Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has announced an anonymous $200 million bequest to support medical research related to aging within the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Work, and other university programs.
The gift, the largest in Baylor's history, is believed to be among the top twenty private gifts to U.S. higher education ever made. According to the university, the donor is a Baylor graduate whose family has a history of providing gifts to the university for innovative programs that have potential to advance knowledge and experience in diseases, disorders, care, treatment, and other issues associated with aging. As a provision of the donor's estate, a foundation will be established at the time of the donor's death to support aging-related initiatives at the university.
The interdisciplinary nature of the gift will support Baylor's holistic approach toward addressing the physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs and strengths of aging individuals. The College of Arts and Sciences will use the gift to strengthen its programs in pre-health, psychology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and other related areas, while the university's newest school, the School of Social Work, will receive support for its efforts to prepare social workers for diverse public and private settings, with an emphasis on working effectively with issues of faith and spirituality and with congregations and faith-based organizations.
"This truly is a remarkable day for Baylor University," said Baylor interim president David E. Garland. "The foresight and originality of one of our own graduates will now provide future Baylor students and faculty the opportunity to conduct innovative research and bring that knowledge into the classroom. This gift advances the mission of Baylor by empowering us to improve our future graduates' service to the nation's aging population. We extend our deepest thanks to the donor and applaud the donor's understanding of the need for leaders who take a holistic approach in addressing issues associated with aging."