By Emma King, Staff Writer
The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation kicked off the 2015 Leadership and Innovation Summit with a full conference center and multiple standing ovations.
There was hardly an empty seat in the Meyers Conference Center, as many thanks were given to donors and architects alike who helped make the Paul L. Foster Campus possible.
“It’s not about today, it’s all about tomorrow,” said Terry Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business, now housed in the new building. “It’s not just about bricks and mortar, it is about building a future. It’s not about how much more we can make, it’s about the difference we can make. Because of your gifts and support, you have built a strong foundation for generations of Baylor business students to come.”
Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr said that donors for the project not only invested their money, but became friends of the university as well.
In his speech, Chairman of the Baylor Board of Regents Richard Willis credited over 550 families for aiding the university in the creation of a 275,000 square foot business building that he said is both efficient and beautiful.
“This building really will be a beacon for the world to know we can compete with anybody now and we can do it based on the foundation of faith,” Willis said.
Paul Foster himself, the building’s namesake, was present at the building’s dedication and did the honors of cutting the ribbon with a large pair of gold scissors.
Foster said the purpose of this campus is to continue giving Baylor students unique opportunities.
“I believe strongly in two words that dominate this campus, and it’s not Paul Foster,” Foster said. “It’s business and innovation… I’m hopeful that Baylor students are touched by this campus and that they will be innovators in business and be prepared to leave this campus and go out and do amazing things in the world.”
There was an air of awe, but also of nostalgia throughout the entire ceremony. Foster discussed his Baylor background, Willis took the audience through a brief history from the beginning of Baylor’s business school and Maness discussed the years leading up to the new building and the other plans they had considered to expand the Hankamer School of Business.
On stage for the duration of the dedication was an original stock ticker from the New York Stock exchange.
Starr told the story that led to the invention of the stock ticker, and then presented the ticker as a token of gratitude to Foster and his wife, Alejandra.
“This is a symbol of our affection for you, our gratitude to you, and a simple, too, that innovation begins with things that are simple and then in the fullness of time, things happen that you never would have dreamed of,” Starr said.
Foster said he graduated from Baylor 36 years ago, with a business degree in accounting. He said the values he carries with him from Baylor have helped him be successful in his career and in his life.
“My heart has always remained close to Baylor…” Foster said. “I am proud and honored to have had the opportunity to contribute, along with all the rest of you, to this amazing new place.”