Distinguished Achievement Award
Bestowed on individuals who have made a distinct contribution to their particular profession, business or vocation and in doing so have brought honor to Baylor.
John Cheng, M.D.
The Distinguished Achievement Award is bestowed on individuals who have made a distinct contribution to their particular profession, business or vocation and in doing so have brought honor to Baylor. Baylor University is proud to honor the late John Cheng, B.A. ’91, M.D., of Aliso Viejo, California, with this year’s award.
Dr. Cheng was Medical Director for the South Coast Medical Group in South Orange County and was widely known for his kind manner and humble spirit. He established a culture of care that encouraged his staff to approach their medical practice with attention to the whole person.
Dr. Cheng died a hero on May 15, 2022, when he charged and attempted to disarm a gunman who attacked the parishioners of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, where he was visiting with his mother. The church worshiped at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California. Dr. Cheng’s actions allowed others to intervene and subdue the shooter and saved dozens of lives. Dr. Cheng was the lone fatality in the attempted mass shooting. During his time at Baylor Dr. Cheng was a member of Kappa Omega Tau (KOT) fraternity. His friends and fraternity brothers remember him as a servant leader who put others before himself and for his favorite quote: “Character is not developed in a crisis; it is only exhibited.”