August 20, 2008
Dear Members of Brooks College:
Welcome! On behalf of the college and its trustees, senior fellows, professional staff, and student leaders, please know how delighted we are to have you back with us in residence. I hope that you have had a good move-in day and that you are settling comfortably into your rooms.
Over the summer break, we missed those of you that were a part of last year’s inaugural membership of the college, and we have eagerly anticipated your return. We have looked forward with great expectation to greeting those of you that join us as new members. Whether you are an old timer or a neophyte, you represent the raison d'être of the college, and seeing all of you here alongside us is an occasion for celebration.
We have a year ahead of us sure to be full of accomplishment. In all that we undertake, I hope that the admirable commitments of our Brooks College Community Covenant will guide us. Of all of the tremendous successes of our first year, seeing the covenant grow from a nascent idea into a fully formed charter for our life together is possibly the one that I prize the most. I wonder what special occasions for our shared pride we will remember after year two in the history of Brooks College. What do you hope to accomplish? What distinctive legacy will you hand down to future members of the college?
Whatever our joys and victories may be, unforeseen challenges are likely to come our way as well. Last week, much of the first and second floors of the women’s side of the college were flooded. Prompt action and competent restoration specialists saw the damages contained and well repaired. Already, we have shared personal grief and difficult trials with some of you that moved in at the beginning of the week. There will be other difficulties that we do not welcome in the months ahead, but which we will by God’s grace negotiate together.
All of that is said to come around to this point. We are here to share life with you in a Christian intellectual community that is utterly serious about the life of the mind; unflinchingly prepared to ask hard questions of ourselves, others, and the world in which we live; and unqualifiedly committed to cherishing and honoring one another. We will help and support you in the best ways that we know how.
We count it a tremendous privilege to live alongside you in the finest and oldest residential college at Baylor University.
Sic ‘em bears!
Douglas V. Henry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Master, Brooks Residential College