Baylor University

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Pat Neff Hall

Baylor University is an independent coeducational Baptist institution of higher learning located in Waco, Texas The university holds the distinction as one of the most prestigious institutions in Texas. It is the largest Baptist university in the world and oldest university chartered in Texas (1845).

The university is known for its law school, its school of music [1] (, its museum studies program, and the George W. Truett Theological Seminary. It is the largest Baptist university in the world. Until 1991, when it became an independent school under the terms of its charter from the state of Texas, it was closely affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Some conservative Christian detractors argue that Baylor has become so secularized that it should be referred to as a BINO (Baptist in name only) college.

Academically, the school is divided into two colleges (the College of Arts and Sciences and the Honors College) eight schools (School of Education, School of Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate School, Hankamer School of Business, Law School, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, School of Music, and School of Social Work), and one seminary (George W. Truett Theological Seminary). While they share the Baylor name, the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas, Texas, are no longer affiliated with Baylor University.



The university was chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas under Republic President Anson Jones, and opened at Independence, Texas as a coeducational institution. Its founders were Reverend William Milton Tryon, Reverend James Huckins, and Judge Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor, the University's namesake. 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 due to the rise of neighboring cities serviced by the Santa Fe Railroad, so beginning in 1885, Baylor University moved to Waco, Texas, 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, Texas and would later become known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. 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.

In 1900, three physicians founded the "University of Dallas Medical Department", in Dallas, Texas, 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 Medicine, 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 General Baptist Convention. Baylor refused, and with funding from the M.D. Anderson Foundation and others, the College of Medicine moved to Houston, Texas. In 1969, the Baylor College of Medicine became independent from Baylor University.



The school's men's sports teams are called the Bears and the women's the Lady Bears. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-A, and in the Big XII Conference. Prior to joining the Big 12, Baylor participated in the Southwest Conference from the conference's charter in 1914 until its dissolution in 1996. Baylor's most notable sports program has been their track and field team under Clyde Hart, which has produced 466 All-Americans under his 42-year tenure. The greatest standout of the track program has been its men's 4x400 relay team, which has sent teams to the NCAA finals in each of the past 27 years and produced three Olympic gold medalists - Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner, and Darold Williamson.

The school's men's basketball program was plagued by scandal in 2003. Patrick Dennehy, a player for the team, was murdered by a former player for the team, and then-coach Dave Bliss was forced to resign after findings that he had made improper financial payments to players and was planning to characterize Dennehy as a drug dealer, despite no evidence of fact. As a result, the team was placed on probation by the NCAA and was banned from offering scholarships for two years.


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Every year since 1909, Baylor celebrates Homecoming. Homecoming activities include Pigskin Revue, a song and dance featuring the top acts from the previous spring's All University Sing; the Freshman Mass Meeting; the oldest and longest collegiate parade in the United States. As the school mascot is the bear, Baylor traditionally hosts a live mascot on campus, which is always given the a name and the title "Judge" in honor of Judge Baylor.

Every spring since 1934, Baylor takes a day off from classes for "Diadeloso (" 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, comedians, an all-University dance, multi-player console games, gospel choirs, etc. This tradition often baffles new professors, who then require quite a bit of convincing to not hold class (or worse, give an exam) on a seemingly arbitrary Thursday in April.

More Baylor

In 1982, a team from Baylor comprised of Terry Talley, Jennifer Harmon, Patrick Keane, and Keith Hall and coached by Dr. Donald L. Gaitros were the world champions of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM/ICPC).

In 2004, Baylor reported enrollment on its recruiting website as follows:

  • 11,712 undergraduate students
  • 2,225 graduate and professional students

Campus events are chronicled in Baylor's student periodical, The Lariat (

Notable alumni

In Politics

In Sports

In the Arts

In business

Chief Executives

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

  • 1846 - 1851: Henry Lee Graves, President
  • 1851 - 1861: Rufus C. Burleson, President
  • 1861 - 1863: George Washington Baines, President
  • 1864 - 1885: William Carey Crane, President
  • 1885 - 1886: Reddin Andrews, President
  • 1886 - 1897: Rufus C. Burleson, President
  • 1899 - 1902: Oscar Henry Cooper, President
  • 1902 - 1931: Samuel Palmer Brooks, President
  • 1932 - 1947: Pat Morris Neff, President
  • 1948 - 1961: William R. White, President
  • 1961 - 1981: Abner Vernon McCall, President
  • 1981 - 1995: Herbert H. Reynolds, President
  • 1995 - 2005: Robert B. Sloan, Jr., President
  • 2005 - present: William D. Underwood, Interim President

Other notable trivia

External links

Template:Big Twelve Conference


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