WACO, TX — Baylor University announced a yearlong celebration of the 175th anniversary of its founding that will begin with a birthday celebration as part of the Baylor Men's Basketball game set to tip off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Ferrell Center.
On Feb. 1, 1845, Republic of Texas President Anson Jones signed the Act of Congress that officially established Baylor University.
Originally located in Independence, Texas, Baylor moved to Waco in 1886 to join with Waco University, and the University has flourished in its Central Texas home.
With its flagship Waco campus of more than 1,000 acres along the banks of the Brazos River and a diverse student body of more than 18,000 from all 50 states and more than 90 countries, Baylor continues to build upon its foundation of Christian commitment and academic excellence.
"We are humbled to be the caretakers of such a remarkable legacy at Baylor," said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. "The vision of our Founders to establish a university that is 'fully susceptible of enlargement and development to meet the needs of all ages to come' calls us to build on our 175-year history and pursue even higher goals for the University's impact on Texas and the world."
At its Jan. 21 Waco City Council meeting, the City of Waco issued a proclamation declaring Feb. 1, 2020, as "Baylor Founders Day."
In addition to the celebration at the basketball game, the Mayborn Museum will unveil a new exhibit on Feb. 1 that chronicles the University's history.
Filled with stories and memorabilia from past leaders and events, the exhibit is an interactive look at the rich history of the state's oldest continuously operating university. Additional historic displays have been installed in Moody Memorial Library and the Bill Daniel Student Center (SUB), and the Baylor campus is dressed in pageantry to mark the 175th celebration.
Other celebrations include:
• A special Dr Pepper Hour on Feb. 18 in Barfield Drawing Room in the SUB as the University gathers to celebrate as a campus community.
• "Honoring the Gold and Bold" on Feb. 21 as alumni and friends join together for an opportunity to recognize the historic impact of the University, honor outstanding alumni and look to the future and Baylor's bold vision to pursue preeminence as a Christian research university.
• An international day of service in April with Baylor alumni and friends being invited to serve with communities around the world in honor of Baylor's historic mission of leadership and service.
Other celebrations will be announced and continue through Dec. 31, 2020.
"As we look across the history of Baylor, from its roots as the first coeducational university west of the Mississippi to the birth of the state's first law school and the nation's first homecoming celebration, Baylor has forged its own path," President Livingstone said. "Today, we recognize all who have contributed to our history while also embracing our future and our commitment to enrich the learning environment of our students, pursue excellence in the arts and athletics, grow the breadth, depth and impact of our research endeavors, and do so on the cornerstone of Christian faith firmly set in place by our founders."