By Taylor Rexrode
Alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago will celebrate Baylor pride and tradition with their graduating class at the upcoming Heritage Club event.
Heritage Club, a homecoming event sponsored by the Baylor Alumni Association, is in its 37th year.
This year’s Heritage Club will take place Sunday through Tuesday.
The alumni association will honor the newest Heritage Club class, that of 1963, with golden diplomas for the 50th anniversary of their graduation.
All alumni are eligible once they have reached their 50-year graduation anniversary.
The class of 1963 will be awarded golden diplomas before the Heritage Club gala banquet on Monday night.
The banquet will feature keynote speaker Jody Conradt, former University of Texas women’s basketball coach and Baylor alumna. Before they leave on Tuesday morning, alumni will have a chance to see the changes on Baylor’s campus and interact with people from their graduating class.
Alumnus Dr. Colbert “Cokie” Held, graduate of 1938 and former Baylor professor, will receive his diamond diploma while attending the event, an honor reserved for alumni celebrating their 75th year as a Baylor graduate.
Alumni that are eligible for either golden or diamond diplomas but cannot attend the Heritage Club events may request to have their diplomas mailed to them.
The event will start Sunday night with a musical performance by Heavenly Voices choir in the George W. Truett Theological Seminary.
On Monday, Heritage Club members will be able to attend morning sessions where Baylor graduates will speak.
They will have the opportunity to go on afternoon tours to the Waco Tribune-Herald Museum and Dr Pepper Museum and will get to take a bus tour of Baylor’s campus. Attendees will step inside the Baylor Sciences Building and McLane Student Life Center, neither of which were a part of campus when they were students.
Beth Wooten, assistant vice president of membership and marketing, said that the Heritage Club helps keep alumni up-to-date with what is new at the university.
“It may have been 50 years since they’ve been back to campus,” Wooten said. “It’s one opportunity we have for those folks to have an excuse to come back to campus if they don’t already. We want our alumni, even those that graduated 50 or more years ago, to know how important they are to us and how important they are to the university.”
Jan Dodd, assistant director of programs and awards, said the Heritage Club events help reconnect classmates in a way that Homecoming may not.
“It’s just a concentrated time,” Dodd said. “They’re not trying to rush off to other alumni events or Pigskin or a football game. They are here just to see their classmates and other alums.”
An endowment fund for the Heritage Club is available for those who are interested in contributing to this alumni event.
Funds raised will go toward guest speakers, food, facilities and other costs that go into forming the Heritage Club.
To contribute, donors can call the Baylor Alumni Association at 1-888-710-1859, visit BaylorAlumniAssociation.com or stop by the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center.