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February 5, 2004
By Judy Long
Once a year, Baylor displays one of its most valuable assets -- a wealth of scholarship -- at the University's Scholars' Day.
"Scholars' Day is designed to celebrate and acknowledge the variety of scholarship taking place at Baylor," said Dr. J. Larry Lyon, dean of the Graduate School and professor of sociology.
In describing the event, which is sponsored by the Graduate School, Dr. Lyon makes a distinction between the terms scholarship and research. "Not all scholarship is research," he said. "Some faculty will present a creative work or play a musical instrument. Although it's not research, it's certainly scholarship."
Dr. Lyon said the day provides Baylor faculty, graduate students and some undergraduate Honors students an opportunity to present their research to colleagues on campus and sample the variety of scholarship going on at Baylor throughout the year.
"It also gives students an occasion to see their professors in a more narrowly framed research role outside the classroom," he said, adding that it's enriching for students to view their professors as academic scholars as well as teachers.
The 2004 Scholars' Day takes place March 8, which is later than the event has been held in previous years.
"We moved the day back to enable prospective graduate students the opportunity to hear the presentations and see the campus before making their final decision," Dr. Lyon said. Potential graduate students will declare their intent by April 15.
A nationally-known scholar is selected to speak at the Scholars' Day luncheon, which is open to all presenters, although reservations are required due to limited space. For the first time, this year's speaker will be a Baylor faculty member.
Dr. Rodney Stark, who joined the faculty this spring as Distinguished Professor of Social Science, will present "Knock, Knock" at noon in Barfield Drawing Room. The lecture will examine the psychology and sociology motivating Jehovah's Witnesses.
Last year at Scholars' Day 161 presentations were given, and event organizers expect that number to increase to more than 200 this year. The presentations will fill every room of the Bill Daniel Student Center and overflow to other parts of the campus.
Dr. Lyon said he enjoys the fascination of walking through the halls of the Student Center while presentations are underway.
"As you pass by the doors, you may hear a presentation in Spanish, a dramatic poetry reading and a string quartet all going on at the same time. The variety of scholarship presented is captivating," he said.
More information about Scholars' Day is available here.