The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Happy Birthday, Baylor!

University Celebrates 175 Years

1 week ago

By Claire Van Zee

Did you know that Baylor University is older than the state of Texas?

Well, it’s true! The university was established on Feb. 1, 1845, months before the state officially rejoined the union in December of that same year. Since then, Baylor has undoubtedly made a name for itself in the fields of academia, business and athletics. While Waco has undergone many changes throughout the years, the university has persisted as a pillar of pride for locals and alumni since its inception.

That’s why it’s such a big year for all of us. Our city’s beloved university officially kicked off a yearlong celebration of its 175th anniversary with a birthday celebration at the Baylor Men’s Basketball game this last Saturday, Feb. 1. And there are even more big events in store.

The Mayborn Museum is celebrating with a brand-new exhibit titled “Founding to Future: Bright Lights of Baylor University.” The exhibit, which is open now, chronicles the university’s life story with an interactive timeline, photo-ops and iconic university artifacts that are worth the visit.

Structured around five focus areas, the installation includes sections on: Founding in Independence, Tradition, Innovation, Arts & Athletics, and Christian Mission. With such a long history, there is certainly a lot to cover.

The timeline is unique because of its interactive, visitor-controlled aspect which allows you to immerse yourselves in those important Baylor moments.

The timeline of Baylor’s history was especially important to Hughes Dillard, the lead gift donator for the exhibit. Other donors include Jim Foulks, The Harry and Anna Jeans Discovery Center Endowed Fund, Sue Mayborn Building Fund, Brazos Higher Education Foundation in honor of Murray and Greta Watson and others.

The university artifacts showcased in the exhibit were collected by the museum from faculty, staff and students. A few of the stand out artifacts include a historic football from the first homecoming game, a vintage Diadeloso t-shirt, and Judge R.E.B. Baylor’s piano.

Throughout the year, Baylor will continue to celebrate the anniversary with an array of events to be unveiled as they approach.

It’s a big year for the university, so make sure to check out the exhibit and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Join the Conversation