Comments Concerning the Addition of Fellow Christians to Baylor's Board of RegentsFeb. 11, 2011
Mark W. White, BBA '62, JD '65, 43rd Governor of Texas (1983-87): "As Baylor University is the oldest continually operating school of higher education in Texas, it is crucial to the future vitality of Baylor that it opens the scope of available leaders to those who love Baylor and adhere to the Christian principles upon which it was established. This decision will make certain that Baylor can access dynamic leaders who are devoted to the advancement of the Baylor mission and its motto of Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana!"
Dr. Kenneth L. Hall, CEO, Buckner International, President, Baptist General Convention of Texas (2004): "Baylor has occupied a distinct place in Christian higher education that goes far beyond its campus. Much of what Baptists believe today and who we are has been shaped by Baylor University for more than 166 years. In the complex world of today, we're seeing increased cooperation beyond denominations and denominational labels. For Baylor to broaden its board of regents and include like-minded Christians is a natural step into the 21st century. Having other Christians on our board of trustees at Buckner International for the past few years has proved both enlightening and enabling for us as we've seen tremendous growth in our ministries. We've been encouraged to find fellow Christians who cherish our historic Baptists principles and practices."
Dr. Albert L. Reyes, President, Buckner International, President, Baptist General Convention of Texas (2005): "For over 166 years, Baylor University has represented the best of what it means to be a Baptist and Christian institution of higher education and the largest Baptist University in the world. Baylor's efforts to reach out to fellow Christians, who would add value to its governing structure and influence, positions Baylor as a leading citizen in the global village and a bright light in the Redeemer's Kingdom. We have similar governance in place at Buckner International and have found that while our heart and soul remains theologically Baptist, having like-minded Christians on our board has given us a much broader view of ministry. It has also opened a window to extend the reach of Buckner and strengthened the overall composition of our board of trustees."
Dr. Ed Young, Senior Pastor Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas: "Baylor is unapologetically a Baptist university, but I believe the trustees have made a wise decision to open up the board to other evangelical Christians. An expanded leadership will obviously further the university's Kingdom outreach. A 21st century Christian education is an increasingly rare commodity, and broadening the family will, in my opinion, lengthen Baylor's chords and strengthen Baylor's stakes."
Kevin Hall, BA '95, MDiv '99, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Marshall, Texas, 2010 BGCT Executive Board Directors: "I have periodically considered what was more in keeping with Baptist principles. Should Baylor continue to be governed exclusively by a 100% Baptist board or should the board be welcoming to other accomplished Christian women and men who have the skills and the heart to assist Baylor in fulfilling its mission to provide a world-class Christian education to young people who can become world changers and kingdom builders? After consideration, I have concluded that the latter is ultimately more consistent with Baptist principles that encourage diversity of conscience under the banner of Christian equity. As a result, I enthusiastically support the decision of Baylor Regents to welcome fellow Christians while reaffirming their commitment to Baylor's Baptist heritage and the ideals of our historic faith tradition."
Drayton McLane Jr., BBA '58, Regent Emeritus, Baylor University, Chairman, McLane Group, CEO, Houston Astros Baseball Club: "Since the time Baylor was founded in 1845, the university has represented superior higher Christian education with the core values of the Texas Baptist faith. Having the ability to bring in additional board members to make contributions to the leadership with their time, talent and financial means will only enhance Baylor's ability to move the university forward."
Michael D. Wright, Baylor Business Fellow, Economics, Baylor University Student Body President: "As a high school student living in Houston, and considering many options for college, I was drawn to Baylor University because of its strong Christian commitment. Baylor's unique mission of dedication to academic excellence while staying true to its Christian heritage is what makes our university a special choice for young people, like me, for whom faith and quality academics are both essential. I say this as someone who was raised in the Presbyterian Church.
"Roughly one-third of the current student body classify themselves as Baptist. And yet, in my interactions with students, I know that a deep and sincere faith commitment is widespread among our students. My classmates, Baptist and otherwise, love Baylor and will be fine ambassadors for our university when they graduate. With the change instituted by university regents, I'm happy to know that the best of our students, irrespective of where we actively practice our Christian faith, may one day return to serve Baylor as regents."
Dr. Ray Cannon, Professor of Mathematics, Baylor University, Faculty Senate Chair: "I am very pleased with this development. The regents have taken special steps to ensure that Truett will continue its lead as an outstanding Baptist seminary, and that the University as a whole will maintain its Baptist distinctives. While doing this, the regents have also affirmed that Baylor has many graduates and friends of other denominations who have talents to contribute to our future."
Ronald L. English, Advisor for Academic Referrals, Baylor University, Staff Council Chair, Pastor, Greater Bosqueville Baptist Church: "Baylor University has written stories on the hearts of many people, both Baptist and other Christians. Whether the impact was through a mission trip, a revival, or a conversation; because we are Christian, we have changed lives. It is uplifting to know that we will include on our board the voice of some varying denominations who also claim Christ as Lord and Savior when we discuss matters of serving students, staff, and faculty. When a voice is heard and responded to, that is often enough."