A Midland family with strong ties to Baylor University is donating $30 million for scholarships at the university and asking other donors to step up to match its gift.
The commitment from alumni Dan and Jenni Hord will create the Hord Scholarship Challenge and help bridge the gap for students who still have unmet financial needs after qualifying for merit- and need-based aid, Baylor officials said Thursday.
Dan Hord, a Midland oil and real estate businessman, is a Baylor regent, and the couple serve as co-chairs of the steering committee for Baylor’s $1.1 billion fundraising effort, called Give Light. Their gift comes in the form of current and estate giving.
“We recognize the incredible need for scholarships — we know this is one of the most fundamental needs as a student begins to make decisions about choosing a college,” Dan Hord said in a press release. “Our hope is that the Hord Scholarship Challenge offers the entire Baylor Family an opportunity to give sacrificially so that future generations of Baylor students are given the opportunity to fully embrace the Baylor experience.”
Baylor’s undergraduate tuition is listed at $44,544 a year, plus $4,902 in fees, but few students pay the “sticker price,” and more than 90% of Baylor undergraduate students receive some kind of financial aid, such as scholarships, federal loans or private grants, according to the press release. Still, the assistance does not always bring a Baylor education within the reach of qualified students.
The Give Light campaign has a goal of raising $500 million for endowed funds, which cover scholarships and endowed chairs and professorships. So far the campaign has raised almost $400 million, and 512 scholarships have been endowed since 2014. Overall, the Give Light campaign had raised $898.8 million as of Sept. 30.
The Hords’ gift, and other gifts it is expected to inspire, will be “transformational” in recruiting talented students, Baylor President Linda Livingstone said in the press release.
“It is always our hope that the best and brightest students who are drawn to Baylor University will be able to choose this community as their own,” Livingstone wrote. “With the rising costs of higher education, we understand that these hopes are not always feasible without the significant support of our alumni, parents and friends in the form of scholarships.”
Dan Hord, who graduated in 1989, is a partner in HEDLOC Investment Co. LLC and Western Property Group. Jenni Hord, a 1992 graduate, is co-manager of Vanderpool Management, a property development and leasing firm. Both are involved in numerous philanthropic organizations.
The Hords are parents of triplets, two of whom carry on the family tradition at Baylor. Davis and Hunt Hord are seniors at Baylor, while Ellie Hord is a senior at Texas A&M University.