|Motto||Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana|
|Motto in English||For Church, For Texas|
|Religious affiliation||Baptist General Convention of Texas|
(May 31, 2011)
|President||Kenneth Winston Starr|
|Location||Waco, Texas, United States|
|Campus||Urban,"College town"; 1,000 acres (3 km²)|
|Mascot||Judge Joy & Judge Lady (live bears)
|Affiliations||Big 12, ASAIHL|
Baylor University is a private Baptist university in Waco, Texas. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, Baylor is the oldest continuously-operating university in Texas and was one of the first educational institutions west of the Mississippi River. The university's 1,000-acre campus is located on the banks of the Brazos River next to freeway I-35, between the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and Austin. Baylor University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Baylor is notable for its law, business, science, and English programs.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Student life
- 4 Research and endowment
- 5 Athletics
- 6 Traditions
- 7 Notable alumni, faculty and staff
- 8 Campus
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting voted to adopt the suggestion of Rev. William Milton Tryon and R.E.B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas, then a self-declared republic still claimed by Mexico. Baylor, a Texas district judge and onetime U.S. Congressman and soldier from Alabama, became the school's namesake. Some at first wished to name the new university "San Jacinto" to recognize the victory which enabled the Texans to become an independent nation, then before the final vote of the Congress, the petitioners requested the university be named in honor of Judge R. E. B. Baylor.
In the fall of 1844, the Texas Baptist Education Society petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter a Baptist university. Republic President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress on February 1, 1845, officially establishing Baylor University. The founders built the original university campus in Independence, Texas. Rev. James Huckins, the first Southern Baptist missionary to Texas, was Baylor's first full-time fundraiser. He is considered the third founding father of the university. Although these three men are credited as being the founders of the university, many others worked to see the first university established in Texas and thus they were awarded Baylor's Founders Medal. The noted Texas revolutionary war leader and hero Sam Houston gave the first $5,000 donation to start the university. In 1854, Houston was also baptized by the Rev. Rufus Columbus Burleson, future Baylor President, in the Brazos River.
During the 1846 school year Baylor leaders would begin including chapel as part of the Baylor educational experience. The tradition continues today and has been a part of the life of students for over 160 years. In 1849, R.E.B. Baylor and Abner S. Lipscomb of the Texas Supreme Court began teaching classes in the "science of law," making Baylor the first in Texas and the second university west of the Mississippi to teach law. During this time Stephen Decatur Rowe would earn the first degree awarded by Baylor. He would be followed by the first female graduate, Mary Kavanaugh Gentry, in 1855.
In 1851, Baylor's second president Rufus Columbus Burleson decided to separate the students by gender, making the Baylor Female College an independent and separate institution. Baylor University became an all-male institution. During this time, Baylor thrived as the only university west of the Mississippi offering instruction in law, mathematics, and medicine. At the time a Baylor education cost around $8–$15 per term for tuition. And many of the early leaders of the Republic of Texas, such as Sam Houston, would later send their children to Baylor to be educated. Some of those early students were Temple Lea Houston, son of President Sam Houston, a famous western gun-fighter and attorney; and Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross famous Confederate General and later President of Texas A&M University.
For the first half of the American Civil War, the Baylor president was George Washington Baines, maternal great-grandfather of the future U.S. President, Lyndon Baines Johnson. He worked vigorously to sustain the university during the Civil War, when male students left their studies to enlist in the Confederate Army and serve Texas in various military campaigns. Following the war, the city of Independence slowly declined, primarily caused by the rise of neighboring cities being serviced by the Santa Fe Railroad. Because Independence lacked a railroad line, university fathers began searching for a location to build a new campus.
Beginning in 1885, Baylor University moved to Waco, Texas, a growing town on the railroad line. It merged with a local college called Waco University. At the time, Rufus Burleson, Baylor's second president, was serving as the local college's president. That same year, the Baylor Female College also was moved to a new location, Belton, Texas. It later became known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. A Baylor College Park still exists in Independence in memory of the college's history there. Around 1887, Baylor University began readmitting women and became coeducational again.
In 1900, three physicians founded the University of Dallas Medical Department in Dallas, although a university by that name did not exist. In 1903, Baylor University acquired the medical school, which became known as the Baylor College of Medicine, while remaining in Dallas. In 1943, Dallas civic leaders offered to build larger facilities for the university in a new medical center if the College of Medicine would surrender its denominational alliances with the Baptist state convention. The Baylor administration refused the offer and, with funding from the M. D. Anderson Foundation and others, moved the College of Medicine to Houston. In 1969, the Baylor College of Medicine became technically independent from Baylor University. The two institutions still maintain strong links and Baylor still elects around 25% of the medical schools regents. They also share academic links and combine in research efforts.
During its more than 160 years of history, Baylor has had 14 presidents, whose leadership has shaped the growth of the institution (Interim presidents are noted):
(Note: While Rufus C. Burleson served as Baylor's President twice, he is counted only once in the presidential count. This makes Reddin Andrews the fifth president and Oscar Henry Cooper the sixth president. Additionally, the interim presidents are not counted.)
|U.S. News & World Report||77|
As reported in the 2013 "Best Colleges" rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Baylor is No. 77  out of 262 national universities. The university's 2011 acceptance rate was 38 percent. According to the College Board, of the fall 2012 entering freshman class of 3,254 students, approximately 75 percent of the incoming students were in the top 20 percent of their high school class.
This class consisted of 52 percent students in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, and 99 percent in the top half. Of undergraduates who returned after their freshman year, Baylor had one the best rates in the state with almost 87 percent choosing to return to complete their degrees. Also, 79 percent of students complete their degree within a six-year time frame. Baylor is among the 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
The average American College Test (ACT) score of Baylor undergrad students was 27. The average SAT scores were as follows: Math was 627, Reading was 610 and Writing was 591. There were 1,233 transfer applicants, in which 736 (59 percent) were accepted. The number of admitted transfer students who chose to enroll at Baylor was 451 (36 percent). According to The Princeton Review, Baylor was ranked a Best Western College. In addition, The Princeton Review ranked Baylor 2nd in marketing programs. Baylor University has been named a “Best Value in Private Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine for 2011-2012.
Approximately 90 percent of students receive some type of financial aid from a mixture of sources; the student to faculty ratio is 16 to 1, with the average undergraduate class size of 27.
The university first received school accreditation in 1914 when it became an accredited member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Baylor College of Medicine received accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1970.
In 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Baylor in its What Will They Learn? study, which is an annual evaluation system of colleges and universities. The report assigns a letter grade to 1,070 universities based on how many of the following seven core subjects are required: composition, literature, foreign language, American history, economics, mathematics and science. Baylor was one of only 21 schools to receive an "A" grade, which is assigned to schools that include at least six of the seven designated subjects in their core curriculum.
Several Baylor graduate programs, including its Law School, Hankamer School of Business and programs in the sciences and education are nationally ranked. According to the National Research Council (NRC), among those programs, Baylor's Graduate program in English was ranked first for Student Support and Outcomes by the National Research Council, based on criteria such as the percentage of students receiving full financial support, PhD completion percentage, median time to completion of degrees, and job placement rate.
The university is divided into eleven degree-granting academic units. Two of the units are designated as colleges, while eight others are designated as schools. They are:
- College of Arts & Sciences
- Hankamer School of Business
- Honors College
- School of Education
- School of Engineering & Computer Science
- Graduate School
- Law School
- Louise Herrington School of Nursing
- School of Music
- School of Social Work
Additionally, the George W. Truett Theological Seminary is a unit of the university.
More than 15,000 students study at Baylor, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and approximately 85 foreign countries. The university clubs and organizations provide each student with an opportunity to become engaged with an organization that shares his or her interests. Baylor University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 12,575, with a gender distribution of 42.9 percent male students and 57.1 percent female students. At Baylor, 36.0 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 64.0 percent of students live off campus.
Clubs and organizations
Baylor University offers 260 clubs and organizations, 42 of which are national and local sororities and fraternities in which students can participate. Each club and organization falls into an array of categories to fit the needs and interests of all students: academic, Greek life, multicultural, religious, representative, service, special interest and spirit/sport.
A number of students participate in Greek life at Baylor. Approximately 14 percent of undergraduate men are members of fraternities, and 21 percent of undergraduate women (highest female Greek rate in Texas) are members of a sorority. There are four councils at Baylor. Most of the university’s fraternities began as local fraternities, before affiliating with their national organizations in the late 1970s. Unlike most universities, Baylor does not allow its Greek organizations to have officially sanctioned houses on campus.
Fraternities and sororities are active throughout the year with various service events, mixers, football tailgates, formals, out of town weekends and All-University Sing. Fraternities and sororities often collaborate in the fall to build parade floats for Baylor's Homecoming celebrations, one of the oldest in the nation. Baylor University possesses 12 Interfraternity Council (IFC) fraternities and eight National Panhellenic Conference sororities:
Non-IFC fraternities, social clubs, & non-NPC sororities
|Beta Upsilon Chi||Delta Kappa Delta|
|Kappa Omega Tau||Kappa Chi Alpha|
|Phi Kappa Chi||Sigma Phi Lambda|
|Alpha Phi Omega|
Every semester, students participate in a multitude of sports varying in leagues, competitiveness and divisions. Students build teams within campus organizations, sororities/fraternities, residence halls and their groups of friends.
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|Co-Rec Doubles Tennis||5-on-5 Basketball|
|Co-Rec Kickball||Co-Rec Sand Volleyball|
|Co-Rec Ultimate Frisbee||Co-Rec Wallyball|
Golden Wave Band
The Baylor University Golden Wave Band (BUGWB) is the halftime entertainment for Baylor football. The 295-member band attends every home football game and sometimes travels to away games. The band's name dates back to 1928 when, while on tour in West Texas, observers noted that the band members' gold uniforms looked like a giant "golden wave" sweeping over the landscape.
The Noble NoZe Brotherhood
The Noble NoZe Brotherhood, an unofficial fraternal organization, was founded in 1924 to study the art of bridge construction in association with the BBA (Baylor Bridge Association). The NoZe Brotherhood provides the university with unusual public pranks and satirical writings in its newspaper, The Rope. Members hide their identities to keep their actions anonymous with traditional Groucho Marx glasses, theatrical wigs and beards, and outlandish garb to protect against backlash from Baylor administration when satirically jesting at University policies. Baylor lore has it that to enter the group, one must have a GPA of 4.0 or 0.4, endure rigorous trial and tribulation, and take place in hidden meetings. All other information regarding the group tends to be heavily vested, however rumor states that many alumni of the group continue to be District Attorney, Federal Judges, Congressman, and other political activist.
Baylor University has a strong history of military service dating back to before the Civil War and currently offers both Army and Air Force ROTC for students. Baylor graduates have served in every major military engagement in Texas history. Formal Military instruction began on campus in 1888.
Baylor has had several famous military graduates such as Andrew Jackson Lummus, Jr., who fought and died at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II and received the Medal of Honor for his service. John Riley Kane also received the Medal of Honor for his service after flying 43 combat missions for a total of 250 combat hours in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Kane's daring operations caused German intelligence reports to dub him "Killer Kane."
In July 1948, the Air Force and Baylor University partnered in the creation of Air Force ROTC Detachment 810 - one of the first detachments ever created. In 2008, Detachment 810 was awarded the Air Force ROTC Right Of Line Award as the No. 1 large detachment in the nation. The unit was additionally awarded the High Flight Award, recognizing it as one of the top four detachments in America. It has been named best in the AFROTC Southwest Region for 1996, 2003 and 2008.
Research and endowment
In 2005, the university was invited to join the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The project is one of the world's largest experimental physics collaborations.
The following year, Carnegie Foundation upgraded the university's classification to "Research University" status with "High Research Activity," opening the door to many new research opportunities.
In October 2009, a group of state, county and city governments and organizations and higher educational institutions in Central Texas announced the creation of the Central Texas Technology and Research Park, and the park's first project, the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) to be housed in the former General Tire facility on South Loop Drive in Waco. Funding for the effort came from the state of Texas and Baylor University. Clifton Robinson (a member of Baylor's Board of Regents) donated the facility to the university to support the research collaborative.
Several former and present members of faculty at Baylor are involved in the intelligent design debate, most notably philosopher William Dembski, now at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Christian philosopher Francis Beckwith and electrical engineer Robert J. Marks II
The university's endowment passed $1 billion in 2007 and reached $1,055,478,000 on December 31, 2007. Despite the economic crisis of 2008, Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman reported that Baylor's endowment grew 5.1 percent in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008; the National Association of College and University Business Officials estimated that during that same period, the median return for the top 25 percent of college endowments decreased by 2.2 percent. Fogleman cited the university's long-term investments and diversified holdings as the cause of the endowment's success. As of December 2008, the Baylor endowment totaled less than $1 billion, down from a May high of $1.06 billion. A consulting firm hired by the university expressed concern that the disagreements within the Baylor community could hinder the endowment from continuing its four-year streak of increased endowment donation totals and its 2012 goal of a $2 billion endowment, though the current economy may also prevent both.
On March 4, 2010, "An anonymous longtime Baylor donor. . . set up an estate provision that will benefit the school to the tune of an estimated $200 million dollars. The gift will bolster Baylor's research on the issues of aging in multiple disciplines at the school." Citing the most recent data reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Baylor officials say the $200 million donation is the second-largest gift to a Texas college or university and ranks among the top 20 private gifts to higher education institutions in the country.
|Men’s Sports||Women’s Sports|
|Baseball||Acrobatics & Tumbling|
|Cross Country||Cross Country|
|Track & Field||Softball|
|Track & Field|
Baylor student athletes participate in NCAA Division I as part of the Big 12 Conference. Baylor men’s sports teams are named the Bears, and most women’s teams are named the Lady Bears. Although athletics have long been important to the university, it became especially noted for its prowess in sports in the 2011-2012 season when Baylor broke the NCAA record for most combined wins in the four major collegiate sports: baseball, football, and men's and women's basketball.
The university has won NCAA titles in 2004, 2005 and 2012. The men's tennis team defeated UCLA in the 2004 championship match to garner the Baylor’s first title. One year later, the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team beat Michigan State in the championship game and was subsequently named as the only women’s team to be nominated for a 2005 “Best Team” ESPY. In 2012, the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the NCAA National Championship; the first college basketball team to ever finish with a perfect 40-0 record.
The Baylor men's basketball team advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA 'March Madness' Championship tournament in 2010 and 2012. Under the direction of head coach Scott Drew, Baylor achieved a record of 121-55 (.688) between the 2008-2012 seasons and reached post-season play in four of those years. Four former Baylor basketball players were drafted in the first or second round of the NBA draft in the 2011 and 2012 seasons:
- Epke Udoh (first round)
- Perry Jones III (first round)
- Quincy Acy (second round)
- Quincy Miller (second round)
Year of the Bear
The Year of the Bear is the name given to the 2011-2012 year in Baylor Athletics. During this year, the Baylor Bears football team defeated Big 12 rivals TCU (No. 2) and Oklahoma (No. 5) and ended the season at 10-3 ranked at No. 12. While junior quarterback Robert Griffin III gained recognition throughout the year, his help in leading the team to a win in the 2011 Valero Alamo Bowl contributed to his selection for the 2011 Heisman Trophy and National Player of the Year honors.
Meanwhile, the men's basketball team started with 17 straight wins en route to a 30-8 season (the best in school history), a berth in the NCAA Elite Eight (its second in three seasons) and a No. 10 final ranking. The women's basketball team won the program's second national title, becoming the first basketball program – men's or women's – to finish 40-0. Center Brittney Griner was named the National Player of the Year, while Coach Kim Mulkey was awarded National Coach of the Year. The baseball team won 49 games (one shy of its all-time best), including a school-record 24-game winning streak. Although ranked at No. 1 for two weeks (a program first), the baseball team finished in the NCAA Super Regionals and a No. 9 ranking.
Baylor's four major programs (football, men's and women's basketball, and baseball) finished with an NCAA record 129 wins during the year (and an overall record of 129-28 for a winning percentage of .822) and Baylor was the only school to have all four programs ranked at the end of their respective seasons. The football and (men's and women's) basketball programs also set NCAA records with a combined 80 wins between them, including a stretch from Nov. 1, 2011 to Jan. 16, 2012, when the three programs had 40 consecutive wins between them.
Outside of the four major programs, Baylor was one of only two schools that had all 19 of its sponsored sports advance to the post season. The university also won the Western Horsemanship national title in varsity equestrian.
Following the Year of the Bear, it was announced in July 2012 that a new $250 million football stadium called ‘Baylor Stadium’ would be constructed on the university’s campus. Opening in fall 2014, the stadium will hold up to 55,000 spectators and be situated on 93 acres of land adjacent to the Brazos River. The stadium was planned by architecture firm Populous, known for its design of Houston’s Minute Maid Park and the University of Minnesota’s new stadium. A partnership between Austin Commercial-Flintco LLC will oversee the project as its contractor.
From 1936-1949, the Baylor Bears home football games were played at Waco/Municipal Stadium. In 1950, the team moved to the newly constructed Floyd Casey Stadium (originally named Baylor Stadium), located four miles from campus with a seating capacity of up to 50,000 spectators. The stadium has been renovated several times, most notably in 1998 and 2005.
Baylor’s mascot is the American black bear. The university has two live bears on campus named Joy and Lady, each bearing the title of Judge in honor of the first live mascot. The school’s costumed mascot is named Bruiser.
Although Baylor began intercollegiate athletic competition in the 1890s, students didn’t elect the university’s mascot until 1914. The other two dozen nominees included the bald eagle and the bookworm. Three years later, the 107th Engineers, a U.S. Army troop stationed in Waco, gave Baylor its first live bear. After the troop left, the Baylor University Chamber of Commerce began caring for the animal. The organization still cares for the university’s live bears.
The university’s costumed mascot, Bruiser, was introduced at the beginning of the 1981-1982 basketball season. The mascot appears at football and basketball events, along with university pep rallies and community events. Bruiser also travels with the basketball team to games for the Big 12 Basketball Tournament, NIT and NCAA Tournaments.
Baylor has many traditions that have developed since the university was founded. Some take the form of annual celebrations, while others are symbolized in memorials.
The Baylor Line is a tradition for new students that began in 1970. Freshmen embrace the spirit of Baylor by wearing special football jerseys and rushing the field before home football games. Each “Line Jersey” has a nickname chosen by the student and his or her intended year of graduation on the back.
Freshman mass meeting
The Thursday night of Homecoming Week, new Baylor students attend a freshman mass meeting in Waco Hall where they learn about the Immortal Ten, ten student athletes who died in a bus-train accident in Round Rock, Texas, on January 22, 1927. The class’ eternal flame is lit at this meeting, officially beginning Homecoming.
The nation's first homecoming celebration originated at Baylor in November 1909, and the idea was quickly adopted by the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1910 and the University of Missouri in 1911. The Baylor Homecoming event began as a way to reconnect alumni with current students. Today, it has grown to include a football game, bonfire, concerts, speeches, receptions, class reunions, pep rallies, and the nation’s oldest and longest collegiate parade.
Memorial lamp posts
During World War II, more than 4,000 Baylor men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces, of whom more than 125 died during the war. In 1946, red granite lampposts were erected in honor of each of these fallen members of the military to stand as “a guard by day” and illuminate the paths of campus by night. Ever since, a lamppost has been added for each Baylor alumnus or student who has fallen in service to the country. The lamp posts are all of the same design and contain bronze plaques detailing the life and manner of death of the individual service member.
On January 22, 1927, a bus carrying the Baylor basketball team collided with the Sunshine Special train in Round Rock, Texas. Ten members of the traveling party were killed and many others were injured in the accident. The story of the Immortal Ten is told each year at Freshman Mass Meeting, where the names of the ten are called out. In 1996, the senior class provided initial funding to create an Immortal Ten statue on campus. Fundraising and planning for the statue continued over the ensuing years. Finally, on June 22, 2007, the statue sculpted by Bruce R. Greene was unveiled. The Immortal Ten memorial was officially dedicated during Homecoming on Nov. 2, 2007 in Traditions Square.
During the War of 1812, Cyrus Baylor, brother of R.E.B. Baylor, was cited for his bravery with the presentation of a gold sword by President Jackson. In 1957, it was given to the university. In 1974, Baylor President Abner V. McCall suggested that the sword be used to form the focal point of a ceremonial "symbol of authority." A timber from one of Old Main's towers was used to construct a base and center pole. Walking canes of former Baylor President Rufus C. Burleson and Gen. Sam Houston, who had been baptized by Burleson and had been a supporter of the university, were linked to the sword to form the Mace. It is used at all university commencement exercises and at other special ceremonies.
The Baylor University Men's Choir performing the university's alma mater, "That Good Ol' Baylor Line."
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Baylor's alma mater is "That Good Ol' Baylor Line". In 1906, a student penned humorous words to the tune of "In the Good Old Summer Time" and they became generally accepted among the student body as the school fight song. However, in 1931, Enid Eastland Markham, wife of music professor Robert Markham, felt the words were neither dignified enough nor representative of the total university, so he decided to write new lyrics, which were soon sanctioned as the official school song. The Good Old Summer Time tune was later arranged to fit Mrs. Markham's "Baylor Line" through the work of Jack Goode, Donald I. Moore and Charles F. Brown.
Notable alumni, faculty and staff
With more than 120,000 living alumni, Baylor is represented by notable individuals in an array of public and professional spheres. Graduates of the university include Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, GMA Dove Award-winning composer Bruce Greer, Grammy Award-winning Christian recording artist Phil Driscoll, Christian recording artist David Crowder, screenwriter and director John Lee Hancock (with works including The Blind Side, nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Picture), screenwriter Derek Haas (with works including 3:10 to Yuma and Wanted, both nominated for multiple Academy Awards), Emmy Award-nominated director Kevin Reynolds, Emmy Award-winning actress Angela Kinsey (the character of Angela Martin in NBC's The Office), Tony Award-nominated actress Elizabeth A. Davis, actress Carole Cook (a protégé of Lucille Ball), stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham, People Magazine co-founder Hal C. Wingo, The Weather Channel CFO Jerry Elliott, American Airlines CEO Thomas W. Horton, Western Refining CEO Paul Foster, Allbritton Communications Company (the parent company of Politico) founder Joe Allbritton, XTO Energy CEO Bob R. Simpson, chairman of the McLane Group and former owner of the Houston Astros Drayton McLane, Jr., Oracle Corporation co-president Mark Hurd, Washington Redskins quarterback and 2011 Heisman Trophy-winner Robert Griffin III, Phoenix Mercury WNBA player Britney Griner, four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson, and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ted Lyons.
Grammy Award-winning recording artist Willie Nelson and actor Austin Miller attended Baylor but did not receive degrees. Actor and comedian Bill Cosby received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from the university in 2003.
For information on notable faculty, staff and other alumni, please see the List of Baylor University people.
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