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Lord Hall Dedicated
March 01, 2019
Belton, Texas – On Friday, March 1, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor celebrated the opening of its newest residential facility, Lord Hall, with a special dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting.
University President Randy O’Rear opened the ceremony by describing the decision to build Lord Hall as being an act of divine intervention.
“We certainly believed that we needed a new dorm to accommodate future growth at the university,” O’Rear said, “but what God knew, that we didn’t at the time we decided to move forward with this project, was that we would open this building at the same time that we welcomed the largest freshmen class in the history of Mary Hardin-Baylor.”
O’Rear expressed gratitude to the Lord family, in whose honor the new residence hall has been named.
One of the greatest joys and privileges I’ve had in my time of service at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor has been to work with this family. They are quiet. They are humble. They are amazing people.
Dr. Randy O'Rear
“We could not be more proud to have your name on this wonderful building,” O’Rear said, addressing the members of the Lord family in attendance. “We love you. Our university will never be the same, thanks to your generosity, and we certainly wouldn’t be the university we are today without you.”
Following O’Rear’s remarks, Katelyn Blackhurst, a sophomore special education major, took the podium. Blackhurst is the child of missionaries serving in Taiwan. Her attendance at UMHB has been made possible, in large part, by the Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning Endowed Scholarship, which was established by the Lord family.
“I know, without a doubt, that UMHB is where God wants me to be right now,” Blackhurst said, “and He’s using it to mold me into the woman he wants me to be.”
I’m beyond thankful for the Lords and this scholarship, and the fact that this incredible building is named in their honor just makes sense. Now, whenever I pass by, I’ll remember the blessings I’ve received thanks to them.
Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning Endowed Scholarship Recipient
After Blackhurst, Griff Lord took the podium to respond to the day’s proceedings.
“We are overwhelmed,” Lord said. “We are also humbled, profoundly grateful, and deeply touched that you have chosen to name this wonderful addition to the campus in our honor.”
Drayton McLane III, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, offered a prayer of dedication. Afterwards, O’Rear and his wife, Julie, were joined for a ribbon cutting by Griff and Kathy Lord, Michael and Sharon Lord Daggett, university administrators, and architects and contractors who took part in the project.
Following the ribbon cutting, the doors of Lord Hall were swung open, and visitors were encouraged to tour the facility, including eight student rooms.
At 49,614 square feet, with beds for 214 students, Lord Hall is now the university’s largest residence hall. The facility includes a large central lobby, study rooms on the 2nd and third floors, computer kiosks throughout the building, and two laundry rooms on each floor. Another great feature unique to the hall is a large common area on the 3rd floor that is equipped with a kitchen area. The kitchen includes a full set of cabinets, a sink, a full-size refrigerator, and an oven that students can use for baking.
“Lord Hall provides space for first-year students to have a shared experience and be a part of a community, with resident assistants there to help them adjust to college life,” Dr. Brandon Skaggs, Vice President for Student Life, said.
UMHB has a great history of being a residential campus. Lord Hall is a great building that has continued that tradition but also taken us to new places.
Dr. Brandon Skaggs
Vice President for Student Life
Lord Hall is named in honor of Griff and Kathy Lord, Michael and Sharon Lord Daggett, and their families. Sharon Lord Daggett established an endowed scholarship in 1996 in memory of her grandmother Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning, who attended Baylor College for Women (now UMHB) in 1905. In the years following, Sharon and her brother, Griff, and their families made frequent personal gifts to the endowment and facilitated the awarding of grants to UMHB from the Grogan Lord Foundation, established by their father.
Through their gifts, the Lord family has provided significant support for campus facilities such as the Parker Academic Center (Lord Conference Center), the Paul and Jane Meyer Christian Studies Center (Manning Chapel), and the Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center (Main Stage Curtain). The Ida Myrtle Roberts Manning Endowed Scholarship is now one of the largest scholarships at UMHB; since its inception, it has helped more than 326 students pay for their education at UMHB.