By Kate McGuire
Doesn’t matter if you’re an alum or not — Baylor loves you anyway.
A luncheon to celebrate Alumni by Choice, devoted fans of Baylor who did not attend Baylor, will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center located across South University Parks Drive.
According to Shari Brewer, program and awards coordinator for the Baylor Alumni Association, there are 34 honorees. Of them, 20 will attend the luncheon.
Nominations can be placed anytime during the year.
Current students can nominate a devoted Baylor fan such as a parent, grandparent, friend or other relative who supports and loves Baylor.
Recipients receive a decree instead of a degree and receive a membership with the Baylor Alumni Association.
This includes subscription to the Baylor Line, the association’s monthly magazine, homecoming tickets, as well as discounts and offers.
The Alumni by Choice was started in 1986, with its first recipient being Merrie Beckham — wife of C.T. “Sparkey” Beckham, former Baylor regent who graduated in 1949.
Merrie attended the University of California at Berkeley.
As the Lariat previously reported, Beckham said she didn’t understand the Baylor Line or any other Baylor tradition. But when she married the “Baylorite,” she really had to “jump in.”
Because Mrs. Beckham was the first recipient, she is invited as the honored speaker at the annual luncheon.
Now, there are 30 to 40 recipients annually, because everyone who gets nominated receives an award. Brewer said.
The Baylor Alumni Association describes honorees as:
“They love the green and gold. They cheer the Bears to victory. They even accompany you on trips to Waco for Homecoming. They believe in the university and what she stands for. Even so, at times, they still feel like outsiders looking in, with no official ties to Baylor.”