Joe Allbritton, LLB ’49, did a lot of things in his 87 years. He founded Allbritton Communications, which owns 10 TV stations as well as Politico.com. He served as CEO of a D.C.-area bank for 20+ years. He served on the boards of three presidential foundations, the National Geographic Society, the Kennedy Center and many other organizations.
Among those in attendance at Allbritton’s memorial service last week at the National Cathedral in Washington were former Secretary of State James Baker, three current or former U.S. Senators, and Britain’s ambassador to the U.S. (who attended at the request of Prince Charles).
But even with all this success, Allbritton never forgot where he came from. He retained deep ties to Baylor, serving as a Trustee from 1959-68 and as a Regent from 1998-2001. He and his wife, Barbara, have given generously to Baylor programs ranging from law to art; the Allbritton House, home to Baylor presidents since 1974, is named in their honor. (Even James Baker mentioned Allbritton’s love for Baylor at the memorial service.)
At the end of a story about how Abner McCall (then dean of Baylor Law) nearly flunked him in law school, Allbritton told Baylor Magazine in 2011, “I attribute Baylor as the beginning of my opportunities to prepare me to advance in life and to achieve the successes I have been fortunate to have.”
Allbritton was chair of the committee that oversaw the construction of Moody Memorial Library in 1968, so it seems only fitting that an exhibit honoring him is on display through the end of the spring semester in the Moody foyer (which is named in his honor).
Sic ’em, Joe Allbritton, for your lifetime of leadership and ongoing love for Baylor!