Byword, Summer 2010June 16, 2010
The campus welcomed Baylor's 14th president, Ken Starr, on his first official day in office June 1 with a mid-afternoon picnic of Dr Pepper Floats and chilled watermelon. Having already been hard at work on Baylor's behalf since his appointment in February (see page 4), easing into the new position was never Judge Starr's plan -- but any chance for a calm summer season vanished when news came by week's end of a major shake-up within the Big 12 Conference, with implications affecting potentially every facet of university life.
Welcome to Baylor, Judge Starr.
Information which first came as a trickle from high-level but clandestine sources soon spewed forth with dizzying speed from bloggers, insiders, university officials and even elected officials.
At press time, still little was known for certain. Conflicting reports offered a variety of deadlines for announcements, invitations, press conferences, meetings with governors, etc. By the time you read this, the dust may have settled, and something completely new and exciting is emerging.
One thing is for certain: This challenging time has demonstrated that the Baylor family cares deeply about what happens to this great university, and Bears everywhere are committed to helping Baylor maintain its position among the leading institutions of higher education today -- academically and athletically.
You likely received an e-mail, Facebook update, Twitter "tweet," phone call or some other call to action to do what you could on Baylor's behalf. These actions represent the tireless efforts of so many committed members of the Baylor Nation.
For your efforts, we thank you.
It is not the first time Baylor has faced a challenge and been buoyed by committed and faithful supporters. Just over 80 years ago, efforts to relocate Baylor to Dallas were derailed when the Waco community and Baylor faithful pledged financial support and ultimately constructed Waco Hall, the university's first dedicated auditorium (read more on page 40).
It certainly isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time that Baylor athletics will provide a rallying point for the Baylor family around the world to come together in a singular focused effort to cheer for success. The recent postseason runs by our men's and women's basketball programs demonstrated the positive impact successful athletic programs can have on the life of a university (page 20).
Stay tuned, Bears. As history shows, Baylor will survive, and Baylor will thrive -- in the classroom and on the field, whatever comes our way.
Director, Baylor Magazine