To many, leadership means being in the front, giving orders and receiving recognition for a job well done. Baylor senior, Travis Stewart, defines it differently.
The middle of five children, the San Antonio native became good at "flying under the radar" at a young age. Surrounded by talented siblings, he learned that recognition is not given for every accomplishment. "It instilled in me a sense of humility," he said. This attitude has helped him to redefine what it means to be a leader. His "under-the-radar" mindset compels him to lead from behind the scenes, serving others instead of pursuing recognition for himself.
Another event that shaped Travis's understanding of leadership came the summer after his junior year at Baylor. With the financial support he received from the Poage-Mayborn Washington Seminar and Internship Endowed Program, he was given the opportunity to study and intern in Washington, D.C. There, he learned even more about flying under the radar. "On Capitol Hill, you are competing with some of the most accomplished students and professionals in the nation," he said. "If you continually seek recognition, you will be left in the dust."
Travis has continued to sharpen his servant-leadership skills by serving as chair for Student Foundation's financial affairs committee, a committee and organization that seeks to give back to fellow Baylor students through many activities--including raising support for scholarships and awarding them. "I joined Student Foundation to serve Baylor," Travis said. And he is passionate about this area of service"because scholarship have been an integral part of his own Baylor experience.
Travis was selective when it came to choosing a college. "I looked for a university that would not only provide a four-year home, but also one that would challenge me academically, socially and spiritually," he said. Travis had been accepted to another university, but after one visit to Baylor, he said the decision was easy. Travis was going to be a Baylor Bear.
Though the decision to attend Baylor may have been easy, making it a reality was not. Despite making several financial adjustments, it was the D. A. Grimes and A. J. Latimer Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund that secured Travis's chance to attend Baylor and pursue a degree in political science.
After receiving additional scholarships that allowed Travis to continue his studies at Baylor--in a difficult economy--he acknowledges that scholarships are a gift of more time. "There is no greater gift than the time and opportunity to be a student at Baylor. I have been given a gift that I cannot keep, because it is not mine. In my mind, the financial contribution I"ve received is a temporary loan that I must pass down to future college students."