“We support the mission of Houston Baptist University and the role football plays in its vision,” Robert McNair said. “Janice and I are touched HBU has recognized our family in this manner, and we are proud of our relationship with this great Christian institution.”
With the 2015 football season, HBU fans have undoubtedly noticed the upgrades to the entrance of Husky Stadium. At the Sept. 12 game against Northern Colorado, HBU dedicated McNair Plaza, in honor of Janice and Bob McNair’s long-time relationship with the University.
In Feb. 2014, The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation presented a $3 million gift to the University to complete initial construction on Husky Stadium. The seating area, press box, and ticket booth were all completed in time for the 2014 season opener, due in large part to the McNairs’ donation. Previous contributions to HBU by the McNairs were used toward the construction of McNair Hall, the campus’s premier banquet and reception venue, in the Morris Cultural Arts Center, as well as donations to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. Through the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the McNairs have given generously to countless charitable, scientific, literary, educational, and religious organizations.
“This is an opportunity for us to honor the McNairs — everything Janice and Bob relate to is touched by their integrity and everything they represent,” HBU President Robert B. Sloan Jr. said. “We are very grateful and feel blessed to be able to show our gratitude in this visible way.”
McNair Plaza features a brick monument crowned by an elaborate clock. The McNairs’ granddaughter, Rachel Syphers, who worked with the HBU football program, suggested the piece because of Janice McNair’s affinity for clocks.
“This is the signature monument at the football stadium,” director of Athletics Steve Moniaci said. “Here in the early phases, the stadium has been relatively plain, but McNair Plaza stands out. The bricks used in construction of the plaza are the same bricks that will be used in the planned brick façade of the stadium, so we are excited about the future of this facility.”
Robert McNair is chairman of The McNair Group and is responsible for bringing the National Football League back to Houston, serving as founder, chairman, and CEO of the Houston Texans, since the franchise’s inception in 1999. The McNairs became interested and involved with HBU football after attending a Huskies practice and discussing football philosophy with head coach Vic Shealy and Dr. Sloan.
“The plaza represents a great step forward as we work to complete the stadium,” Sloan said. “It is another huge indicator of what Janice and Bob McNair have meant to the University for years. Their generosity has blessed students and alumni all over this campus.”