family Alumni Center reflects recognition for Drayton and Elizabeth McLane, as well as their sons and daughters-in-law – Drayton III and Amy McLane and Denton and Amy McLane – whose family legacy and history of generous support for Baylor and her alumni continues to be written.

McLane Alumni Center

The highlight of the McLane Family Alumni Center is the Randy and Myra Pullin Living Room, which overlooks the grand Carlton Hall. This cozy space, named in honor of the generosity of Randy and Myra Pullin of Houston, is complete with plush seating, a fireplace and memorabilia of Baylor's past and present. There are also private meeting spaces and conference rooms to meet a range of Baylor Family needs.

Only a few weeks are left until the doors will open to this incredible facility. Stay tuned for more information on when and how to enjoy the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center this fall.


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.