Significant support from alumni and donors contributes to the success of the Transformational Baylor Academic Challenge program | Media and public relations


Dollar-for-dollar matchmaking program maximizes support for high-impact scholarly research, university endowment

Media Contact: Tonya B. Hudson, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-644-3301
Follow us on twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (September 30, 2021) – Two years ago, Baylor University announced a $ 100 Million Gift from an anonymous donor to the Give Light campaign – the largest current donation in University history – with a significant portion establishing the Baylor Academic Challenge (BAC), a dollar-for-dollar matchmaking program intended to fuel the University’s academic enterprise. Today, Baylor announced the success of the BAC, which has generated significant support from alumni and donors to establish 14 new endowed faculty chairs and significantly advance the aspirations of students. Enlighten, the University’s strategic plan.

“It is a lesson in humility to see the way our Baylor family has responded to the Baylor faculty endowment appeal through the Baylor Academic Challenge,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “To alumni, parents, friends and families who have made the transformational decision to give generously to support faculty endowment, thank you. Your support will reverberate through generations of Baylor students and faculty who will reap the rewards of these generous donations. The future of Baylor University is truly bright with our Baylor family giving through gifts, big and small, to ensure that this institution continues to thrive, contribute and influence through the graduates who will leave our campus. to lead and serve in their chosen communities.

Established in May 2019, the Baylor Academic Challenge supports the University’s efforts to generate high impact research and scholarships, focusing on key academic initiatives of Enlighten. The BAC was created to help the University recruit elite academics whose research and leadership advance Enlighten, which includes Baylor’s efforts to achieve Research Status 1, according to the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions.

Prior to the Give Light campaign, Baylor University had received funding for two Endowed Research Chairs, which are enhanced chairs that provide additional funding for faculty research over traditional chairs. The University’s total research chair endowments increased to six with the launch of Give Light. The creation of the Baylor Academic Challenge then sparked transformational growth, nearly doubling the University’s total number of research chairs in two years through the creation of 14 additional research chairs. The University now holds 22 research chair endowments to advance R1 level research and strengthen the University’s efforts towards the top designation.

Baylor Academic Challenge Chairs are:

  • The W. Grady Rosier Chair in free enterprise
  • The Jackson Family chair for Baylor in Latin America
  • Mearse Chair in Biological and Biomedical Engineering
  • The William E. Crenshaw Chair
  • The William E. Crenshaw Chair
  • The Kenneth and Celia Carlile Chair in Materials Science
  • The James Robert Parker Chair in Health Sciences and Leadership
  • The James R. Schofield Chair in Biochemistry
  • The James R. Schofield Chair in Biomedical Studies
  • Eula Mae and John Baugh Chair in Physics
  • The Terry S. Maness Chair in Entrepreneurship from Lab to Market
  • The Lev H. Prichard III Chair in the Study of the Black Cult
  • The Vance Masteller Research Chair in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • The Jim and Tammy Snee Chair in Food Safety

In addition to the 14 Chairs created since 2019, the BAC has helped spark discussion about supporting faculty through endowment, leading to a donation from Ed and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Fla., And to the appointment of the dean of William E. Crenshaw of Baylor. Nationally ranked Hankamer School of Business. In July, Sandeep Mazumder, Ph.D., was named the first holder of the Crenshaw Deanship, joining Baylor from Wake Forest University, where he was professor and chair of the economics department. An additional faculty position, the Michael E. DeBakey, MD, Selma DeBakey and Lois DeBakey Chair in Medical Humanities at Baylor College of Arts & Sciences, was created in 2020 with a $ 2 million donation from the DeBakey Medical Foundation of Houston.

Recruit top academics

Through the Baylor Academic Challenge, the University has seen four endowments of chairs established within the Hankamer School of Business, three endowments established within the College of Arts & Sciences, two endowments within the School of Engineering and Computer Science and an endowment established at both Honors College and the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. The remaining three endowments will be administered by the Marshal’s Office as the Enlighten Chairs, providing President Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., and subsequent Presidents, the flexibility and ability to move faculty support between academic units in order to recruit leading academics whose experience and fields of expertise advance the academic priorities identified within Enlighten to improve interdisciplinary collaboration between academic units.

“The Baylor Academic Challenge has been an important and transformative gift for Baylor Academy,” said Brickhouse. “This has given us the flexibility and the freedom to examine areas of growth and strength within our schools and university colleges and determine where faculty staffing can have the greatest impact. Being able to approach alumni and others who have a passion for research or who are committed to the core values ​​of the goal of a certain discipline with this incredible opportunity has maximized the generous philanthropy of our Baylor family to the greatest benefit. not only our students and teachers. , but for academic discovery on the Baylor campus.

In its fifth and final year, Enlighten established goals and benchmarks that put the University on a trajectory projected to reach the R1 classification by 2024. Baylor Enlighten The strategic plan provided a framework on which the University could build, detailing areas of interdisciplinary interest to strengthen scholarships, expand graduate programs, and improve teaching. These five areas of growth – Health; Data science; Materials science; Human development, leadership and ethics; and Baylor in Latin America – are represented in the faculty positions created under the Baylor Academic Challenge. Beyond the funding provided for research, these new faculty positions will also expand opportunities for graduate and doctoral programs, a key focus within Enlighten for his goals in R1.

“The Baylor Academic Challenge and the Chairs established by dedicated members of our Baylor community allow us to make great strides in the priorities and goal of the Give Light campaign,” said Baylor vice president for advancement , David Rosselli. “The vast field represented by our Baylor Academic Challenge Fellows is a testament to the many backgrounds and areas of interest of the alumni, relatives and friends who established them. It speaks to this Baylor family, which is a vibrant and diverse community that represents so many different interests and passions, but who share among them a common love and deep concern for Baylor and our commitment to excellence in teaching. Christian superior. We are grateful to our anonymous Baylor family who created the Baylor Academic Challenge and to the many donors who responded to this challenge with an endowment that will benefit the university for generations to come.

Baylor publicly launched the Give Light campaign on November 1, 2018. To date, the campaign has raised $ 1.06 billion. The Campaign saw 77,666 alumni, relatives and friends donate to University priorities, as well as establish 614 scholarships. For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian university and nationally classified research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community to over 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Established in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and over 90 countries to study a wide range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


A significant portion of the $ 100 million donation has created a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge, which will maximize Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching significant additional dollar-for-dollar donations. other donors, thus fueling the University’s academic enterprise. The program aims to increase the number of faculty positions staffed, helping Baylor generate additional funds to support and develop teaching and research in key areas. Another portion of the $ 100 million donation provided the primary investment in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art $ 105 million facility that will become the new home for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.