• Presenting the 2024 Baylor Alumni Award winners

    Headshots of David Wills, Jessica Beachum, Jimmy & Janet Dorrell, Gabrielle “Gabe” Madison, and Gil Stricklin

    Baylor graduates make an impact in virtually any field you can think of; this year’s Baylor Alumni Award winners are no different, with recipients leading the charge in areas ranging from financial stewardship to fighting hunger and poverty to chaplaincy.

    Congratulations to this year’s honorees:

    Alumnus of the Year: David Wills (BBA ’85, JD ’88), co-founder of Generous Giving and the TrustBridge Global Foundation and president emeritus of the National Christian Foundation (NCF). NCF is the world’s largest Christian grant-making foundation, working to help people give more strategically and with greater purpose to the causes they love. Wills also gives of his time to Baylor, serving on the Student Foundation Leadership Council.

    Young Alumna of the Year: Jessica Beachum (BA ’11), co-founder of the Beachum Charitable Fund and co-curator of the Jessica and Kelvin Beachum Collection. In 2015, Jessica and her husband, Kelvin, established the Beachum Charitable Fund to fight hunger, provide global clean water access, provide opportunities for minority students within the STEAM disciplines, and address inequities within education.

    Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service: Jimmy (BA ’72, MA ’93) and Janet (BS ’80, MS ’02) Dorrell, co-founders of Mission Waco: Mission World, which strives to address poverty through hands-on compassion. Jimmy is president emeritus of Mission Waco, pastor of Church Under the Bridge, and an adjunct faculty member at Truett Seminary; Janet is director at Mission World. Together, they have helped fight poverty in Waco and around the world for more than 30 years.

    Pro Texana Medal of Service: Gabrielle “Gabe” Madison (BBA ’00), president of Bonton Farms. After 22 years in corporate life (and numerous placements on “most powerful business leaders” lists), Madison left the corporate sphere in 2022 to lead Bonton Farms, a nonprofit that aims to redefine South Dallas by creating jobs and volunteer opportunities while offering healthy, organic food options for the underserved Bonton neighborhood.

    Distinguished Achievement Award: the late Gil Stricklin (BA ’57), founder of Marketplace Ministries/Marketplace Chaplains and a 37-year Army and Air Force chaplain. Founded in 1984, MM/MC now provides chaplaincy care to employees at more than 1,000 companies worldwide. Stricklin’s career also includes stints with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Baptist General Convention of Texas in addition to his decades of military chaplaincy.

    Sic ’em, Bears!