History of The Baylor Line Foundation

by Baylor Line Foundation | June 11, 2019

Key dates in the history of the Baylor Line Foundation (formerly the Baylor Alumni Association)

1859:  Fourteen years after Baylor University was chartered by the Republic of Texas, Baylor President Rufus Burleson announces the creation of an alumni association, and Baylor graduates begin formally meeting. By the June commencement, 42 former students—23 men and 19 women—qualify for membership.

1909: The alumni association sponsors the first Baylor Homecoming.

April 1925: The Baylor Monthly is launched as the official publication of the Baylor University Alumni Association, with J. M. Dawson serving as editor.

1932: Due to economic hardships caused by the Depression, the Baylor Monthly and the alumni office are closed, not to reopen until the end of the decade.

1936: The Baylor Centennial Foundation begins soliciting funding for the new Student Union Building. The group launches the Baylor Century magazine in October 1938. The magazine is published by Baylor University, and the title refers to the university’s upcoming centennial in 1945. Subscriptions are $1 a year.

1942: The Baylor Ex-Students Association is legally incorporated, but without a full-time director.

1946: The Baylor Century magazine is renamed the Baylor Line, the name being a phrase from the school’s alma mater, and the first issue under that title comes out in October 1946. The magazine is now produced by the Baylor Ex-Students Association, which in the spring of 1946 appoints its first full-time executive secretary, Jack Dillard. In a letter to alumni dated June 20, 1946, Dillard writes, “Your Association, for the first time, is operating separately from Baylor University itself. The history of all outstanding Ex-Students groups shows that they operate best when separate from the university.” Dillard serves as the editor of the Baylor Line. The magazine is sent only to members of the association, and memberships dues are set at $3 per individual, or $5 per family.

April 20, 1976: The Baylor Ex-Students Association is reorganized as the Baylor University Alumni Association, and a new dues-paying membership system is established. Individual annual memberships are set at $15 a year, and life memberships are set at $200. The distribution of the Baylor Line is reduced to members only.

1978: The Baylor University Alumni Association is legally incorporated as a nonprofit organization and moves from the Student Union Building to the new Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center.

September 1993: BAA and Baylor University sign agreement granting BAA a long-term, fully-paid-up license to use the names and marks of Baylor Alumni Association and The Baylor Line.

May 2003:  University and BAA sign a “Memorandum of Intention and Understanding” that guaranteed the continuation of the association’s access to the alumni database, the use of the Baylor Alumni Association name, and office space in the alumni center, which the association had previously agreed to share with the Office of Alumni Services.

2009-2014:  The Baylor Administration takes a series of actions to restrict BAA’s access and sever the association’s coordinated operations with the university. Baylor begins tearing down the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center in July 2013. The University follows through on its threat to sue in June 2014, and the BAA files its counterclaim later that summer after settlement negotiations fall apart.

2015-Present: As an independent alumni organization, the Baylor Line Foundation has continued efforts to connect alumni to the Baylor Family through events, news and stories, and opportunities to give back through scholarships and fundraising initiatives. 

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