Bawcom to step down as UMHB president

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BELTON—Jerry Bawcom has announced plans to step down as president of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor at the end of this school year.

The executive committee of the school’s board of trustees unanimously passed a resolution to name Bawcom chancellor of the university after he retires as president.

Jerry Bawcom

Bawcom, 64, was named the 18th president of UMHB Feb. 1, 1991.  During his tenure, enrollment grew from fewer than 1,700 students to more than 2,700, the university’s budget increased five-fold, and its endowment more than tripled.

Bawcom made “an extraordinary impact on this university and this community,” said Andy Davis, chair of the UMHB board of trustees. 

“The growth and reputation of this university under his leadership has provided a tremendous foundation for the future,” Davis said. “I have been privileged to serve and work with him for nearly all of his 18 years at this fine university.”

In comments to faculty and staff, Bawcom said: “No university president could be as blessed or as privileged as I have been to serve you and UMHB.   I see only more success in the future, and I firmly believe that this is an exciting time to be at Mary Hardin-Baylor.”

During Bawcom’s tenure as president:

• Average SAT scores for entering freshman increased from 890 in 1991 to 1024 in 2008. 
• Ranking in U.S.News & World Report: Best Colleges rose from tier 3 to tier 1.

• UMHB added four master’s degree programs and one doctoral program.

• The university’s budget increased from $11.4 million in 1991 to $55 million for 2008-09.

• Total endowment increased from $18.4 million in 1991 to $60 million in 2008.

• The campus grew from about 100 acres to more than 250 acres.

• Construction of 12 residence halls and apartment buildings has increased the housing capacity from about 400 to 1,300.

Bawcom’s tenure also marked a period of expansion to academic, administrative and recreational facilities, including the Mabee Student Center, Townsend Memorial Library, York Science Hall, Parker Academic Center, Crusader Sports Complex and Mayborn Campus Center.

The Meyer Christian Studies Center is set for dedication Oct. 9.

Other construction projects have included the expansion of the front campus entrance, renovations to every building on campus, additional sidewalks and parking spaces, new intramural fields, parks and common areas.

Under Bawcom’s leadership, UMHB moved from NAIA to NCAA Division III athletic competition, and the school has competed for multiple national championships.

UMHB won the 2000 women’s golf championship, and the football program has won the ASC Conference championship three consecutive years. With the conclusion of the 2007-08 school year, the athletic teams had the most successful year in the school’s history with 11 of the university’s 12 teams advancing to the playoffs and three teams winning conference championships.

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