"Baylor made me a person of reflection who understands what it means to be liberally-educated," explains Abby Morton. As she describes the significance of her undergraduate years, phrases like "the examined life," "stimulating discussion," and "intellectual rigor" checker her prose and understandably so. Morton double-majored in history and political science, completed the Honors Program, and participated in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core.
With plans to volunteer in Central America for a year and then attend graduate school, Morton envisions a life of service and teaching.
"I value my study in history, in the past because it shows me how to pursue ameliorating the present," she said.
Drawn to Baylor because of its size and academic reputation, Morton remembers fondly her first year: "Baylor is an easy school to adjust to. It is oriented to draw students in." Dorm life, small group discussions in the BIC, and her local church rank among the most salient memories of her first two years.
"I immediately found a church I loved and that was willing to love me back," she explains. "Highland Baptist has been my anchor."
Active in church ministries as well as organizations on campus, Morton contributed to Welcome Week as a Min-Con leader in addition to competing on Baylor's Model United Nations team.
A desire to benefit others led Morton to volunteer innumerable hours to the BIC learning community as an executive member of the program's Leadership Council; further, Morton contributed to the learning experience of underclassmen, holding review sessions and tutorials for the first-year students she mentored. One of 10 students selected for her academic excellence and good character, Morton worked as a Peer Instructor in the BIC's humanities course sequence, World Cultures. Indeed, whether helping students with their studies or planning the BIC Film Series, Morton offered leadership, energy, and passion.
This passion inspired her to work with Students for Social Justice, a grass-roots movement for activism on the Baylor campus. Morton recalls that the BIC's Social World courses fueled this decision. Vividly, she describes the weekend she spent in a "poverty simulation" through Mission Waco, a local ministry: "That was like being shook by the shoulders. I knew odd statistics and had vague notions about the disproportionate distribution of goods, but it forced me to confront a complete picture of poverty. In turn, our class discussions forced me to attempt to answer hard questionsabout social justice." ""During Dr. Supplee's Inter-American Relations course, Morton developed her thesis topic: the revolutionary efforts of Latin America, particularly Nicaragua, to achieve civil equality. Staggered by what she calls revolution's "promise of equality, with no realization of these promises," Morton devoted two years to her research and writing. Committed now to work in Central America, Morton will use her Baylor education in demonstration of a great hope we have for our students: academic excellence shaped by the obligation to serve.