Baylor University: 2013 in review

Here’s a quick look at some of the more memorable events that took place at Baylor University in 2013, as compiled by Randy Fiedler of the College of Arts & Sciences.


January 4—Baylor surprises longtime track and field coach Clyde Hart, 78, with a dinner celebrating his 50th anniversary at the University. Hart has served as director of track and field since stepping down as track and field coach eight years before.

January 14—In a post on its travel blog, the British Broadcasting Corporation names Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library one of America’s five most beautiful college libraries.

January 15—Baylor celebrates the 60th anniversary of Dr Pepper Hour with a special celebration in the Bill Daniel Student Center. The event features the usual Dr Pepper floats, along with bear-shaped cookies glazed with Dr Pepper sauce and candy.

January 25—Baylor officially opens the new Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center when the men’s tennis team hosts SMU. A dedication ceremony is held following doubles play during the match. More than 700 people attend the first on-campus indoor match in program history, watching as Baylor sweeps SMU, 7-0.

January 26—Brittney Griner sets the NCAA record for blocked shots during the Lady Bears’ 82-65 victory over Oklahoma in the Ferrell Center. Griner has eight blocked shots in the game to give her a total of 665.

January 30—Brittney Griner scores 40 points in propelling the Lady Bears to a 90-60 victory over Texas Tech in Lubbock. In the process, Griner breaks the all-time Big 12 women’s career scoring mark.


February 1–Baylor University celebrates its 168th birthday. Baylor’s charter was signed Feb. 1, 1845, by Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas.

February 8–Baylor Regents approve public fundraising for a new 275,000-square-foot, $100 million business school building that will expand the school’s size and reach by nearly 40 percent. Regents also approve a $12 million refurbishment of South Russell Hall beginning in summer 2013 and a $1.75 million build-out at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC).

February 9—On a day when the Baylor softball team plays three games in the Getterman Classic tournament in Waco, freshman Heather Stearns, in her second start, pitches a no hitter against Northern Illinois and gets the win, 1-0. It is the 16th no-hitter at Baylor.

February 11—Regent emeritus and alumnus Drayton McLane receives the Baylor Founders Medallion during a Founder’s Day ceremony in Waco Hall.

February 15—More than 100 costumed Baylor students show up at the Judge REB Baylor statue to take part in the production of an informal dance video, Baylor’s version of the dance “Harlem Shake” that has gone viral, with new versions appearing daily on YouTube.

February 18—During the No. 1 Lady Bears’ 76-70 victory over No. 3 Connecticut on the road, Brittney Griner scores 25 points, including the 3,000th point of her career. Griner becomes the eighth player in Division I history to reach that milestone.

February 21—The Baylor Board of Regents announces two new members –– faculty representative Dr. Todd Still of Truett Seminary, starting a second one-year term, and Chicago junior Taylor Hoogendoorn, the student representative on the board.

February 21–Representatives from the DeBakey Medical Foundation present a check for $500,000 to be used to expand the Michael E. DeBakey, Selma DeBakey and Lois DeBakey Endowed Scholarship in Medical Humanities at Baylor. The Foundation has now given $1 million since 2009 to support medical humanities scholarships at the University.

February 23—After the Lady Bears defeat the Texas Longhorns 67-47 in the Ferrell Center, the Lady Bears cut down the net and are honored as Big 12 champions.

MARCH 2013

March 1–As part of a Baylor Bookstore celebration in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, President Ken Starr gives an enthusiastic reading of the Dr. Seuss classic The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins to children from the Hallsburg School.

March 4—Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney reads from his works as part of the Beall Poetry Festival. In connection with his Baylor visit he writes an original poem titled “On the Gift of a Fountain Pen,” copies of which are sold at the event.

March 4—During Senior Night at the Lady Bears basketball game against Kansas State in the Ferrell Center, Brittney Griner scores a career-high 50 points, the most ever scored by a player in a Big 12 basketball game.

March 11—The Baylor Lady Bears defeat Iowa State, 75-47, in the final round of the Big 12 Tournament to win their third consecutive Big 12 tournament title.

March 12—Robert Griffin III appears before both chambers of the Texas Legislature in the State Capitol for resolutions honoring his career. As part of RG3 Day at the Capitol, it is announced that Baylor University has established the Robert Griffin III Quarterback Scholarship that will be awarded to a standout quarterback on the Baylor football team.

March 31—On Easter Sunday, the top-ranked Baylor Lady Bears lose a heartbreaking Sweet 16 game in the NCAA Tournament to Louisville, 82-81. The contest marks the final college game for senior Brittney Griner.

APRIL 2013

April 1—Baylor sophomore Holly Tucker sings “To Make You Feel My Love” during her blind audition on the NBC show “The Voice,” inspiring all four celebrity judges to pick her before she chooses to join the team of country singer Blake Shelton.

April 2—Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban says he will consider selecting Lady Bears star Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft.

April 4—The Baylor men’s basketball team wins its first National Invitational Tournament, as the Bears beat Iowa 74-54 in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Bears are the first Big 12 team to win the tournament. During the game, Pierre Jackson, named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, becomes the Bears’ all-time leading single season scorer.

April 5—In a Lariat story, Baylor officials are quoted as saying that the Starbucks in the Dutton Avenue parking facility will close at the end of the spring semester. “Unfortunately, it was not economically sustainable,” spokesperson Lori Fogleman says. The full-service Starbucks in Moody Library will remain open.

April 5— Vitek’s BBQ’s Gut Pak, representing Baylor University, narrowly beats Real Chili’s Marquette, a spaghetti-based chili bowl representing Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., according to online results in the Cooking Channel’s “Best College Eats” competition.

April 14–The Baylor Quidditch Association team loses to UCLA in the semifinals of the Quidditch World Cup, giving the “Bears on Brooms” team a third place national finish.

April 15—Lady Bears star Brittney Griner is the first pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, chosen by the Phoenix Mercury. The other Lady Bear to be drafted is Brooklyn Pope, who is chosen as the 28th pick by the Chicago Sky.

April 16—Baylor’s McLane Carillon joins carillons across the country at 2:50 p.m. CST in tolling three times in remembrance of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing the day before.

April 16—Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell is the guest of President Ken Starr in his latest “On Topic” public conversation in Waco Hall.

April 17—At 7:50 p.m. a fertilizer plant in West that had caught fire explodes, killing and injuring many persons, destroying many buildings and forcing evacuation of parts of the town.

April 18—At midnight, Baylor students join other students from Waco in a prayer vigil outside Waco Hall for the victims of the tragedy in West. Those attending light candles and sing hymns. Later in the morning, Baylor officials delay the start of Diadeloso until noon, and a University-wide prayer service is held at 10 a.m. in Barfield Drawing Room to pray for the community. A trailer staffed by Student Life and placed on Fountain Mall collects needed items for West. The evening Diadeloso concert by Five for Fighting is moved from Fountain Mall to the Ferrell Center and is transformed into a benefit concert for West.

April 18—Richmond senior Wesley Hodges is elected the 2013-2014 student body president.

April 21–The 15th-ranked Baylor men’s tennis team clinches the Big 12 regular season title outright with a 5-2 victory over No. 37 TCU. The win gives Baylor its 11th regular season title and earns the team the overall No. 1 seed heading into the Big 12 Championship. On the same day, the 28th-ranked Baylor women’s tennis earns its ninth Big 12 regular-season title in the last 11 years with a 4-3 victory over No. 15 Texas Tech. The Big 12 title is the 50th for the Baylor athletic department in the 17-year history of the conference.

April 21–Freshman Lauren Taylor wins the Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship individual title, and Baylor’s women’s golf team finishes in second place –– the best finish in program history.

April 23—President Ken Starr announces that the $100 million goal of the President’s Scholarship Initiative has been reached, with total donations now at $101.4 million. More than 11,000 people have donated to the fund, with 5,000 of those being first-time donors.

April 23—A dedication ceremony is held for the Carlile Equestrian Team Building, which houses locker rooms, administrative offices, meeting spaces and a treatment and training room for Baylor’s equestrian program.

April 25—President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service for the West explosion victims held in the Ferrell Center. It is the President’s first trip to Waco. Also speaking are Texas Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator John Cornyn. The service is preceded by a miles-long march of fire trucks and ambulances from cities across Texas that send representatives to the service.

MAY 2013

May 1—Around 5 p.m., a sinkhole 8 to 10 feet in diameter appears at University Parks Drive and Ross Avenue in front of Baylor’s Clifton Robinson Tower. A preliminary investigation indicates it was caused by a leak from one of two sewage pipes beneath the street, which undercut the pavement and lead to the collapse. Robinson Tower employees must use an alternate entrance for about a week until repairs are completed.

May 7—Former Baylor quarterback Don Trull (QB 1961-1963) is among 14 players and coaches elected to the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision Class. He is the 10th former Baylor Bear to earn induction and the first since Thomas Everett in 2006.

May 8––University Scholars major Taylor Roth, a Plano senior, appears on “Jeopardy’s College Championship.” Roth competes against 15 students from universities across the country for a grand prize of $100,000 and a spot on Jeopardy’s “Tournament of Champions” show. Roth was diagnosed with a tumor on her brain stem in 2011 and was told she’d only have 10 months to live. Doctors later determined that the tumor was a slower-growing mass that would not likely interfere with her day-to-day life for years to come.

May 8—Baylor’s Mayborn Museum Complex welcomes its one millionth guest. Students from Rosebud Primary School are greeted by University dignitaries and given T-shirts saying “I’m One in a Million at the Mayborn Museum.”

May 15—The renovated Baylor Climbing Wall and new Bouldering Cave in the McLane Student Life Center are dedicated.

May 17—At their meeting today, Baylor Regents approve construction of the first phase of a new $13.6 million on-campus track and field stadium, to be built along the Brazos River on the far east side of the Baylor Stadium property. Regents also vote to approve $2.8 million to continue with programming and design developments for the new business school building, approve a Ph.D. in health services research and approve three naming requests: Gordon Teal Residential College for the north building and Hallie Earle Hall for the south building of East Village, and East Village Dining Commons for the middle building.

May 26—Tony Kanaan wins the 2013 Indianapolis 500 race, driving a car owned by 2003 Baylor alumnus James “Sulli” Sullivan.

May 27—In a previously videotaped segment of a live episode of “The Voice,” Baylor student and contestant Holly Tucker gets her coach, country singer Blake Shelton, to do a “Sic ‘Em Bears” on camera.

JUNE 2013

June 3—After making it to the Top 6 of “The Voice,” Baylor’s Holly Tucker fails to get enough votes from viewers to advance to the next week’s competition.

June 4–Baylor announces the receipt of a $35 million gift from Paul L. Foster of El Paso (BBA ‘79), which represents the largest gift from a living alumnus in Baylor’s history. The money will support the University’s $100 million campaign to construct a new 275,000-square foot facility –– to be named the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation –– which will house Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.

June 10—Baylor President Ken Starr and Baylor Alumni Association board of directors president Collin Cox announce that an agreement has been reached between Baylor and the BAA, and is unanimously supported by the Baylor Board of Regents and the Baylor Alumni Association Executive Board. The plan creates a new, independent Baylor Line Corporation that will publish the Baylor Line magazine and the Between the Lines email newsletter, while dissolving the BAA, allowing the remaining programming operations to integrate with those in the Baylor Alumni Network or other Baylor departments. The BAA membership will vote on the plan Sept. 7.

June 10—Officials from Baylor and L-3 Platform Integration in Waco announce the signing of a lease agreement to occupy 3,200 square feet of industrial space at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC).

June 25—The Harlem Globetrotters announce they have selected former Baylor Lady Bear Brittney Griner in their annual player draft. Griner says that while she is honored, she has already declined the offer to join the team.

June 27—Baylor basketball star Pierre Jackson is selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 42 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Jackson’s selection gives Baylor four NBA draft picks in the last two years, which ties the Bears with Kansas for the most in the Big 12 Conference during that stretch.

JULY 2013

July 6—A “Zumba for West” benefit is held in the Ferrell Center, with guitarist Ted Nugent playing the national anthem.

July 19—Baylor Regents approve spending up to $2.5 million for site preparation, a feasibility study and architectural renderings associated with a new alumni event center at Baylor Stadium. The board also authorizes fundraising to support construction of the center, which has an expected cost of $17 million. Regents also approve $2 million to continue with design of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

July 23—Head football coach Art Briles sits behind the podium at the annual Big 12 football media day perched behind the team’s shiny, “blinding” new gold helmet, which is “the talk of the day. Nobody had seen a headpiece quite so bold and daring.” For the first time in Big 12 history, the Bears receive a pair of first-place votes in the preseason media poll. The Bears are picked fifth in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas.

July 29–Faculty and staff, primarily from the relocated Baylor School of Education, begin moving into the newly renovated Marrs McLean Science Building.


August 14—For the first time in Baylor’s history, the University makes the Sierra Club’s list of “Cool Schools 2013” recognizing exemplary environmental initiatives.

August 21—Students move into Baylor’s new East Village Residential Community for the first time.

August 28—Baylor’s McLane Carillon takes part in the national “Let Freedom Ring” events in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, D.C., and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

August 31—In the final football season opener in Floyd Casey Stadium, the Baylor Bears beat Wofford, 69-3.


September 3—On the eve of the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, an exhibit titled “John F. Kennedy: His Life –– His Presidency –– His Legacy” begins at the W.R. Poage Legislative Library.

September 6—A Lariat story announces that starting with summer classes on June 2, 2014, Baylor will adopt a new grading policy that includes minus grades.

September 7—A majority of Baylor Alumni Association members who show up to vote in Waco Hall support the Transition Agreement that would merge the BAA with the Baylor Alumni Network, but the measure fails to get the two-third majority required by the BAA bylaws and therefore fails. There are 830 “yes” votes and 668 “no” votes cast.

September 10—A traveling exhibit of 39 Ansel Adams photographs titled “Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail” opens at Baylor’s Martin Museum of Art. By the time it closes later in the fall it will have become the most-attended exhibit in the museum’s history.

September 10—Author Os Guinness, author of the recent book The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity, holds a discussion with President Ken Starr as part of the “On Topic” series in Waco Hall.

September 16—Baylor President Ken Starr and McLennan Community College President Johnette McKown sign a new three-year memorandum of understanding creating a new program called Baylor Bound. The program targets students who want to enroll at Baylor but wish to start at the community college first to save expenses while working on their basic courses.

September 18—Official enrollment statistics released today show that Baylor has set another enrollment record, with a total of 15,616 students enrolled, surpassing the previous year’s record enrollment of 15,364 students. The Baylor student body is the most diverse in University history, with overall minority enrollment at 33.9 percent.


October 3—It is announced at a Student Senate meeting that the Collins Hall dining hall will close in the fall of 2014. Baylor officials have decided to close one of the five dining halls to lower the cost of meal plans and spend more money on the remaining dining halls.

October 4—Baylor Law School unveils a bronze bust of the late Dean Angus McSwain, who died in May 2011. The bust, created by Clifton-based artist Bruce Greene, was funded by donations from the Class of 1972.

October 4—Baylor University is named one of 25 gluten-free friendly U.S. colleges in 2013 by

October 6—Baylor President Ken Starr and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor President Randy O’Rear meet in Independence to take part in a service rededicating the restored columns of “Old Baylor.” Last repaired 60 years before, the columns have been restored with limestone and strengthened with carbon and steel rods. The occasion marks the first time the presidents of Baylor and Mary Hardin-Baylor have met at Old Baylor in 60 years.

October 18—The Baylor Board of Regents approves construction of the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation that will house the Hankamer School of Business. Regents also give their approval to begin phase two of the new on-campus track and field stadium, which is under construction along the Brazos River east of Baylor Stadium, approve $1.1 million to begin design and engineering work to refurbish North Russell Hall, and approve new doctoral programs –– in higher education studies and leadership and a research-oriented PhD in mechanical engineering.

October 18—East Village Residential Community is formally dedicated during a ceremony on Homecoming weekend.

October 19—“The Voice” finalist Holly Tucker performs from a float during the Homecoming Parade. Later in the day, in the final Homecoming game played in Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor beats Iowa State, 71-7. The win brings Baylor’s record to 6-0 and makes it eligible for a record fourth bowl game in a row. Holly Tucker performs at halftime.


November 2— Mesquite junior Deondria Murphy is crowned Baylor’s first ever Miss Green and Gold at the Miss Green and Gold pageant in Waco Hall. The pageant is an official Miss America affiliate and Murphy gets the chance to compete for Miss Texas.

November 6—Congressman Bill Flores chairs a field hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

November 7—Before a sold-out crowd of 50,537, the fourth-largest crowd in Floyd Casey Stadium history, fifth-ranked Baylor beats No. 12 Oklahoma, 41-12. The win brings Baylor to 8-0 for the first time in school history. Baylor fans dress in black for the game. Also, for the first time since 2006, the tarps have been taken off the south end zone seats to allow for more fans to see the game.

November 11—Baylor announces that the Board of Regents has voted to extend the contract of President Ken Starr. The Board assigns Starr the new title of “President and Chancellor.” He will continue to serve as the University’s chief executive officer. In providing the additional title, the Board charges the President to work to increase Baylor’s influence in the nation and around the world.

November 12––Baylor announces a gift of $1.5 million from Paul and Carol McClinton of Waco that will name the McClinton Family Auditorium within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

November 13—Baylor Regents approve a 10-year contract extension for head football coach Art Briles. The Bears are now ranked No. 5 in the BCS standings.

November 19–The Waco City Council votes to establish the Baylor Waco Stadium Authority, a city-appointed board that will lease the new stadium and book it for concerts and non-Baylor community events year-round.

November 21—Baylor announces that it will become a tobacco-free, smoke-free campus effective Aug. 11, 2014. At that time, the use of any form of tobacco will be strictly prohibited in and outside of all University-owned buildings, including those located on campus, in Waco and other cities, as well as parking lots, garages and sidewalks.

November 21–Baylor announces a gift of $2.5 million from the Paul and Jane Meyer Family Foundation of Waco that will establish the Paul and Jane Meyer Conference Center within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

November 22—At the end of the inaugural Baylor vs. TCU Young Alumni Challenge, a contest between alumni of the two schools to see which school’s graduates would donate the most money to any area of their university, Baylor emerges the winner of what is dubbed the “I-35 Battle Royale.”

November 27–Edward “Eddie” Briles, the older brother of Baylor football coach Art Briles, dies at a hospital in Abilene at age 59. On Nov. 29, Baylor will establish a memorial scholarship to honor Eddie Briles, and on Nov. 30, Baylor will beat TCU in Fort Worth, 41 to 38, in a game the players vow to win for their grieving coach.


December 4–Baylor announces a gift of $1 million from Steve and Penny Carlile of Marshall that will create the Steve and Penny Carlile Plaza on the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

December 7—In freezing temperatures, Baylor beats Texas 30-10 before an all-time record 51,728 fans in the last University football game played in Floyd Casey Stadium. Because Oklahoma had upset Oklahoma State earlier in the day, the win gives the Bears their first Big 12 Conference title and their first outright conference championship since 1980. The win also gives Baylor its first season with 11 wins, as the Bears finish the regular season 11-1. After the game, fans are treated to a “Case Closed” closing ceremony, when players, coaches and administrators representing each decade the stadium was in use turn off the lights one by one.

December 10—Baylor football coach Art Briles is the unanimous choice for the Associated Press’s Big 12 Coach of the Year award. The previous day, quarterback Bryce Petty had been named the AP Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

December 12–Baylor announces a gift of $1 million from Ed and Denise Crenshaw of Lakeland, Fla., that will create the Ed and Denise Crenshaw Student Commons within the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

December 13-14—Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion and Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project co-sponsor a conference in Rome titled “Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.” Baylor President Ken Starr delivers the keynote address, and while in Rome Starr and other conference leaders are granted an audience with Pope Francis.

December 19–Baylor announces a gift of $1 million from the Carlton Family Foundation, led by Bill and Pat Carlton of Little Rock, Ark., that will create the Carlton Family Foundation Dean’s Board Room in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

December 20–Baylor announces a gift of $3 million from Bob and Laura Beauchamp of Houston that will establish the Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center, an on-campus facility formally approved by BaylorRegents on Dec. 19. The new 12,000-14,000-square-foot dining facility will be located adjacent to the Jay and Jenny Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility amid the Highers Athletics Complex along the Brazos River.

December 25–Baylor University celebrates its 169th Christmas since its founding in 1845.

December 30–Baylor announces that it will name its new football stadium McLane Stadium after stadium donor Drayton McLane Jr. and his family. “Drayton is a humble servant and did not seek such recognition, but he has reluctantly conceded to having his name on the stadium, and we are delighted,” says Regents chair Richard S Willis.


We thank both Baylor Marketing & Communications and the Baylor Lariat for use of some of the photos appearing in this post.

One Response

  1. Ernest Garcia at |

    Head football coach Art Briles sits behind the podium at the annual Big 12 football media day perched behind the team’s shiny, “blinding” new gold helmet, which is “the talk of the day. Nobody had seen a headpiece quite so bold and daring.” For the first time in Big 12 history, the Bears receive a pair of first-place votes in the preseason media poll. The Bears are picked fifth in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas.


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