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Baylor University is a private, Baptist-affiliated research university located in Waco, Texasmarker, United Statesmarker. It is the largest enrollment for a Baptist university in the world. Founded in 1845, Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. The Baylor University campus is located just southeast of downtown Waco, roughly bounded by I-35, La Salle Avenue, Eighth Street and the Brazos River. The university is known for its programs in business, law, music, philosophy, and theology and science (see research below).


In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting accepted the suggestion of Reverend William Milton Tryon and R.E.B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas. Baylor, a Texas district judge and onetime Congressman from Alabamamarker, became the school's namesake. The Texas Baptist Education Society then petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter a Baptist university in the fall of 1844. Republic President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress on Feb. 1, 1845, officially establishing Baylor University. Reverend James Huckins, the first Baptist missionary to Texas, was Baylor's first full-time fund-raiser and the third founding father of the university. Although these three men are credited as being the founders of Baylor University, there are many others who worked to see the first university established in Texas, such as the recipients of Baylor's Founders Medal.
Old Baylor University
Six years later, Baylor's second president Rufus Burleson decided to separate the men from the women, and thus the Baylor Female College branched off from the main university, while Baylor University became an all-male institution. The city of Independence began suffering a decline because of the rise of neighboring cities serviced by the Santa Fe Railroad. Beginning in 1885, Baylor University moved to Waco and merged with Waco University, where Baylor's former second president Rufus Burleson was serving as president. That same year, the Baylor Female College moved to Belton, Texasmarker and would later become known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylormarker. A Baylor College Park still exists in Independence as a memory of the bygone era. Around 1887, Baylor University began readmitting women, becoming a coeducational institution once again. The university was desegregated in 1964.

During the American Civil War, the Baylor president was George Washington Baines, maternal great-grandfather of future U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Baines was also later a trustee of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

In 1900, three physicians founded the "University of Dallas Medical Department", in Dallasmarker, despite the fact that a "University of Dallas" did not exist. In 1903, it was acquired by Baylor University and became known as the Baylor College of Medicinemarker, remaining in Dallas. In 1943, Dallas civic leaders wanted to build larger facilities for the university in a new medical center, but only if the College of Medicine would surrender its denominational alliances with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Baylor refused, and with funding from the M.marker D.marker Anderson Foundationmarker and others, the College of Medicine moved to Houstonmarker. In 1969, the Baylor College of Medicine became technically independent from Baylor University. However, there are still close ties. Baylor University and the Baylor College of Medicine have an agreement that provides for Baylor undergraduates with an acceptance into Baylor College of Medicine upon completion of a medicine degree from Baylor University.

Burleson Quadrangle in the early 1900s

Amidst concerns of a potential fundamentalist takeover, the university changed the terms of its charter in 1991 with the permission of the Texas legislature in order to establish a governance less directly dependent upon the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The Baptist General Convention of Texas continues to elect one-quarter of the members of the university's all Baptist Board of Regents, Baylor's governing board.

Academic profile

In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university 80th out of 262 national universities. Highly ranked academic programs include the undergraduate engineering program at 12th place, the undergraduate business program at 38th place, and the entrepreneurship program at 14th place. The University ranks in the top 15% of colleges and universities participating in the National Merit Scholarship program.

According to The Princeton Review, Baylor was ranked among the best 371 Best Western Colleges. Other findings by the study include a #11 ranking for the presence of Christianity as well as for not having a "gay community", and #12 for students with clean records, are politically minded, or who are active in right wing politics. In addition, it was ranked #4 for entrepreneurial programs.

Baylor University first received school accreditation in 1914 when it became an accredited member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Baylor College of Medicine received accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1970.

Just over 50% of Baylor's faculty are tenured.

Institutional organization

Baylor University is divided into eleven degree-granting academic units. Two of the units are designated as colleges while eight others are designated as schools. They are:

Additionally, the George W. Truett Theological Seminary is a unit of Baylor University.


During its more than 160 years of history, Baylor University has had 13 presidents, whose leadership has shaped the growth of the institution:

(Note: While Rufus C. Burleson served as Baylor's President twice, he is counted as one president. This makes Reddin Andrews number 5 and Oscar Henry Cooper number 6. Additionally, the interim presidents are not counted in the total presidential count.)

Baylor 2012

In 2000, the university sought to expand its vision of a scholarly institution with a strong sense of Christianity. Baylor, under then-President Robert B. Sloan, created a written statement to detail the exact goals of this vision. This statement was appropriately titled, Baylor 2012, the year by which the school hopes to achieve its aims. The university intends to "enter the top tier of American universities while reaffirming and deepening its distinctive Christian mission." It was presented in September 2001, and approved by the Board of Regents shortly afterwards. The Vision is based upon twelve key imperatives designed to create a more fulfilling educational experience in a unique Christian environment. The twelve imperatives are:

  1. Establish an environment where learning can flourish
  2. Create a truly residential campus
  3. Develop a world-class faculty
  4. Attract and support a top-tier student body
  5. Initiate outstanding new academic programs in selected areas
  6. Guide all Baylor students, through academic and student life programming, to understand life as a stewardship and work as a vocation
  7. Provide outstanding academic facilities
  8. Construct useful and aesthetically pleasing physical spaces
  9. Enhance involvement of the entire Baylor family
  10. Build with integrity a winning athletic tradition in all sports
  11. Emphasize global education
  12. Achieve a two-billion dollar endowment

Baylor 2012 has encountered opposition since its inception. Some allege that the Vision led to a polarization of faculty opinion that culminated in the resignation of Sloan in June 2005. Baylor's Faculty Senate has unanimously endorsed Vision 2012 each time it has come before it. Opponents argue that the Vision will limit academic freedom and hinder intellectual growth due to an excessive focus on Christian interpretation.

However, Baylor's administration has countered that increased tuition costs are comparable to those of other private universities and that preserving and strengthening Christian values at the university is of paramount importance. As of February 2006, the university has received a record number of applications from both freshmen and transfer students.

Student life

For the fall 2006 semester, Baylor University had 11,831 undergraduate and 2,209 graduate and professional students in 145 baccalaureate programs, 76 masters, and 22 doctoral programs. Baylor enrollment typically includes students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and approximately 90 foreign countries. Baylor is among the 11% of US colleges and universities to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.


Baylor currently offers several choices for on-campus living. As part of Vision 2012, Baylor strives to have a large percentage of students living on campus. Due to the rapid growth of the university, Baylor cannot keep up with the construction projects needed to accommodate the entire student body.

Currently, Baylor offers seven dormitories for incoming freshmen, and eleven dormitories in all - all of which are single-sex. In addition to the dormitories, Baylor currently owns and operates four co-ed apartment complexes in the rear part of campus that are available for upperclassmen.

The first residence community to be built in over forty years was completed in 2004 as part of the Vision 2012. North Village, which currently houses 600 students of the Engineering School as well as upperclassmen, offers a more apartment style option for students in three adjacent buildings. The community features a courtyard area with a garden area and community center/study area and cafe.

In 2006, Brooks Hall, the oldest dormitory on campus, was demolished to make room for the new Brooks Village which houses 716 students, more than three times as many as the former hall. The new facility features a new dining hall, a chapel, and a new field for student activity use. The new development consists of Brooks Flats - on-campus apartment accommodations similar to North Village - and Brooks College - Baylor's first co-ed residential dormitory, modeled after the residential college systems found at Cambridge Universitymarker and other elite schools. In addition, a new 800 car parking garage has been built across the street from the facility to accommodate students living on the southern part of campus.

Due to the rapid growth in the university's student population, the current percentage of those living on campus is only 35 percent, with all residence facilities at capacity.

Current traditional dorm-style residences are as follows:
  • Collins (female)

  • Kokernot (Co-Ed, Engaged Learning Groups)
  • Martin (male)
  • North Russell (female)
  • Penland (male)
  • South Russell (female)

Suite-style residence halls are:
  • Alexander (male - Honors Residential College)
  • Allen (male - LEADERSHIP Living & Learning Center and Air Force ROTC Living and Learning Center)
  • Brooks College (Co-Ed, divided into east and west)
  • Dawson (female - LEADERSHIP Living & Learning Center and Air Force ROTC Living and Learning Center)
  • Memorial (female - Honors Residential College)
  • North Village
    • University House (male, academically gifted student housing, ECS-LLC, Outdoor Adventure LLC, Entrepreneurship LLC)
    • Texana House (female, Entrepreneurship LLC)
    • Heritage House (Co-Ed, divided into north and south, ECS-LLC)

Apartment-style living options on campus are:
  • The Arbors
  • Brooks Flats (GLOBAL COMMUNITY Living and Learning Center)
  • Speight-Jenkins

Campus Living & Learning Web Site

Greek organizations

There are 24 fraternities and 9 sororities at Baylor. Many of the current Greek organizations were local clubs until 1976 when Baylor allowed national affiliations. Pi Beta Phi known as (Alpha Omega) and Phi Delta Theta known as the (Tryon Coterie), are the two oldest continuously on-campus Greek organizations at Baylor University.

Today, Baylor has many chapters of national Greeks and is home to several local Greek groups as well. Baylor has a high rate of male participation in Texas, with roughly 25% of males participating in fraternities. However, unlike most universities which allow "Greek systems", Baylor does not permit such student organizations to have their own residences, or "Fraternity houses."

Research and endowment

Although the University was founded as a teaching institution, research has long been an important part of its academic life. The University is also working to strengthen the current research environment as part of Baylor 2012. To that end, the University recently completed construction of a science complex that will facilitate research on a variety of subjects.

In 2005, the University was invited to join the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratorymarker in Batavia, Illinoismarker. The project is one of the world's largest experimental physics collaborations.

In 2006, the Carnegie Foundation upgraded the University's classification to "Research University" status with "High Research Activity," opening the door to many new research opportunities.

Several former and present faculty at Baylor are involved in the intelligent design debate, most notably philosopher William Dembski, now at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Christian philosopher Francis Beckwith, and electrical engineer Robert J. Marks II.

The university's endowment passed $1 billion in 2007 and reached $1,055,478,000 on December 31, 2007. Despite the economic crisis of 2008, Baylor spokesperson Lori Fogleman reported that Baylor's endowment grew 5.1% in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008; the National Association of College and University Business Officials estimated that during that same period, the median return for the top 25% of college endowments decreased by 2.2%. Fogleman cited the university's long-term investments and diversified holdings as the cause of the endowment's recent success. As of December 2008, the Baylor endowment totaled less than $1 billion, down from a May high of $1.06 billion. A consulting firm hired by the university expressed concern that the disagreements within the Baylor community could hinder the endowment from continuing its four-year streak of increased endowment donation totals and its 2012 goal of a $2 billion endowment, though the current economy may also prevent both.


Baylor's men's sports teams are nicknamed the Bears, and the women's teams are nicknamed the Lady Bears. Student athletes participate in the NCAA's Division I. Baylor is the only private school in the Big 12 Conference. Prior to joining the Big 12, Baylor was a member of the Southwest Conference from the conference's charter in 1914 until its dissolution in 1996. Baylor has carried over its rivalries from the now-defunct Southwest Conference, the most important of which are with Texasmarker, Texas A&Mmarker, and Texas Techmarker.

Baylor has won two NCAA titles. In 2004, the men's tennis team defeated UCLAmarker in the championship game. In 2005, the Baylor Lady Bears basketball team beat Michigan Statemarker in the championship game.


The Baylor Line

The Baylor Line is tradition at Baylor University. It is made entirely of freshmen and is at the heart of building Baylor spirit and tradition for new students. Freshmen wear a football jersey with the number of their proposed graduation year and a nickname on the back.

The Baylor Line gathers at one end of Floyd Casey Stadium before each football game and waits for the signal to rush the field. A sea of yellow jerseys covers the field complete with painted faces and acrobatics. Then the line creates a giant human tunnel that the football team runs through to enter the stadium. Six members of the Baylor Line carry flags with the letters B-A-Y-L-O-R-L-I-N-E. The Baylor Line students rush the sidelines and stand in an exclusive Baylor Line section behind the opponents' bench. Students then cheer for Baylor and heckle the other team.

All University Sing

All University Sing is an annual spring semester variety show featuring clubs and organizations on campus. The first All University Sing was held by the Tryon Coterie club (now Baylor Phi Delta Theta) in 1953 with eight clubs singing three songs each. In 1958, Pigskin Revue was added as a Homecoming event that featured the best acts from the previous spring's competition. Up until 1963 the event was primarily groups singing in the style of a choir on a riser. Since then the event has grown to the include high energy Broadway style song and dance numbers. In 2003, Baylor celebrated 50 Years of Sing with commemorative books, DVDs and reunions.

Alma mater

Baylor University's alma mater is That Good Old Baylor Line. In 1906 a student penned humorous words to the tune of "In the Good Old Summer Time" and they became generally accepted among the student body as the school fight song. However, in 1931, Mrs. Enid Eastland Markham, wife of music professor Robert Markham, feeling the words were not dignified enough nor representative of the total University, wrote new lyrics which were presented in chapel in November and soon sanctioned as the official school song. The "Good Old Summer" tune was later arranged to fit Mrs. Markham's "Baylor Line" through the work of Jack Goode, Donald I. Moore and Charles F. Brown.

That Good Old Baylor Line;

that good old Baylor Line.

We'll march forever down the years

as long as stars shall shine.

We'll fling our green and gold afar

to light the ways of time

and guide us as we onward go.

That good old Baylor Line.


Every spring since 1934, Baylor takes a Thursday off from classes for a spring holiday which since 1966 has been known as Diadeloso (Spanish for day of the bear). The Baylor University Chamber of Commerce organizes the event which consists of entertainment of all types - tug o' war contests, 3-on-3 basketball, ping pong, indoor soccer, board game tournaments, ultimate frisbee, multi-player console games, gospel choirs, etc. This tradition often baffles new professors because class is not in session.

Golden Wave Marching Band

The Baylor University Golden Wave Marching Band (BUGWB) is the current halftime entertainment for Baylor football. The band attends every home football game at Floyd Casey Stadium. They also travel with the team to provide support at rival schools. The band attends all pep rallies in the fall. They march in the annual Homecoming Parade and other Homecoming events. With a current membership of 275 members, the Golden Wave Marching Band is dedicated to enhancing the Baylor Spirit.


Baylor celebrated its first Homecoming in 1909 and it has become an annual event since then. Traditional activities include Pigskin Revue, a song and dance featuring the top acts from the previous spring's All University Sing; Freshman Mass Meeting, where freshmen hear the story of the Immortal Ten and are charged with guarding the Eternal Flame until the building of the bonfire; and a pep rally and bonfire on Friday evening. Baylor is also home to the oldest and longest collegiate homecoming parade in the United States. Since the mid 1930s, the Baylor Chamber has been responsible for funding, coordinating and executing the majority of the aspects of Baylor's Homecoming activities.

Immortal Ten

In January 1927 a bus carrying the Baylor basketball team collided with a speeding train in Round Rock, Texasmarker. Ten members of the traveling party were killed and many others were injured in the accident. Each year at Homecoming the story of the Immortal Ten is told again to the new freshman class at the Freshman Mass Meeting. The names of the ten are called out. In 1996, the senior class provided initial funding to create and place an Immortal Ten statue on campus. Fund raising and discussions about where to place the statues continued off and on over the ensuing years. Finally, on June 22, 2007, sculpture artist Bruce Greene's statues were unveiled. The Immortal Ten memorial was officially dedicated during the 2007 Baylor Homecoming on November 2 in Traditions Square.


The school mascot is the American black bear.

The first live bear was donated by local businessman Herbert E. Mayr in 1917 after winning the bear in a poker game with members of the 107th Engineer Battalion. Mayr had kept a bear cub as a pet and was often seen walking the cub near "The Circle" in Waco before he donated the animal to Baylor University. The Baylor University Chamber of Commerce is responsible for all aspects of the program including care, facility upkeep, and training. Currently there are two American black bears on campus named Judge Joy Reynolds and Judge Sue Sloan; students affectionately refer to them as "Joy" and "Lady".

The university recently finished renovation of the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, a $1 million facility which includes a 13-foot (4 m) waterfall, 3 pools, 2 dens, grass, and eye-level viewing. The facility is a USDAmarker licensed Class C Zoo. Visitors can see the bears up close and learn more about North American black bears. The bear habitat is a favorite spot for visitors and students of all ages.

The NoZe Brotherhood

The NoZe Brotherhood, an unofficial fraternal organization founded in 1924, provides the university with unusual public pranks and satirical writings in its newspaper The Rope. When in public as a NoZe brother, members wear traditional Groucho Marx-style mask disguises and outlandish costumes to keep their student identities secret. Faculty and students outside of the organization are typically split on their opinion of the group's humor. In some cases, the NoZe Brotherhood's actions and publications have been considered highly offensive and controversial by the Baylor community. Traditionally during commencement, NoZe Brothers will wear their glasses or have them around their necks as they receive their diploma to signify that they partook in the society.

University Mace

During the War of 1812, Cyrus Baylor, brother of R. E. B. Baylor, was cited for his bravery with the presentation of a gold sword by President Jackson. In 1957 it was given to Baylor University. In 1974, Baylor president Abner V. McCall suggested that the sword be used to form the focal point of a ceremonial "symbol of authority." A timber from one of Old Main's towers was used to construct a base and center pole. Walking canes of former Baylor President Rufus C. Burleson and General Sam Houston, who had been baptized by Burleson and had been a supporter of the University, were linked to the sword to form the Mace. It is used at all University commencement exercises and at other special ceremonies.

Baylor alumni

There are over 110,000 living Baylor alumni. Alumni and others associated with the university have had success in the fields of politics, arts, athletics, and scholarship.

Campus Gallery

Image:PatNeffflowers.JPG|Pat Neff in the SpringImage:BDSC.JPG |Bill Daniel Student Center from the sideImage:BSDC2.JPG|Bill Daniel Student Center during ChristmasImage:Tidwell Bible Building.jpg|Tidwell Bible BuildingImage:Bsb2.JPG|Baylor Science BuildingImage:Truett.JPG|Truett SeminaryImage:Mayborn Museum.jpg|Mayborn MuseumImage:Oldmain.JPG|Burleson QuadrangleImage:Oldmainpatneff.JPG|Old Main and Pat Neff HallImage:Pat_Nef.JPG|Corner of Pat Neff HallImage:Bu_patneff.jpg|Pat Neff Hall looking westImage:ASBlibrary.jpg|Armstrong Browning Librarymarker from the outside

Image:Judgebaylorfixed.jpg|Statue of Judge BaylorImage:burleson.jpg|Another view of Burleson QuadrangleImage:science_building.jpg|Another view of the Baylor Science Building


External links

Official websites


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