Paul Foster and his wife, Alejandra de la Vega Foster, both El Paso businesspeople and philanthropists, were recently recognized by Baylor University for their $100 million donation to the university.
The donation, which was made anonymously in 2019, kicked off the university’s public fundraising campaign for a basketball pavilion, according to a news release. It is the largest gift ever received by the university, where Paul Foster earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1979.
The $100 million gift also created a dollar-for-dollar matching program that nearly doubled the university’s research chair count in two years through the creation of 14 new research chairs, according to the news release.
Founded in 1845, the private Christian university is in Waco, Texas, and has about 20,000 students.
“Alejandra and I are extremely proud of Baylor and all that it stands for, and we are grateful for the opportunity to invest in the long-term future of Baylor,” Foster said in a statement. “Through the academic challenge grant, our investment will help Baylor attract and retain some of the best faculty in the nation, and to fund critical research initiatives for many years to come. And through our investment in the pavilion, we hope to help Baylor to continue its tradition as a national leader in men’s and women’s basketball and many other sports and activities.
“We are confident this will be one of the best multipurpose sports and entertainment venues in the country.”
The gift was announced Nov. 13 after the Fosters agreed to make it public, Baylor University said. Work is scheduled to start by summer 2022 on the basketball pavilion, which has been named the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion.
Paul Foster is the founder of Western Refining and chief executive of Franklin Mountain Investments. He is known in El Paso for restoring the historic Mills and Centre buildings, as well as the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, and for his contributions to UTEP and Texas Tech El Paso.
Alejandra De la Vega Foster is vice president of Almacenes Distribuidores de la Frontera, which operates convenience stores in northern Chihuahua, Mexico. She also operates the Domino’s Pizza franchise in Juárez and La Madeleine Country French Café franchise in El Paso.
They are also members of MountainStar Sports Group, which owns the Chihuahuas Triple-A baseball team and the Locomotive FC soccer team.