August 3, 2017
Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
This week's email comes to you while I am on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, spending a few days with Brad, the "First Gent," and our daughter Shelby after an exciting and productive first two months at Baylor. My plan was to rest and recharge for the fall semester, but like many of you, the only thing that seems to get recharged is my iPhone. I am truly looking forward to welcoming our new students to campus and to all of the new beginnings the start of the academic year brings. Here are a few items of interest for this week:
- As I mentioned in the letter with Board Chairman Joel Allison last week, we are launching a comprehensive academic strategy this fall to further Baylor's aspirations to become a Tier One Christian Research University. Our Deans will meet next week to begin this process, which we are referring to as Phase II of Pro Futuris, our strategic visioning document that runs through 2022. Expect to hear much more in the weeks and months ahead as we engage the faculty and others throughout the campus community.
- A key indicator of Baylor's strength and resilience is the ongoing health of the University's endowment. While the endowment had a great year – growing by approximately $80 million to a total value of $1.23 billion – we are developing strategies to substantially increase its value even further, which will lead to additional scholarships for students, endowed faculty positions and funding for strategic academic initiatives.
- This fall we will welcome the inaugural class of Science Research Fellows, a group of 10 high-achieving freshmen who will work toward earning a bachelor of science degree with increased research opportunities alongside our faculty. This is a great example of the transformative undergraduate education we offer at Baylor.
- Last week I had the opportunity to address the 34-member class of new Baylor lawyers as part of the Law School's summer commencement ceremony. Now I am getting ready to shake many more hands as part of my first full commencement as Baylor's President next Saturday, August 12, at the Ferrell Center. I look forward to welcoming our new graduates into the Baylor Alumni Network.
- I've been asked many times over the past two months about my favorite part of moving back to Waco. I have to admit that Penland has become a favorite eating spot for both me and Brad. Of course, he loves the all-you-can-eat concept, while I enjoy visiting with new faces from across campus. We hope to see you there sometime this fall.
Thank you for your commitment to Baylor,
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
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