Baylor University is a private Christian university, a nationally ranked research institution, and the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in the heart of Waco, Baylor University enrolls more than 19,000 students and prepares them for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community.
Baylor’s mission calls for worldwide leadership and service, and that begins in their hometown. Faculty, staff and students serve in organizations and ministries across the community and engage through departmental units, student groups, residence halls and more.
According to its 2019/20 Social and Economic Impact Report, Baylor faculty, staff and students provide 150,000 hours of community service annually. Eighty-one of 350 student organizations list service as a primary activity. And, Baylor has granted $550,000 to area nonprofits since 2014.
Serving the Waco community
Baylor’s Office of External Affairs serves as a point of connection to the Waco community and is “inspired to lead, engage, support and celebrate the collective impact of Waco and Baylor.” Several initiatives and programs connect campus to the Waco community.
Solid Gold Neighbor is Baylor’s community engagement initiative—serving as a point of connection, coordination, engagement and innovation. The Solid Gold Neighbor initiative supports goals and opportunities that are important to their community, by
- Playing a leadership role in economic development by spurring innovation, supporting business growth and relocation, and empowering financial security through education
- Strengthening local educational institutions to increase early childhood education, literacy rates and college to career pipelines
- Providing support for community health and food insecurity efforts
- Cultivating awareness and thoughtful leadership around cultural wealth to celebrate and create access and equity
- Developing a growing city and community with rich arts, robust entertainment, and an energetic city center that attracts and retains talent further strengthening the bond between Waco and Baylor.
The Collective supports local nonprofits and organizations by leveraging university-wide resources in support of the Waco community, including capacity building, grantmaking, recognition, and strategy.
The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty conducts university-based research to determine what anti-hunger efforts are effective and provides the support and expertise to coordinate work in communities. When COVID-19 forced school closures across the nation, the Collaborative began working with community partners to connect students who rely on schools for breakfast and lunch with nutritious, healthy meals. They also launched a COVID-19 Texas food resources website, connecting Texans, including Wacoans, with an online meal finder map and additional resources.