Finance at Baylor, 1900-1920

Funding and financing have and always will be topics that lead to differing opinions in higher education, in part because each campus has conflicting financial goals that are nearly always bound to the whims and interests of external constituents.  Between 1900 and 1920, Baylor University struggled with conflicted funding priorities, even as it attempted to court a variety of potential donors.  Because of the University’s indebtedness in this era, Baylor was not able to fully meet the funding requests of each department.  Although most departments received some funding from the University, they also had to rely on funding from outside sources.

This collection of research papers reveals common concerns about the University’s financial position during this time.  Although findings clearly demonstrate Baylor’s need for financial support, the University utilized different strategies across campus to raise funds.  Among them were student tuition, athletics, and outside fundraising.  Many students were able to fund their Baylor education thanks to scholarships and campus jobs.  Furthermore, since the athletic department was not supported in the University’s budget, supporters of Baylor’s athletic department filled the funding gap.  The athletic department received many donations of varying sizes and forms reflective of strong pro-athletics sentiments growing among students and alumni. Finally, the fundraising campaigns at Baylor provide an in-depth look at the different tactics used to secure an endowment and assure fiscal security.   Each of these tactics used different approaches to motivate supporters and appeal for funding.  Despite a dire financial picture, Baylor succeeded in procuring support in a variety of forms that matched stakeholder interest with particular University needs.   This allowed Baylor University to survive during a challenging period in institutional history.

Follow links below for finance at Baylor papers:

Baylor Pride and the Athletic Association: How Athletics Were Funded at Baylor During 1900-1920 (by Elise Yuhas)

Students and Funding Higher Education at Baylor University Between 1900 and 1920    (by Emily Riley)

Players, Targets, and Tactics in Baylor Fundraising: A Language of Leverage                    (by E. M. Ellis)

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