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Letters

May 27, 2008

Growing Season

My wife Barbara and I are 1961 graduates

of Baylor. Both sons are Baylor graduates and one is a Baylor Law graduate.

When I looked at the pictures on the back cover of the Winter 2008 edition, I almost fell out of my chair. That '54 Olds 88 in front of Tidwell was my mother's car; she let me take it to Baylor every once in awhile my freshman and sophomore year ('56-'57-'58). I never saw another orange and white on campus, so I am sure it was the one I was driving. Also, the picture shows the car in front of Tidwell, and up on the top floors of Tidwell, I met Barbara in art class. We celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary in August. That picture brought it all back.

James Johnstone, BS '61

Santa Fe, N.M.

Congratulations on the best edition of Baylor Magazine I have ever enjoyed. It is hard to believe all the changes to the campus in the last 50 years since I entered Baylor as a freshman in the fall of 1954. I was in the group of students that first occupied the new men's dorm (Martin Hall) that fall. I remember the neighborhood with its poverty across the street from our shiny new dorm that stretched all the way to the river. It is great to see how Baylor has absorbed that area and converted it to part of a beautiful campus.

James R. Wisenbaker, BBA '58

Longview, Texas

My mother, my three children and I have

all proudly earned degrees from Baylor, and I was quite interested in the pictures of growth in the latest Baylor Magazine. As a child visiting the campus with my mother in the '50s, as a student in the '60s, then as a Baylor mom in the '80s and '90s, I have certainly seen an amazing transformation and expansion of the campus toward the Brazos River.

The recent Baylor Magazine article "Growing Season" did a good job of describing the growth in the last 50 years of facilities for students, but I was disappointed to see that the rowing club's boathouse was omitted. Two of my children were founding members of the Baylor Crew and proudly represented Baylor at regattas around the country. The rowing club is very active on campus, and I hope that one day my grandchildren will have the opportunity to enjoy this sport at Baylor. Others might be interested too, and it would help if they knew that the club has a nice facility on the river next to Baylor Ballpark.

Linda Fife Butcher, BA '70

Baytown, Texas

Editor's Note: Thanks for your note, Linda. Unfortunately, the scope of our map didn't reach far enough north, and the boathouse is located just off the page. When it came to athletics, our article focused on facilities for the varsity programs, but it is worth noting that Baylor Crew has an active club sport program on campus and a nice facility--the Lenamon-Fife Boathouse--off the Ferrell Center parking lot near Baylor Ballpark. For more info, visit www.baylor.edu/rowing.

What makes Baylor special?

I was asked recently to serve on an advisory task force for my employer, Mercy Health System Oklahoma. The task is to launch an advertising campaign that is positive and credible; one that is designed to build pride in co-workers and interest in others for working at our facility. My immediate thoughts went to survey findings on job satisfaction, but none of the searches really described what is the "heart" of the organization.

I quickly Googled what makes work special, and to my surprise, a Baylor Magazine article written by Rachel Moore came up about "What makes Baylor special?" (Winter '08)

This had to be a God thing. As I began reading, tears came to my eyes. Mrs. Moore had struck the very core of high quality, truly distinctive organizations. Here was an English professor at Baylor University speaking of her employer as having characteristics like "a place of security" provided in "love and generosity," "high quality programs," "visible pride" at events; a "distinctive spirit;" "good will and respect" for each other; practicing "tolerance, compassion and forgiveness." She not once stated Baylor was her employer; rather she said Baylor is her "home."

I had graduated from a very small farming community in southern Illinois. I knew from age 7 that nursing was what I wanted to be when I grew up! Later in life, I learned that nursing was a gift from God for me. What better place to begin my life's journey than at a faith-based university. I was accepted for admission, packed my bags and never looked back. Baylor became my home and instilled in me a sense of pride that I carry with me to this day, 33 years later.

My career path led me into nursing management and administration, where such things as practicing tolerance, showing compassion and forgiving are all a priority. Working for an employer who strives for high standards and quality programs for the leadership, co-workers and patients is essential. An employer who makes you feel secure and provides love and generosity is truly a second home. These characteristics inspire others to work at our facility.

Mrs. Moore, I truly appreciate your article. You are a blessing to Baylor and your students. Your article is applicable not only to the academia setting but also health-care and many other organizations and businesses. Thank you for the inspiration and reminders of my time with the Baylor family.


Deborah Kifer (Cossey), BSN '75

Kingston, Okla.

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