By Sara Tirrito
Baylor is well on its way to achieving its 2013 goal of raising $100 million in scholarship funds.
With nearly 4,500 individual donors and a number of springtime gifts, the President’s Scholarship Initiative has surpassed the $25 million mark.
“We’re very encouraged by our early progress on the President’s Scholarship Initiative,” Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, wrote in an email to the Lariat. “We still have a long way to go, but the idea of helping our students achieve their dream of attending Baylor through scholarship support resonates with the Baylor family. Every donation, no matter the amount, makes a big difference.”
One gift came in late April from the Callaway Foundation, which increased its Endowed Scholars Fund to $1 million. The ExxonMobil Foundation also gifted the university $372,630.
The President’s Scholarship Initiative was publicly announced in September and is slated for completion in May 2013.
President Ken Starr said the “enormous amount of enthusiasm based on the profound needs of our students, both here now and those destined to come,” has enabled the funds to be raised so quickly.
He said the progress toward the goal was made possible by the generosity of many within the community.
“We have had very generous gifts but no transformational gifts, so it reflects a great outpouring of a large number of people,” Starr said. “So it’s very encouraging.”
Former student body president and Houston senior Michael Wright said that with affordability being a key concern for students at Baylor, the support shown through donations to the initiative has been encouraging.
“Time and time again this year students have indicated that financial affordability is the No. 1 issue on campus, so it’s so encouraging to see that the Baylor family has rallied behind this to help our students financially,” Wright said. “I know we still have a lot of work to go to reach the $100 million goal, but this is very encouraging to see the momentum that we have moving toward that goal.”
Although Starr is also encouraged by the community’s response to the initiative so far, he said there is still a substantial amount of fundraising left to do.
“It’s very good, it’s very strong, but we have much more need,” Starr said. “So we’re really encouraging the entire Baylor family to come alongside this effort and let’s reach this $100 million goal as quickly as possible. If we can do it in less than three years, all the better, all the better for our students.”
The initiative was announced on Sept. 15 and is geared toward increasing funds for athletic, need-based, merit-based and out-of-classroom enrichment scholarships.
Donations to the initiative can be made through the university website at www.baylor.edu/development/scholarships.
Donations can also be mailed to One Bear Place #97050, Waco, TX, 76798.