In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we honor a couple who have been long-time donors and friends of Baylor
University and the Mayborn Museum.
John and Marie Chiles are the 2012 recipients of the Baylor Founders Medallion.
According to President Kenneth Starr, “Baylor’s highest honor, the Founders Medallion, is reserved for those whose service
and contribution have made a significant difference to the life and future of our University.”
In addition to many other wonderful deeds for Baylor University and the community at large, they founded the Strecker
Associates, a support group for the Strecker Museum. The Strecker Associates became champions for the dream of a new
museum complex comprised of a cultural and natural history museum, the Gov. Bill and Vara Daniel Historic Village, and the
Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center. After 15 years of support and planning, the 143,000-square-foot Mayborn Museum Complex
opened in 2004.
Dr. Ellie Caston, Director of the Mayborn Museum, recently paid tribute to the couple, “They saw the vision of a
wonderful, new museum and embraced it. They saw the good that was already happening in the old Strecker Museum Complex
with its poor facilities and meager resources, but John and Marie saw the potential for greatness AND they did something
about it. As founders of the Strecker Associates they grew an organization that would fight long and hard for 15 years as
advocates for the vision.”
Congrats John and Marie and Thank you!
Booker T. Washington’s Autograph
Booker T. Washington was born April 5, 1856, in Franklin County, Virginia, and died Nov. 14, 1915, in
He was an American educator, author, orator, political leader, and a dominant figure in the African
American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915. Representative of the last generation of black leaders born in
slavery, he spoke on behalf of African Americans living in the South. Washington was also the first president and main
creator of Tuskegee University.
See if you can find this autograph in its current home in Strecker’s Cabinets of Curiosities.