Baylor's new basketball practice facility is slated for completion by August 2006.
Feb. 16, 2006
Baylor University's five-year intercollegiate athletics capital campaign, "Victory with Integrity," raised more than $15.4 million in its first year and is on its way to achieving its stated five-year goal of producing $90 million in private support for the school's 18-sport NCAA Division I-A sports program.
"We are excited about the progress that has been made over the first 12 months of the Victory with Integrity campaign," Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said. "The campaign is off to a successful start, however, there is much yet to be done."
Originally approved by the Baylor Board of Regents on Feb. 4, 2005, "Victory with Integrity" saw $8.738 million contributed toward departmental capital projects and $5.256 million raised through annual giving during the campaign's first year. The Baylor Bear Foundation enjoyed its best calendar fundraising year ever in VWI's first year, as $3.289 million was donated to provide scholarship funds for Baylor's student-athletes and another $1.059 million was contributed to the department's team excellence funds, which accounts for the majority of the annual gift donations. The department's endowment fund also enjoyed prosperity as it grew to nearly $18.6 million, an increase of more than $1.5 million during the past fiscal year.
The "Victory with Integrity" campaign continues to advance Baylor toward a successful future by addressing needs in three critical areas: capital, endowment and annual. All gifts pledged to Baylor athletics during the campaign period will be included in the overall goal with the majority of funds raised being utilized for capital projects outlined in the department's strategic plan, Above and Beyond, and to grow the athletic endowment.
In addition to the financial commitment made by the department's many benefactors, year one of Baylor's "Victory with Integrity" campaign saw:
Fund-raising completed and ground broken on Baylor's new $8 million men's and women's basketball practice facility which is scheduled to be completed by August 2006. The practice facility, which will be named the Lt. Jack Whetsel Jr. Basketball Practice Facility thanks to a lead gift from Jack and Martha Whetsel of Georgetown, Texas, will allow the Bears and Lady Bears year-round court time to develop both as individuals and team members. The state-of-the-art basketball practice facility will feature two separate full-size courts arranged side-by-side, a wall-mounted video camera to provide coaches more information to modify instruction, a highly advanced strength and conditioning center, office suites for both the men's and the women's coaching staffs overlooking the practice courts and a VIP Suite to honor Baylor basketball's greatest supporters.
The completion and re-dedication of Floyd Casey Stadium's Grant Teaff Plaza and the I Believe Walkway. The Teaff Plaza, which originally encircled the stadium's west stadium, was extended to the east stadium in the summer of 2005 and re-dedicated prior to the Oct. 15 Baylor-Nebraska football game as the I Believe Walkway. The walkway pays tribute to the Bears' all-time winningest football coach, Grant Teaff, and his accomplishments over 21 seasons on the Baylor sideline. To complete the entire plaza area in a first-class manner, Baylor plans to unveil a salute to its gridiron stars in 2006.
Baylor's newest athletic program, women's equestrian, received a donation of 60 acres of land and a lead naming gift for its new equestrian center, scheduled to be on-line by fall, 2006. Richard and Karen Willis of Coffeyville, Texas, provided the lead gift for the equestrian center, which will be named to the Willis Family Equestrian Center. The land on which the new facility will be built was donated by F.M. Young. Currently, the team trains and competes at Willow Spring Farm, the program's temporary facility owned by head coach Ellen White.
Construction of a new state-of-the-art locker room for the 2005 NCAA champion Lady Bear basketball team at the Ferrell Center. The squad moved into the state-of-the-art facility in November 2005.
Other capital building projects on the department's drawing board (listed in alphabetical order) include an indoor tennis and multipurpose facility, an on-campus track facility and an on-campus football training facility. Funds continue to be raised for a state-of-the-art academic success center which would benefit all Baylor student-athletes.
"We have a great deal of work yet to do and need the support of every member of the Baylor Family to reach the campaign goal and position Baylor Athletics for unprecedented long-term success," McCaw said. "Baylor Athletics has experienced many notable accomplishments during the past year and can expect an even greater level of accomplishment as the fruits of this campaign are realized."
Baylor experienced its most successful intercollegiate athletics year in 2004-05 which included winning the national championship in women's basketball, being national runner-up in men's tennis and finishing third in baseball at the College World Series. Baylor eclipsed the previous school record of two conference championships in one year by winning Big 12 regular season championships in baseball, women's basketball, men's tennis and women's tennis. BU added Big 12 Tournament titles in women's basketball and men's tennis. Benedikt Dorsch and Zuzana Zemenova won the NCAA men's and women's singles championships while Darold Williamson won the NCAA title in the 400 meters.
A total of 10 Baylor teams finished the 2004-05 year ranked among the top 25 nationally with a school-record 12 teams advancing to NCAA postseason competition. Baylor finished fourth in the Big 12 and 25th nationally in the NACDA Directors' Cup, its highest ranking ever, while its student-athletes led the Big 12 with an NCAA graduate rate of 78 percent, eight points higher than the school's general student population.