Pages Navigation Menu
Yellow pips

Breaking ground: construction begins on art department’s new home

Breaking ground: construction begins on art department’s new home

In the fall of 2012, art students will make the long-anticipated move from the basement of Presser Hall into a brand new, state-of-the-art building on the corner of 9th Avenue and Shine Street. The $5 million project will provide art students with spacious classrooms, ample studio space, a designated art gallery, and an outdoor sculpture garden.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts was held on campus Friday, Sept. 30. The ceremony marked the beginning of construction on the two-story facility that will offer 27,000 square feet of space dedicated to art education.

The building will be named in memory of Eula Mae and John Baugh, Houston philanthropists who were well known for their generous support of higher education and Texas Baptist causes. John Baugh was a founder of Sysco Corporation and also served as chairman and CEO of the company, which eventually became the world’s largest food distribution service. During their lifetimes, Mr. and Mrs. Baugh made significant gifts to UMHB, and their family foundation stepped forward in 2009 to make a lead gift of $1 million for construction of the new art center.

The Baugh’s daughter, Babs Baugh, who serves as president of the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, touched the crowd by unexpectedly taking the podium and calling all students in attendance to come to the front.

“This is what it’s all about,” she told the audience. “These students are the future of our country, Texas, and the Baptist denomination. Students take many courses and directions at UMHB, but none more significant than the arts. It’s what your soul is made of, and how your soul expresses beauty, joy, and thankfulness to God.”