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Regents unanimously elect Lilley as 13th president

Nov. 4, 2005

by JOSH HORTON, editor in chief

Baylor Board of Regents unanimously elected Baylor alumnus Dr. John M. Lilley to be the university's 13th president today. Lilley is currently the president of the University of Nevada, Reno.

President Lilley
Lilley

The search committee's recommendation of the 66-year-old Lilley was unanimous as well.

"At every place of service in his career, Dr. Lilley has been known as a consensus builder," regent chairman Will Davis said. "His collaborative approach involving governing boards, faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends has allowed him to lead the campuses he served through periods of dramatic growth and enhancement."

He'll assume the Baylor presidency Jan. 2.

Interim President William D. Underwood will fill the post until Lilley officially comes to Baylor in January.

"This is not something I sought, not something I expected and it just happened. And I am very grateful," Lilley said in Friday's press conference.

Lilley received bachelor's degrees in music from Baylor in 1961 and 1962 and a master's degree in 1964. He received his doctorate in music from the University of Southern California in 1971.

Lilley became UNR's president in 2001. Before that, he served as the president of Penn State Erie for 21 years.

Lilley was a ruling elder at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Reno, but said he plans to join First Baptist Church Waco on Sunday.

In January, the Baylor Alumni Association gave Lilley the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Lilley and his wife Gerrie have four grown children and three grandchildren.