Baylor’s planned new business school building got an incredible boost Tuesday when the university announced a $35 million gift from Paul L. Foster, BBA ’79, that will support both the new facility and Baylor Stadium. The gift is the largest from a living alumnus in Baylor history.
Foster’s deep Baptist roots brought him to Baylor in the mid 1970s as a premed student. He eventually moved over to business, where he would earn an accounting degree. Dr. Terry Maness, BA ’71, MS ’72 — now dean of the Hankamer School of Business — was then a young assistant professor at Baylor, as well as Foster’s fraternity sponsor. The two became friends, forming a relationship that has now lasted more than 30 years.
After Baylor, Foster began a career in oil refining; he formed his current company, Western Refining, in 1997. Over the years, he and his wife, Alejandra, have been committed to supporting education. In 2006, his lead gift led to the creation of Baylor’s Paul L. Foster Success Center, which brought together under one roof an assortment of departments such as academic advisement, tutoring and career counseling. A year later, he donated $50 million to help create the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in his hometown of El Paso.
He has also served on the Hankamer Board of Advisors and as a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents. In honor of this recent gift, the new business school building — to be built near the McLane Student Life Center, across the street from the new East Village — will be named the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.
“Like so many other graduates, the education I received at Baylor prepared me for personal and professional success,” said Foster. “That’s why Alejandra and I couldn’t be more pleased to come alongside the university to support the new building for Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, which will provide a transformational and innovative education for Baylor business students, and Baylor Stadium, which will benefit the university and the Waco community for generations to come.”
Sic ’em, Paul Foster!