Searching for information about leadership several months ago, I found this quote from that Voice of the South, Eudora Welty, in her account of her life, One Writer's Beginnings:
"I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within."
I don't know if leadership is one of the things that Welty meant by "all serious daring" but I do believe that leadership requires taking risks, and that taking risks requires at least a bit of daring. I also believe that "within" is where the vision of leadership has to begin.
Serious daring, or leadership, is the unofficial theme of this issue of Baylor Magazine. Many of the stories told here involve people who took risks to get where they are - some large, some small, some more evident than others. But all involved putting oneself on the line.
We didn't necessarily plan this issue with leadership in mind. Most of the stories seemed to fit comfortably within the theme of people leading the way - many of them students. For example, on page 14 is the story about well-known Baylor punter Daniel Sepulveda. His teammates and coaches say that they quickly saw the qualities in Daniel that make him a leader, even if he did not always see it in himself.
For students leading in another way, see page 18 for a tale of two accomplished Baylor vocalists. Did they know that they'd eventually participate in the Bel Canto Foundation's annual operatic contest? Not likely. And yet there they were, not only fitting right in but leaving the contest as top-ranked competitors.
Another student who distinguished himself this year is Kenneth Ike, Baylor's 2008 Truman Scholarship recipient. Ike is one of three Truman finalists from Baylor this year and represents some the best and brightest students who choose to study here. His story can be found on page 20.
On page 24, you can read about Baylor's award-winning debate program, with its textured history and well-known graduates. Even the ones whose names are not of the household variety have found ways to lead.
Then there's the story of a new program at Baylor that fosters servant-leadership, and some of the students in it who are being led by, and leading, others. One young student is learning valuable lessons from the homeless who populate Waco's streets.
Careful readers of the magazine will likely find other examples of serious daring. Perhaps one of these stories will inspire others to dare, and in so doing, lead the rest of us.
And while on the subject of leadership, I'd like to introduce you to the new director of Baylor Magazine, Randy Morrison. Although the title is a new one for Randy, his talented insight has been helping guide this publication for sometime now. He's been the art director from the magazine's birth in 2002. Now he will be officially at the helm, although his vision and expertise have helped guide me over the last few months. With this issue I leave as interim editor, confident that the magazine is in capable hands.