Sharing Student Scholarship Online: Finance at Baylor, 1900-1920

For the first five weeks of the spring 2013 semester, we’re putting up teasers about the fascinating Baylor history that Higher Education and Student Affairs students analyzed and shared on the class’ blog. So far we’ve explored students and student organizations and curriculum at Baylor. This week we’re exploring Finance at Baylor, from how athletics activities were financed, to fundraising tactics employed by Baylor administrators, to how students earned money to pay for their Baylor education. Did you know that…

HESA Baylor History blog

  • In 1915, alumni and Baylor’s athletics association raised $9,000 for a new bath house and grandstand to support Baylor football and other athletic endeavors. (With inflation, that would be around $200,000.) The 1915 grandstand seated only 1,000seems small to us today, compared to the efforts for the new Baylor Stadium, but that was pretty big at the time. Read about how athletics were financed in the early 1900s at Baylor.
  • J.B. Tidwell (for whom Tidwell Bible Building is named) didn’t come to Baylor initially as a Bible and religion instructorhe gave up the presidency of Decatur College (another Baptist institution) in 1909 to serve as Baylor’s Endowment Secretary. In 15 months on that job, he raised more than $90,000which would be more than $2 million in today’s dollars. Learn about the tactics Tidwell and other Baylor fundraisers used to persuade donors and organizations to support Baylor.
  • About one-third of the Baylor student body worked on campus to help pay for their education. Jobs ranged from library assistants to grounds keeping to teaching. Not so different from today! Explore other ways that Baylor students financed their education in the early 1900s.

We hope you’ll explore these blog posts and enjoy the benefits of the HESA students’ research and scholarship. If you’re inspired to dig deeper, most of their sources can be found in the University Archives within The Texas Collection and in our digitized materials available online in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.

Background on this project: Students in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) masters program have taken on the challenge of creating original scholarship that adds to what is known about Baylor’s history between 1900 and 1920. As part of Dr. Nathan Alleman’s Foundations and History of Higher Education course, students were grouped under the five class themes: curriculum, finance, students/student groups, access, and religion. In collaboration with Texas Collection archivists and librarians, students mined bulletins, newspapers, correspondence, and other primary resources as they researched their topics. Final papers have now been posted on a University-hosted EduBlog site and grouped by their particular sub-topic so that patrons, researchers, and other interested persons could benefit from these students’ work. This is the first installment of an annual accumulating project–please visit again for future installments.