Baylor University’s School of Music Surpasses $15 Million Campaign Milestone

June 10, 2022
SOM Give Light

WACO, Texas – Baylor University’s School of Music today announced alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends combined to provide nearly $24 million in given and pledged philanthropic support through the Give Light Campaign. More than 1,600 donors contributed to the School of Music as part of Give Light, Baylor’s comprehensive fundraising campaign aimed at resourcing efforts to become the preeminent Christian research university.

To date, the Baylor Family has given more than 3,000 gifts since the start of the campaign to the School of Music. Of the $23.8 million in pledges and gifts received, the School has received $9.8 million in endowment support and another $14 million given to current funds.

"We celebrate the significant milestone our School of Music has achieved, and we are grateful to the alumni, parents, faculty, staff and all others who have made this incredible effort possible,” said David Rosselli, Baylor Vice President for Advancement. “In 2021, our School of Music celebrated 100 years since its founding, and it is humbling to see how our Baylor Family is helping to support endowment and provide resources that will keep that foundation secure for the next 100 years.”

In February, Baylor announced donor giving to the Give Light Campaign surpassed the $1.1 billion mark, the most the University has ever raised during one campaign effort. To date (May close), the Baylor Family has contributed more than $1.2 billion in gifts and pledges toward the Give Light campaign. The School of Music is the fourth academic unit to surpass its initial fundraising goal set in the earliest stages of the Give Light Campaign. Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor School of Law and University Libraries have also surpassed this significant milestone, along with Baylor Athletics and Student Life.

“We are truly grateful for the generous support of our Baylor Family in giving to support the students and faculty of our School of Music,” said School of Music Dean Gary Mortenson, DMA. “The gifts that make up this incredible milestone reflect not only the ways that our community supports our students, through scholarships, through faculty resources and through the excellence funds which fund our music programs and fields of study. It highlights the rich and varied community that we call our Baylor Family – these gifts come from grateful alumni who share fond memories of their time in the Golden Wave Marching Band, from parents looking to support not only their student but her classmates as well, from foundations investing in the arts and from our local communities, who have enjoyed such performances as A Baylor Christmas. We are grateful for all of these members that make up our Baylor Family, and for their support, which allows the School of Music to excel in so many areas.”

The School of Music’s fundraising priorities through the Give Light Campaign are centered upon growing the School’s endowment for student scholarships, program funds and other support for research, instruction and performance.

From the $9.8 million received in endowment support, the School of Music saw 26 new endowed scholarships established, as well as three additional endowed funds. Many of the endowed scholarships will result in immediate impact for the unit’s students. Gifts to the School’s programs, such as a recent gift by Carey and Stacie Hendrickson, of Arlington, Texas, also provide sustaining support for programs that have become hallmarks of the Baylor Music experience. The Hendrickson Family Endowment for Semper Pro Musica to support travel costs, rehearsal and performance preparation and operating costs to encourage students to continue aspiring toward musical excellence.

The School of Music has also received significant support through the generosity of alumni, faculty and others who have notified the University of the School’s inclusion in their estate plans, or other planned gifts. Included in that total was a gift of $1.6 million from Charles W. Evans (BBA ’54), who established the Charles W. Evans Chair in Voice Music through his estate in 2014. Mr. Evans passed away in 2014. Randall Umstead, DMA, is the holder of the Evans Chair within the School, where he also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Division of Vocal Studies, and as a Professor of Voice.

Faculty have also provided significant support for the School of Music. In 2021, Jane Abbott-Kirk, emeritus associate professor of Piano, notified the University of her pledged endowment support for the Musician’s Wellness Program within the School of Music.

Randall Bradley, D.M.A., is another faculty member who has chosen to leave a family legacy within the School of Music. Bradley, who serves as the Ben H. Williams Professor of Music and Director of the Church Music Program and the Center for Christian Music Studies, has made a planned gift to the School of Music to ultimately support students through scholarships.

In January 2019, the School also received support from the Lilly Endowment Inc., which provided a $1.2 million grant through its Strengthening Congregational Ministries with Youth Initiative. The grant enriched current programs in the Center for Christian Music Studies related to strengthening youth participation in worship, as well as funding new programs for youth-focused spiritual formation and vocational discernment.

For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.