Traveling Through Waco in July? Plan a Stop at Baylor’s Hurd Welcome Center

June 27, 2024
Hurd Center Travel Stop

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (June 27, 2024) – Baylor University’s Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center is hard to miss as the campus’s spectacular front door right off Interstate 35 in Waco. Throughout July, the Hurd Welcome Center will serve an additional purpose for road-weary travelers: a convenient daytime Travel Stop offering a cool place indoors to take a break or explore the Hurd Welcome Center, a fun Baylor travel pack for kids, clean restrooms, coffee, soda, sweet treats and more.

Convenient location

Travelers can easily find the Hurd Welcome Center – and its plentiful parking – at the corner of I-35 and University Parks Drive (Exit 335B) in Waco. For travelers using navigation apps, the street address is 901 S. University Parks Drive, Waco, TX 76706.

Travel Stop hours of operation

During July, the Hurd Welcome Center Travel Stop will be hosted:

  • Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Closed July 4
Travel Stop amenities

Visitors entering the Hurd Welcome Center will be greeted at the Welcome Desk by travel stop volunteers, who can direct them to the various amenities within the Hurd Center. These include:

  • Varsity Coffee and Soda, featuring Peet’s Coffee (the only Peet’s within 100 miles), donuts and sweets, as well as cold Dr Pepper, the popular soft drink invented in Waco;
  • Comfortable and expansive seating areas;
  • The Baylor Spirit Shop, featuring a wide range of Baylor gear for all ages; and
  • Clean restroom facilities.

In addition, families can pick up a free Baylor travel pack for kids that includes a coloring book and colored pencils, Dr Pepper jellybeans, stickers and a water bottle, while supplies last. Other special gifts and giveaways will be available throughout the summer on a limited basis. Travel stop volunteers also can provide more information about attractions at Baylor such as the Baylor Bear Habitat as well as favorite restaurants around Waco.

Explore the Hurd Welcome Center

Opened in fall 2023, the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center is an impressive, modern building with nods to Baylor’s historic architecture, greeting visitors to more than just the physical campus – but to the traditions, faith and history that help make Baylor special.

One of the Hurd Center’s one of the most distinct features is the four massive columns within Carlton Hall that extend 96 feet through the building’s roof and into the sky. At night, the columns stand as illuminated beacons for hundreds of thousands traveling along I-35 and around campus.

However, the columns are more than a striking architectural feature. They represent a deep symbolic connection to Baylor’s history while providing a unique technology-rich and interactive experience for guests. Visitors are invited to share in the immersive experience inside each of the four columns:

  • Connect: Literally see the sights and hear the sounds of Baylor, including running the Baylor Line at football games.
  • Amplify: Hear from some of Baylor’s most impactful alumni around the world.
  • Aspire: Imagine how students’ future aspirations are illuminated at Baylor.
  • Reflect: Experience a 360° mirror with a kaleidoscope effect reflecting the beauty of Baylor.


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.