WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – Baylor University’s Board of Regents has approved $6.3 million for construction of a Memorial to Enslaved Persons, located on Founders Mall.

The university says this Memorial was among the recommendations its final report of the Commission on Historic Campus Representations. It will recognize the enslaved men and women who the university says were instrumental in building Baylor’s original campus in Independence, Texas.

The project also represents Phase 1 of the Campus Experience Master Plan, including updates to Founders Mall, Speight Avenue and the Quadrangle.

According to the university, the Memorial to Enslaved Persons project scope includes:

  • A new wall and water feature that ties in the constructs of light and water with limestone, representing Baylor’s original campus in Independence
  • Updated landscape and grounds enhancements with signage and storytelling opportunities
  • A new “Resonance Garden” to complement the Sadie Jo Black Gardens, which provide accessibility improvements and connections to Draper Academic Building

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Memorial to Enslaved Persons is scheduled for February 2024, during Black History Month. Construction is expected to begin shortly thereafter.