By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer
Baylor is celebrating 50 years of Student Foundation’s contributions on campus with a celebratory weekend Sept. 27– 28.
Since 1969, Student Foundation has selected accomplished, likeminded students with a desire to improve and support Baylor as a whole.
The Student Foundation 50th celebration anniversary activities next weekend will include an open house, a ceremony banquet and an alumni tailgate at the Iowa State football game.
Jordan Hannah, associate director of Student Activities and the Troy and Betty Mays director of Student Foundation, values Student Foundation as an organization of students serving others while strengthening relationships with alumni.
Hannah said that he appreciated the donation made towards his role by the Troy and Betty Mays donation.
“The endowment that was put into place to support my position is one of the main reasons why we maintain our strength on campus,” Hannah said. “So much of what we do on campus is underwritten by the generosity on campus.”
Hannah views himself as a mentor for students to grow alongside with the experiences they encounter through Student Foundation.
“It’s a pretty unique position on campus. I’m the person, the way I describe it, to stay in the background and make the students look good,” Hannah said. “I want to help set them up for success by making sure that they have all the resources that they need to have the best possible impact on campus.”
Houston senior Kobe Flemming is the co-president of Student Foundation for the 2019-2020 school year. He believes Student Foundation to be one of the most impactful committees supporting the Baylor community on and off campus.
“Any initiative or activity we carry out always went back to serving Baylor’s students from the past, present and future,” Flemming said. “As co-president this year, my push word is ‘opportunity’, so everything we do, we should be doing for somebody else in order to continue the line of generosity that will jumpstart other generosity.”
Flemming understands the responsibilities Student Foundation has to uphold as a tool behind endorsing the reputation of Baylor.
“We work within three main departments for Student Foundation,” Flemming said. “We have alumni relations, campus promotion and student recruitment. We tap into several areas that shape the university as a whole.”
Student Foundation also allows students to be a part of the university recruitment process. Flemming has found the enrollment of future Bears to increase due to the recruiting efforts of prospective students by those in Student Foundation.
“From a Student Foundation perspective, we do have those individuals who want to stay connected with the program even after graduation,” Flemming said. “Even if it’s not financially through a donation, we have those who want to come and share their own story simply because of the overall experience Baylor gave them.”
Both Hannah and Flemming want participating members to enforce the mission Student Foundation has held for over 50 years.
“Since Student Foundation has existed, we have the same purpose in mind: we’ve always been about serving the university and our students,” Flemming said. “Furthermore, we all have time, talent and treasure that God gave [us] and I want all students to see that you don’t have to be a $100 million donor to make an impact on campus.”
Hannah hopes to instill in Student Foundation members a charitable nature that will carry out through their time at Baylor and after.
“I want them to leave with an understanding of giving back that can translate into alumni life,” Flemming said. “We love that we can’t do what we do without our donor support and from a philanthropic perspective with all our alumni.”
Baylor alumnus Craig Reed was involved in Student Foundation from 1993 to 1995. Reed became fond of the organization through all the work the students do to give back on campus.
“I was on the financial affairs committee my junior year and then on the steering committee my senior year, leading the financial affairs committee,” Reed said. “I was not in a fraternity and was looking for a way to get more involved at Baylor.”
Throughout his time in the organization, Reed and other members of Student Foundation assisted in major events and celebrations Baylor puts on. With each event, Reed developed strong friendships that were made possible through his involvement in Student Foundation.
“From an alumni perspective, some of my fondest memories of Baylor are from my time serving with friends from Student Foundation,” Reed said. “Those friendships last to this day and it is always great to hear from current Student Foundation members as to what’s going on at Baylor.”
Hannah wants the weekend of Sept. 27-28 to be a time to celebrate what Student Foundation has accomplished in the last 50 years and the next 50 to come.
“We would love to do a 50-year scholarship, or the Golden Anniversary scholarship, to really commemorate this milestone,” Hannah said. “This is a really great platform for us to share our passion for serving students and honor all that this organization has done.”
Hannah said that the current students, faculty and alumni involved in Student Foundation all work together for the impact Student Foundation can create.
“Being generous and devoted servants to Baylor University is our goal,” Hannah said. “We’re here to help ensure the long-term success of this organization. I want Student Foundation members to give back all they can so we can all be proud of what we see today and in the future.”