The Scotty Probasco Academic Center and the Bullard Family Quadrangle were formally dedicated at a ceremony on Thursday, marking a significant moment in the school's 125-year history and a crowning achievement for Baylor's historic $50 million Forever Forward capital campaign, said officials.
Located on the site of the former Trustee Hall, the new $14 million, 33,852 square-foot academic building is named for the late trustee emeritus Scotty Probasco '46, whose steadfast devotion to his alma mater has been expressed through many years of service as well as philanthropy.
In his remarks Wednesday afternoon, Baylor School headmaster Scott Wilson '75 said he was approached by former board chairman Zan Guerry '67 with a challenge. "He asked, 'what one thing can we do to take Baylor to the mountain-top?' The answer was one that (former English instructor and dean of Academic Affairs) Jim Stover and others had been espousing for several years...we need new academic space for the Humanities to replace 16 outdated classrooms in which some of the finest English, history, and language teachers in the nation were teaching their students."
"The Scotty Probasco Academic Center represents a bold statement for the future of our core academic mission at Baylor," said Chris Crimmins '80, chairman of Baylor's Board of Trustees. "The placement and design of the building represents years of research and planning to deliver an academic building that would be a national model for teaching and learning. We wanted to build upon Scotty Probasco's legacy of leadership and project it forward for future generations of Baylor students and faculty."
The building, which will open for classes later this fall and houses most of the Upper School's history and English department classes, as well as the learning center, which provides one-on-one tutoring for all students.
As a generous donor, trustee emeritus, and tireless cheerleader for Baylor, Mr. Probasco's decision to give a significant donation to the Forever Forward campaign represented a powerful connection between Baylor's past and its future. In addition to the campaign, Mr. Probasco designated gifts to Baylor through his estate that will also have a profound and lasting impact for years to come. "He was a true philanthropist for Baylor," said Matt Lewis '74, chief advancement officer. "He put Baylor and his church first as giving priorities and became the ultimate example of unconditional love for an institution."
The $1.1 million renovation of the quad began in May and was completed in August just as classes were beginning for the new school year. Thanks to the generous gift from Bob Bullard '81 and his family, the asphalt area formerly used for military formations when the school was an all-male, military institution, has been converted into a landscaped green space.
"The new quadrangle fulfills a long-held vision to create a beautiful green space in the heart of campus that will enhance the Baylor experience for everyone in the community, especially our boarding students who call Baylor 'home' 10 months a year," said headmaster Scott Wilson '75.