Belton, Texas – In 2012 the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor publicly launched its comprehensive fundraising campaign, Momentum: The Campaign for Mary Hardin-Baylor, with the ambitious goal of raising $60 million. On Friday the university announced that, by the close of the campaign on December 31, 2017, a total of $82,190,901 had been given, exceeding the original goal by more than $22 million.
“It had been our practice for many years to address campus needs one project at a time,” recalls Dr. Randy O’Rear, UMHB’s president. “We had come to a point where we knew that we needed several major facilities and more scholarship support to move the university toward our vision of being the university of choice for Christian higher education in the Southwest. We decided to dream big with our 2011 Campus Master Plan, and it has been amazing to see how God has blessed the university through donors who have embraced that dream and made it a reality.”
The campaign identified six areas where improvements could escalate the university’s effectiveness and growth: student life, visual arts, performing arts, nursing education, football, and scholarships. By the campaign’s end, donors to Momentum had given $18.6 million for scholarships, and the face of the campus had been dramatically changed by the addition of six new facilities and the repurposing of several more. The campus improvements included
- Construction of Cummins Field House (2011) next to the football practice fields at the SportsPlex, which doubled the football program’s space for locker rooms, staff offices, and training and meeting areas
- Construction of the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts (2012), which houses art classrooms, studio spaces for students, art faculty offices, and a gallery for rotating exhibits
- Construction of the 76,100-square-foot Isabelle Rutherford Meyer Nursing Education Center (2013), which includes state-of-the-art learning labs, a simulated hospital wing where students practice their clinical skills, Phelps Chapel, and the Leroy and Merle Weir Lecture Hall
- Construction of Crusader Stadium (2013), the university’s first on-campus stadium which quickly set the standard for NCAA Division III football facilities across the nation; located at the heart of the student activity zone, the venue is also used for graduation ceremonies and student life activities throughout the year
- Relocation of the J.W. Williams Service Center to Belton Industrial Park (2013) to create workspaces for the school’s Physical Plant crews and climate-controlled storage areas for the UMHB museum and other campus groups.
- Construction of Bawcom Student Union (2014), which offers expanded campus dining options and includes a new campus store, Farris Band Hall, McLane Great Hall, meeting spaces and activity areas for student organizations, and unified offices for the Student Life staff
- Renovation of the former student union building to create the Mabee Student Success Center (2015), which houses student support services such as a writing center, tutoring services, campus police, the post office, a career center, a copy center, and student counseling and health services
- Renovation of Hardy Hall (2015) to create classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices for UMHB’s new Doctor of Physical Therapy program
- Renovation of College View Apartments (2016) to add 414 beds to the university’s on-campus housing for students
- Construction of the Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center (2017), an on-campus venue for music education and performances, which includes Fikes Chamber Hall, Paul and Jane Meyer Rehearsal Hall, and the 524-seat Baugh Performance Hall
“It has been gratifying to see how many friends have stepped forward to bring these projects to fruition,” said O’Rear. “Through their generosity, we are seeing real growth and progress toward our goals.
“The university’s enrollment has increased by 25% over the past six years. Enrollment in our undergraduate nursing program has doubled, and we have been able to add important new graduate programs in healthcare, such as the Doctor of Physical Therapy and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. We are seeing growth in graphic design and instrumental performance majors, thanks to improved facilities for art and band. The Student Success Center is drawing more students to our tutoring services than ever before, and our students are excited about the broader array of food options that the Bawcom Student Union now offers them, including Starbucks and Chick-fil-A. The football program has generated a strong community fan base and has brought national recognition to UMHB. And over the last six years, we have been able to increase our budget for student scholarships from $14.1 million to $23.7 million annually.
“It is not by accident that we are seeing all these positive results,” said O’Rear. “We believed from the beginning that God was leading us to establish a bold and ambitious vision for the future of UMHB, and He has honored our efforts through generous friends who invest in our students.”
UMHB began celebrating the successful completion of the Momentum campaign when the university’s board of trustees gathered for its winter meeting on February 2. In April, the university will host an evening for all donors to the campaign, said Dr. Rebecca O’Banion, vice president for development. “We want to take the time to thank our generous contributors and to make the event an evening they will always remember,” she said.