National mock trial champs
On April 1, Baylor Law students Danny Back, Josh Hedrick, Danny Stokes and James Williams became national champions at the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association) Student Trial Advocacy Competition national finals in New Orleans.
As winners, the Baylor team, coaches Jim Wren and Kathy Serr and evidence coach Lauren Davis, a third-year law student, will receive free airfare, hotel accommodations and registration to the 2007 AAJ Convention this summer.
In the national tournament, Baylor defeated Tulane in the semifinals and Syracuse in the finals. Throughout the entire tournament, the Baylor foursome never lost a case.
Chair honors Olsons
A newly endowed professorship at Baylor Law School honors the memory of the late Lyndon L. Olson Sr. of Waco and his brother, William A. Olson Sr., a retired Houston attorney.
The Lyndon L. Olson and William A. Olson Chair of Local Government and Constitutional Law is being underwritten by Lyndon Olson's son and daughter-in-law, Ambassador Lyndon L. Olson Jr. and his wife, Kay. Lyndon Olson Jr. recently completed an appointment as the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. Olson is a graduate of Baylor University and attended Baylor Law School.
Brad Toben, dean of the law school, said the new Olson chair recognizes the "profound impact" of Lyndon Olson Sr. and William Olson Sr. upon their communities, the state and the nation in their practice of law.
"This is especially so in their practice in local government and voting rights matters," Toben said. Both Lyndon Olson Sr. and William Olson Sr. were born in Waco and graduated from Baylor Law School in 1950.
A dedicated member of the Waco community, Lyndon Olson Sr. died Dec. 20, 2005, at the age of 80. William A. Olson Sr. practiced as a distinguished attorney in Houston for many years.
Law students win
Baylor law students Kristi Kautz and Ginger Hunter won first place in the American Bar Association's Client Counseling regional competition in February at South Texas School of Law in Houston.
The annual Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and counsel their "client" on how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation. This year, the regional competition dealt with issues in family law.
To prepare for the competition, the Baylor students researched problems associated with family law and practiced with mock clients, often portrayed by first-year law students. The teams conducted 12 to 15 interviews during the three weeks prior to the regional competition, which involved scheduling practices around final exams that occurred shortly before the competition.
Baylor competed against teams from law schools in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming. The Baylor team defeated South Texas School of Law, last year's national champion, in the semifinals and the University of Houston and Texas Tech in the finals.
New faculty center
Groundbreaking is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 11 for the new McMullen-Connally Family Faculty Center, named after Faber McMullen and Roxannna Connally McMullen, who have made a gift for the construction of the center in honor of the teaching legacy at Baylor, especially the influence that Cornelia Smith had on their lives. They also are donating their extensive art collection, which will be displayed and housed in the center along with visiting pieces and faculty artwork.
The two-story, 10,900-square-foot facility will be built adjacent to the Ed Crenshaw Student Foundation Center and Speight Avenue Parking Garage. It will provide daily dining services for up to 120 faculty in the main dining room and offer three small banquet rooms on the second floor for dinners or meetings. It will also include a faculty lounge area, library and full-service kitchen.
Spring enrollment up
Baylor enrolled a total of 13,169 students for the spring semester, an increase of 150 students over last spring's enrollment. Enrollment for the spring 2006 semester was 13,019 students. In spring 2005, Baylor enrolled 12,715 students.
The spring semester's enrollment includes 11,005 undergraduates; 1,215 graduate students; 381 students in George W. Truett Theological Seminary; and 384 students in Baylor Law School, with one law student taking graduate hours. At the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences in San Antonio, where Baylor has affiliated graduate degree programs in physical therapy, health care administration and nutrition, 180 students are enrolled. Another joint U.S. Army-Baylor doctoral program in physical therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center/West Point reported an enrollment of three students.
The retention rate for all undergraduates from fall 2006 to spring 2007 increased slightly to 94.6 percent, compared to 94.5 percent from fall 2005 to spring 2006. For first-time freshmen, the retention rate from fall 2006 to spring 2007 decreased a tenth of a percent to 95 percent.
Student fund makes gift
For the fourth straight year, the Philip M. Dorr Alumni & Friends Endowed Investment Fund presented a $210,000 donation to the Baylor University Athletic Department. Previous gifts have totaled $450,000.
"We are grateful for the generous contribution from the Philip M. Dorr Alumni & Friends Endowed Investment Fund and its support of student-athlete scholarships," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw.
Select Baylor business students manage the portfolio, established in 2001 with a $250,000 endowment gift from alumnus Philip M. Dorr. They do their work through a course led by professors Scott Pittman and Brian Bruce and operating from the state-of-the-art on-campus Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center. One of the nation's largest student-managed portfolios, the investment fund has a current market value in excess of $6.7 million. Distributions from the fund are directed to athletic scholarships for Baylor student-athletes who are business majors in good academic standing and to MBA students with an interest in investment management.
Army selects Baylor alumnus
Baylor graduate, Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, has been named interim Army surgeon general and commanding general of Army Medical Command.
Gen. Pollock earned a master's degree in healthcare administration from the Army-Baylor graduate program in 1986.
In 2006, the Baylor Alumni Association honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award.
English prof wins new scholar award
Richard R. Russell, assistant professor of English, received the 2007 Achievement Award for New Scholars in Humanities and Fine Arts from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools at its annual meeting in Chattanooga, Tenn., in February.
Author of more than three dozen articles, essays and notes on Irish literature, Russell has been nominated for several teaching awards and was recognized as an Outstanding Professor at Baylor in 2003-2004.
Russell earned his doctorate in English literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001, and he has been a member of the faculty of Baylor since 2001.
The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools is an organization of more than 200 graduate schools in 15 states of the southern region of the United States
Baylor 'Difference Makers'
Three people from Baylor's faculty and staff were honored as "Difference Makers" for 2006 by the Waco Tribune-Herald at a banquet in February. The three were chosen from 140 public nominations of people who have used their time and talents to make the Waco area a better place to live.
The three include:
- Paul Carr, media award for managing release of information from the national religion survey that Baylor University and the Gallup Organization conducted in late 2005.
- Tommye Lou Davis, growth and development award for pushing forward Baylor University as a site for the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
- Randy Wood, literary award for using Baylor's education majors to tutor low-achieving students at a Waco middle school and for starting a literacy program at another middle school.