Gilbert and Walker Statues

The late Rev. Robert Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, B.A. ’67, are two remarkable Baylor alumni who broke the barriers of segregation on the Baylor campus and left the University to live as leaders and servants in our world. On June 2, 1967, Gilbert and Walker became the first Black students to earn undergraduate degrees from Baylor, receiving their diplomas in alphabetical order during the same commencement ceremony.

Earning degrees from Baylor opened doors to Gilbert and Walker that likely would have otherwise remained closed to them. Even more profound are the doors their courage opened to all the students of color who today call Baylor home.

The presence of Rev. Gilbert’s and Mrs. Walker’s statues in front of the historic Tidwell Bible Building contributes to a more complete telling of the Baylor story, and they create a highly visible message that all members of the Baylor Family are valued in fulfillment of the University’s Christian mission.

Bronze statues of Robert Gilbert and Barbara Walker


More News
Baylor University Dedicates Statues of First Black Graduates on Historic Day

WACO, Texas (April 4, 2023) – Before a celebratory crowd in front of the iconic Tidwell Bible Building, Baylor University today unveiled and dedicated statues honoring the University’s first Black graduates, the late Rev. Robert L. Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Barbara A. Walker, B.A. ’67.

Honoring Baylor's First Black Graduates

Idaho-based sculptor Benjamin Victor was selected to create bronze life-sized statues of Robert Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Barbara Walker, B.A. ’67 — Baylor’s first Black graduates. Victor was chosen through a competitive process in conjunction with Walker, the Gilbert family and Baylor’s Campus Experience Project Team, which is working through recommendations from the University’s Commission on Historic Campus Representations.

Baylor Seeks Artists to Create Life-Sized Statues of University’s First Black Graduates

WACO, Texas (July 1, 2021) – Baylor University is seeking artists and foundries to create life-sized bronze statues of the University’s first Black graduates – the Rev. Robert Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, B.A. ’67. The statues will ultimately reside in front of Baylor’s historic Tidwell Bible Building.

Baylor University Releases Independent Report of Commission on Historic Campus Representations

WACO, Texas (March 23, 2021) – Baylor University today released the full independent and unedited report of the 26-member Commission on Historic Campus Representations, which was charged by the Baylor Board of Regents with independently reviewing and evaluating the historical record and context of the University and its early leaders solely related to slavery and the Confederacy.