The Baylor Business School has had many homes on campus since its founding more than 90 years ago. As the Hankamer School of Business continues to grow in size and prestige, the School’s home has grown to help foster innovation and learning.
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The Baylor Business School was established in 1923. It was housed in classrooms and offices on the ground floor of Carroll Library.
In 1948, the School was housed in Old Main, but soon after, it had to be relocated again to the third floor of the Student Union Building to accommodate the expanding program.
Prompted by the AACSB accreditation standards and the necessity of more space, the board dedicated itself toward raising funds for a new building to house the business school, and by 1956 there were $500,000 in cash donations and pledges.
Alumnus and board member Earl Hankamer offered a gift of $500,000 to cover the costs of constructing and furnishing the new building in 1959. After the plans for the Hankamer building were finalized in 1959, the AACSB granted full membership to the business school. Even today, only five percent of business schools worldwide have AACSB International Accreditation.
In 1960, the building was completed. In honor of Mr. Hankamer, the building was named the Hankamer Building and the school name was also changed to the Hankamer School of Business.
In 1977, a new wing that included the Bessie Blume Conference Center and space for faculty offices was added on the northwest corner of the Hankamer building.
As growth continued, in 1983, Curtis and Doris Hankamer funded a new addition on the southeast corner of the building that provided faculty space for the departments of Management Information Systems, Finance and Economics. Also in 1983, accounting firm Arthur Andersen and Company funded a student learning atrium, which connected the Hankamer building to a new, three-story Academic Center.
In 1986, two more floors were added to the Academic Center, provided by Roy and Virginia Cashion. The building was renamed Cashion Academic Center in their honor.
In the early 2000s, the need to accommodate more students, programs and a collaborative learning environment became clear.
In October 2013, the Baylor University Board of Regents approved construction of a new $99 million Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. Paul L. Foster, BBA ’79, worked in the energy industry and for a refining company before forming Western Refining Co., as president and CEO in 1997. Today, Foster is executive chairman of Western Refining, an independent refining and marketing company headquartered in El Paso that also operates 200 convenience stores in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
Baylor broke ground on the 275,000-square-foot facility in December 2013.
The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation is set to be completed in July 2015. The architectural design features a highly corporate and sustainable business environment, including a centerpiece atrium and a 350-seat auditorium to accommodate guest lectures and special events, a variety of student collaboration spaces, and classrooms that will facilitate an engaged learning environment. The new building is expected to expand the school’s size by nearly 40 percent.
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2014