On Saturday, Sept. 7, members of the Baylor Alumni Association gathered at Waco Hall to vote on the proposed Transition Agreement between Baylor and the BAA. The choice was clear: vote "yes" and advance a plan that would unify Baylor's alumni relations effort inside the University, while maintaining the Baylor Line as an independent entity; or, alternatively, vote "no" and end the license agreement between Baylor University and the BAA. 1,499 members of the association participated in the vote. A significant majority - fifty-five percent - of BAA members voted "yes" in favor of unity.
We are deeply gratified that the clear majority of voters joined with the Executive Committee of the BAA and the Board of Directors of the BAA in supporting Baylor's bright future. So too, these alumni leaders joined the unanimous Faculty Senate, the University's Staff Council, and Student Government leaders - as well as twenty-five permanent class presidents and former student leaders - in seeking to move Baylor forward. Iconic figures in Baylor athletics - including legendary Coach Grant Teaff and Baylor football great Gale Galloway - also spoke out loud and clear: it is time to bring the Baylor family together.
Unfortunately, even though a significant majority of BAA voters supported unity, the BAA's bylaws required a super-majority (two-thirds) vote and in-person voting. The fifty-five percent "yes" vote thus fell short of what was needed. As a result, the letter that Baylor had previously sent to the BAA - on May 31, 2013 - conditionally terminating the relationship between the two entities became effective, by its express terms, on Sept. 8. The Association has been provided a 90-day period to phase out the use of Baylor's licensed marks.
The University is moving forward expeditiously to implement - on its own - a number of the changes that were contemplated by the Transition Agreement. For example, we have already worked in collaboration with the BAA to extend professional opportunities to BAA staff who are eligible and interested in University employment. We are also engaged in planning for the creation of an alumni advisory board. That board will be broadly representative of Baylor's 165,000 alumni around the world. Its members will provide invaluable input and guidance to inform our comprehensive alumni outreach efforts. We will work throughout the current semester to finalize plans for this suggested new entity.
In addition, in order to serve our graduates as effectively as possible, Baylor University remains deeply committed to vigorously supporting programs previously managed by the BAA. These include the Heritage Club, Life Long Learning, and marketing of Baylor's Official Ring program. These important activities and services will be provided under the umbrella of our vibrant and ever-growing Baylor Alumni Network, which last year alone hosted 845 events in 140 cities across 26 states, plus the District of Columbia.
And so we move forward into a new chapter of Baylor's history. By God's grace, this is truly a golden era. From the bright future of Baylor athletics (symbolized by the rising profile of Baylor Stadium) to the new East Village Residential Community and our hoped-for Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, we continue to see significant progress on every front. Now, with our focus on energetically serving Baylor alumni around the world, the University will go forward in building a comprehensive - and unified - alumni engagement program equipped to serve a broad range of alumni needs and interests. We invite each of you to join with us in this noble effort on behalf of our beloved University.