April 23, 2013
WACO, Texas - Baylor University celebrated the addition of a significant new facility for the Baylor Equestrian program today with the dedication of the Carlile Equestrian Team Building. Baylor administrators joined members of the Equestrian program in the ceremony, which honored the contributions of Dr. Kenneth Q. and Celia Carlile, who provided the naming gift for the facility.
"This is the best of Baylor, because when the need was identified, Ken Carlile said, `I can fix that. I can help that project," Baylor University President Ken Starr said. "That is the Baylor Spirit."
"Ken and Celia, thank you for seeing the need and responding to it, in the grandest tradition of Baylor University," he continued. "Thank you from the bottom of our heart."
The dedication follows the conclusion of another successful season for Baylor Equestrian. The Hunter seat team attained a top national ranking and reached the semifinal round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship, hosted at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. Baylor's Western team also appeared in the NCEA National Championship. The Carlile Equestrian Team Building will further elevate the ascendant program through the addition of facilities that enhance the student-athlete experience and provide much-needed office space for the coaching staff at their home within the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
"Baylor Athletics is truly grateful to the Carlile family for their friendship and generous support of this much-needed facility," Ian McCaw, Director of Athletics, said. The Carlile Equestrian Team Building provides our student-athletes with first class accommodations as they build upon the program's tradition of excellence."
Already, the Willis Family Equestrian Center is one of the nation's finest collegiate equestrian facilities. The addition of the Carlile Equestrian Team Building provides the program with locker rooms, administrative offices, versatile meeting space and a treatment and training room. Through these enhancements, the team will benefit from designated spaces like the locker room as a place for bonding and preparation. The coaching staff will be able to utilize office space for strategizing, planning and visiting with current and prospective student-athletes.
"This means so much to our program and gives us one of the finest facilities in the nation," Head Coach Ellen White said. "This generous gift will help us in all areas, especially recruiting. The Carlile Equestrian Team Building allows us to have a true home and a place to bond and be a team.
"I am so pleased that the Carliles saw a need at Baylor University and jumped at the chance to fill it," she said. "They embody the true Baylor spirit, and it is because of alumni and friends like them that this University continues to reach and attain excellence both in education and athletics."
Baylor Equestrian has grown annually in prominence and accomplishment since its inception in 2005. The highly-decorated program has achieved great heights in just eight short years under Coach White's leadership, celebrating a 2012 Hunter Seat NCEA Championship title. Additionally, Baylor Equestrian won the Big 12 Championship in 2010 and achieved third place in the Hunter Seat Division at the 2011 Varsity Equestrian National Championship. The Willis Family Equestrian Center and the Carlile Equestrian Team Building equip the program to build on that success and improve the daily experience for student-athletes and coaches.
"The building gives us an escape--a place to go and be unified and cohesive as a team, instead of sharing locker room space with other sports," senior Ashley Garza said. "We were one of the only schools without a locker room and now, we're so blessed. We have one of the best complexes in the country.
"We are so grateful to the Carliles," she continued. "We can't thank them enough for the support they have shown us over the years."
The Carliles' generous gift was made in honor of the Carlile family women, honoring Celia; their daughters-in-law, Regan and Leslie; their granddaughters, Virginia and Gable; and Baylor Equestrian's student-athletes who dedicate hours of preparation in order to achieve excellence.
Ken Carlile's current service on the Baylor Board of Regents is just the latest example of the Carliles' dedication to Baylor University. Their impact is evident across campus, as their long history of faithful stewardship has touched numerous programs and facilities. The Carliles' legacy includes the Carlile Geology Research Building, the Ken and Celia Carlile Atrium in the Baylor Sciences Building and the Carlile Geology Renovation, as well as the Packard Lecture Hall in Physics, the Beaver/Brown Petroleum Studies Laboratory, the Goforth Paleomagnetism Library, the Student Life Center and the Law School Capital Endowed Campaign. They have also made provision for Baylor students through the establishment of the Kenneth Q. and Celia C. Carlile Endowed Scholarship and stepped forward in leadership through service on the President's Scholarship Initiative Steering Committee.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.