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Baylor Receives Largest Gift in School's History

March 4, 2010

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Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work is just one member of the university who stands to benefit from the largest gift in university. An anonymous longtime Baylor donor has set up an estate provision that will benefit the school to the tune of an estimated two-hundred million dollars. The gift will bolster Baylor's research on the issues of aging in multiple disciplines at the school. Dennis Prescott, vice president for development.

Dr. Diana Garland is excited about what it means for the future of the School of Social Work, the youngest school at Baylor. Dr. Lee Nordt, a fellow dean at Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, said it's hard to comprehend what a gift of this magnitude can do for the university.

As an estate gift, the money will not be held for the university until a point after the donor's death. But its short-term impact until that day cannot be understated. The numbers certainly attract the attention. Two hundred million is believed to be the second largest gift ever given to a college in Texas, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The hope says Prescott is that others will share in the benefactor's enthusiasm and be encouraged to do so as well.

Dr. Lee Nordt, along with Prescott, says that the gift will serve Baylor's 2012 goal of providing top-tier research, attracting a faculty that they believe will bring prominence and attention to the school. Says Garland, the gift is all the more meaningful because it represents the work the school does that benefits the greater community, with the topic of aging being one that affects everybody.

The two-hundred million comes from a Baylor alum with a history of generosity to the school. A foundation will be established at the time of the benefactor's death which will distribute the funds as per their and the school's wishes. For KWBU news, I'm Derek Smith.

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