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Announcing the Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower

Be a part of Houston’s history and its future by contributing to the Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower at Baylor College of Medicine. Give now.

Cullen Geiselman Muse, Ph.D., chair of the Board of Trustees for The Cullen Trust for Health Care, shares her family’s gratitude for being a part of Baylor’s legacy of educational excellence and their excitement for the new Cullen Tower.

Baylor College of Medicine ushers in new era of medical education and research with $30 million lead gift for bold expansion plans

A new era of biomedical education in Houston began to take shape on May 24. More than 200 guests gathered on the McNair Campus to celebrate the beginning of construction on Baylor College of Medicine’s Lillie and Roy Cullen Tower. This cutting-edge education building will welcome students from the School of Medicine and School of Health Professions beginning in 2026, with plans for the original Roy and Lillie Cullen Building to be converted into much-needed laboratory space for Baylor’s expanding research enterprise.

The Cullen Foundation, The Cullen Trust for Health Care and The Cullen Trust for Higher Education have come together to contribute a total of $30 million to build the new Cullen Tower, creating one of the largest combined gifts in their legacy of philanthropy.

The Cullen family has supported Baylor for over 75 years. Roy Cullen was an early champion of the College and played an instrumental role in bringing the medical school to Houston to become an early member institution of the Texas Medical Center in 1943. Mr. Cullen also famously contributed needed funds to build Baylor’s first education building, a state-of-the-art construction at the time.

“My grandfather, Hugh Roy Cullen, worked very hard to coax the Baylor School of Medicine, at the time, to come to Houston to be the medical school for what he envisioned to be the world’s greatest medical center – and he was right. The expansion of the Health Sciences Park is long overdue, and we’re really excited about it.”

Cullen Geiselman Muse, Ph.D.
Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Cullen Trust for Health Care

At 503,000 square feet, The Cullen Tower will be one of the largest and most technologically sophisticated medical schools in the United States. Recognizing the ways in which medical school curriculum has changed over the past eight decades, members of Baylor’s leadership and curriculum innovation team worked with SLAM, the architecture firm behind the building’s design, to create spaces for collaborative, interdisciplinary learning.

The building will feature small-group and studio classrooms designed to facilitate active learning alongside large-capacity, high-tech theater-style event space and a state-of-the-art anatomy lab, teaching labs and simulation center that provide immersive, hands-on learning before students conduct clinical rotations. In addition, innovative research space will focus on the big data analytics that are vital to scientific breakthroughs. To take a virtual tour of the new tower, click here.

“Now is a terrific time for Baylor. Our science has never been more critical to the world, and we really are splitting at the seams in terms of our facilities. If we don’t innovate the ways we teach, we do our students a disservice. We are excited to see how this new facility will usher in a new era of modern medical education and innovation.”

David Baldwin
Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees

To date, gifts to The Cullen Tower total $100 million, more than 65% of Baylor’s $150 million philanthropic goal for the project. Additional lead gifts include $12 million from The DeBakey Medical Foundation, $10 million from the Huffington Foundation and more than $45 million from members of Baylor’s Board of Trustees and other community donors, including the M.D. Anderson Foundation, the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation, Maire and David Baldwin, Polly and Murry Bowden, Ronda and Greg Brenneman, The Elkins Foundation, Claudia and Fred Lummis and Jeri and Marc Shapiro.

To learn more about The Cullen Tower or to support this project, please visit bcm.edu/cullentower.

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