Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation
A new center for the visual arts has taken shape on the UMHB campus thanks to a timely lead gift of $1 million in 2009 from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation.
The foundation was established in 1995 by John F. Baugh and his wife, Eula Mae, to continue their philanthropic efforts beyond their own lifetimes. John Baugh began his career working at an A&P grocery in Waco during years of the Depression. Hard economic times forced a transfer to the A&P in Houston, and it was there he met and married Eula Mae Tharp. After the war, he decided to establish his own food distribution service based in Houston. Through his involvement and leadership in the National Frozen Food Association, he met other food distributors from across the country; when he proposed that nine of them merge to form a nationwide food distribution service in 1970, Sysco Corporation was born. John served as Chairman, CEO, and Senior Chairman of Sysco. Over the next 35 years, the company’s sales grew from $115 million annually to over $30 billion annually, making it the world’s largest food service company with 170 locations and over 47,500 employees.
John and Eula Mae Baugh always emphasized the importance of family, friends, and Christian endeavors, and they were well known for their generous support of higher education and Texas Baptist causes. During their lifetimes, they made significant gifts to UMHB, including support for the construction of the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center and the Paul and Jane Meyer Christian Studies Center.
Today their daughter, Babs Baugh, and her daughters, Jackie Moore and Julie Cloud, serve as the directors and officers of the family foundation, continuing the Baugh legacy of generously supporting Baptist programs and institutions. They chose to fund the visual arts project because it clearly aligned with the interests of the family foundation.
“These students are the future of our country, Texas, and the Baptist denomination,” said Babs Baugh. “Students take many courses and directions at UMHB, but none are more significant than the arts. It’s through the arts that your soul expresses beauty, joy, and thankfulness to God.”