The Baylor University Board of Regents recently welcomed six new members, celebrated the university’s largest fundraising year and discussed LGBQT issues.

Regents, gathering during their regular July retreat and summer meeting, heard reports that contributions and pledges to Baylor this year totaled $243 million, the most in the school’s 174-year history, according to a Baylor press release.

School officials reported that this is the eighth consecutive year the university has surpassed $100 million in fundraising. This year’s total includes an anonymous $100 million gift supporting endowed professorships and representing the lead donation for the planned Baylor Basketball Pavilion.

“We are profoundly grateful to the many members of the Baylor family who have come alongside the university as part of Give Light,” Baylor President Linda Livingstone wrote in the press release.

The July meeting marked the first for six new regents, plus a new student regent, Baylor officials reported.

The new board members are Sarah Gahm, of Dallas, senior vice president of Baylor Scott & White Health Care; William Mearse, of Houston, a retired Accenture resources group operations officer; Mark Petersen, of Arlington, a partner in MBD Solutions LLC and president and managing partner for PRF Capital LLC; Manny Ruiz, of San Antonio, president and senior lending officer and member of the board of directors at Texstar National Bank; David M. Slover, of Dallas, a senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Highground Advisors; and Randall A. Umstead, associate dean for academic affairs and The Charles Evans Chair in Voice in the Baylor School of Music.

The new student regent is junior Cassidy Parshall, of Colleyville.

According to Board Chairman Jerry Clements, the new regents bring a variety of new viewpoints to the board. “They all have in common a genuine love and care for Baylor and a desire to help the university move forward under President Livingstone and achieve Baylor’s vision for the future as a preeminent Christian research university.”

According to the press release, the board also held a discussion with Janet B. Dean, an associate professor of psychology at Asbury University and co-author of “Listening to Sexual Minorities: A Study of Faith and Sexual Identity on Christian Colleges Campuses.”

Baylor officials said “the board discussed the ability of faith-based universities, like Baylor, to provide a loving, caring community because of their Christian missions while providing LGBTQ students with the support essential to their holistic growth and formation as adults.”

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