Belton, Texas--By unanimous vote, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Board of Trustees awarded the title of President Emeritus to Dr. Jerry G. Bawcom today, in response to his decision to retire from his current position of Chancellor as of May 31, 2012.
Bawcom served as the 21st president of UMHB from 1991 through 2009. Under his leadership, the university experienced unprecedented growth and stability. Enrollment grew from about 1,700 students to more than 2,700 students, and a number of academic programs were added, including the Master of Science in Information Systems, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Doctor of Education degrees.
The appearance of the Belton campus changed a great deal during the years of Bawcom’s presidency. Twelve residence halls and apartment buildings were constructed during those years, increasing the number of beds on campus from approximately 400 to more than 1,200. New facilities constructed during his tenure included York Science Center, Parker Academic Center, Crusader Sports Complex, Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center, Paul and Jane Meyer Christian Studies Center, and additions to Mabee Student Center, Townsend Memorial Library, and Sanderford Administrative Complex.
Crusader athletic programs also experienced notable growth during Bawcom’s tenure as president. In 1998, the university moved from NAIA to NCAA Division III competition and added programs in football and women’s soccer. During the 19 years of his presidency, UMHB competed for multiple national championships (baseball, women’s basketball, men’s tennis, and football), winning the national Women’s Golf Championship in 2000 and the ASC Conference championship in football four years in a row.
“I could not be more pleased with the Board of Trustees’ action this afternoon to recognize Dr. Jerry Bawcom’s outstanding service to the university by naming him President Emeritus,” said President Randy O’Rear. “This title is well deserved, appropriate, and an acknowledgement of the university’s appreciation for Dr. Bawcom’s tremendous leadership.”