News and Notes from the Office of the President

May 10, 2011


President's Note

As we conclude the spring semester and reflect upon the academic year that quickly draws to a close, we give thanks for our remarkably talented students and our caring and compassionate faculty and staff. Today, we serve a "needful" generation – young people who in the midst of their success and accomplishment are burdened. This generation reports some of the highest levels of anxiety in our nation's history. These feelings are especially pronounced during this period of final exams. It is at such a time that Baylor faculty and staff shine brightest, providing faithful guidance, wise counsel and compassionate support to our students.

For our graduating seniors, these days bring the close of a transformational experience. We look forward to celebrating with them and their families during commencement exercises on May 13-14 at the Ferrell Center.

Protecting the Promise

We have had a remarkable response to our call for the Baylor Nation to rise up and make their voices heard concerning the importance of the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG). The TEG is critical to the future of higher education in our state and to our Baylor students.

The Protect the Promise website has been well received as a helpful resource with respect to the TEG. At the same time, our students have been especially active in a postcard campaign, urging state lawmakers to protect this vital need-based financial aid program. Once again, legislators have acknowledged the collective voice of the Baylor Nation.

As the legislative session enters its final month, it's not too late to make your voice heard. Please visit the Protect the Promise website, learn more about the program and consider contacting your state legislator to let him or her know how important the TEG is to you, to Baylor and to the future of Texas.

Next Step for Strategic Planning

We welcomed everyone to the conversation during the community-input portion of our strategic planning process. We are grateful for the enthusiastic and thoughtful responses from members of the Baylor family who shared their ideas, hopes and dreams for Baylor's future. More than 150 on-campus groups provided input. Faculty, staff and students can now review online this feedback with their Bear ID and password.

Our Strategic Themes Committee – ably chaired by Dr. Mitchell Neubert, associate professor of management and entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business – has now begun the process of synthesizing and analyzing the data. In June, the committee will present its report identifying recurring themes and priorities. With this input, the Executive Council will begin the next step of writing the initial draft of a strategic plan.

I cordially invite you to follow each step of our strategic planning efforts by visiting the Strategic Planning website.

Gifts to the University

I want to share some exciting news with you about the President's Scholarship Initiative. Last week, the university announced a generous commitment from the Callaway Foundation that will benefit students in our Hankamer School of Business. The commitment brings the existing Callaway Foundation Endowed Scholars Fund to $1 million. With this gift and other recent gifts, we have raised more than a quarter of our $100 million goal for the President's Scholarship Initiative – a three-year challenge launched last September.

You can read more here about the Callaway's extraordinary story. J.L. and Bonnelle Callaway had an inspirational vision for what scholarships could accomplish in the lives of future Baylor students who hailed from small towns, such as Cameron, Texas. We are deeply grateful for their inspiring example and for all that the Callaway Foundation has done for Baylor students. On April 28, we were pleased to welcome Bill Carpenter, director of the ExxonMobil Foundation, who presented Baylor with a matching gift check for $372,630. The gift represented the generosity of ExxonMobil employees and retirees who give to Baylor through ExxonMobil's Educational Matching Gift Program. One of the most generous initiatives of its kind, the ExxonMobil Foundation program matches 3:1 every dollar these employees and retirees give to Baylor. This group of Baylor alumni, parents and friends were so faithful in their giving that Baylor rose to No. 8 among more than 900 institutions that received funding. We give thanks for these generous individuals who are helping the university provide the distinctive Baylor education that earlier benefited each of them or a member of their family.

Faculty Recognition

I extend hearty and well-deserved congratulations to two of our outstanding faculty members, who have been honored recently. Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science, has been selected by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for the 2011 Educator of the Year award. Bradley was honored for building a new area of research on polymer composites at Baylor. He received the award May 1 during SPE's annual conference in Boston.

Dr. Jeffrey Hamilton, professor and chair of Baylor's department of history, has been selected for the 2011 Baylor Centennial Professor award, which will allow him to travel to England for research on Henry de Lacy, Third Earl of Lincoln and a confidant of Edward I. The Class of 1945 – the Baylor Centennial Class – established this endowment which supports faculty research and development.

Student Accolades

Our Baylor students have added to their list of honors. We rejoice in our students' accomplishments and give thanks to our faculty for their outstanding mentorship of these talented young men and women.

  • Baylor seniors Austin Cook-Lindsay and Chelsea Mitcham have been selected as recipients of Fulbright grants from the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. They are Baylor's 23rd and 24th Fulbright recipients since 2001.
  • Three Baylor engineering and computer science students – Greg Bond, George Montanez and Eduardo Torrealba – have been accepted into the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which supports graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Senior French major Haley Dermody has earned a spot in the highly competitive Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), sponsored by the French Ministry of Education. Dermody will spend eight months teaching English in an elementary, middle or high school in Lille, France.
  • The new Baylor Lariat website – launched in January – is a finalist for a national Pacemaker award, given by the Associated College Press (ACP). The winner will be announced in October. Congratulations to the Lariat's award-winning student staff and advisers Paul Carr, director of student publications, and Julie Freeman, assistant media adviser.
  • Thirty-one Baylor University student-athletes were honored for academic excellence and community service during last week's annual Student-Athlete banquet. The full list of honorees is available here.

    Athletic Event Schedule

    BASEBALL: at #10/11 TCU, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in Fort Worth, Texas; vs. Northwestern State, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at Baylor Ballpark

    MEN'S TENNIS: vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 1st round, NCAA Tournament, 1 p.m. May 13 at Baylor Tennis Center; vs. Texas Tech-Rice winner, 2nd round, NCAA Tournament, 3 p.m. May 14 at Baylor Tennis Center

    SOFTBALL: vs. Texas noon Sunday May 15 at Austin

    TRACK AND FIELD: at Big 12 Championships, May 13-15, in Norman, Okla.

    WOMEN'S TENNIS: vs. UTA, 1st round, NCAA Tournament, noon May 14 at Baylor Tennis Center; vs. Oklahoma/Cal Poly winner, 2nd round, NCAA Tournament, 2 p.m. May 15 at Baylor Tennis Center



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