The Baylor buzz

Chances are you have had many opportunities to talk with friends and colleagues about your beloved Baylor Bears in recent months. Our student-athletes have repeatedly captured the national spotlight; from the Heisman Trophy and Alamo Bowl victory, to the Lady Bears' perfect regular season and men's basketball's top-10 ranking, Baylor athletics has introduced the university to a greater audience in unprecedented fashion this year.

Baylor was contacted in early January by a writer for Sports Illustrated who wanted to know more about the university. After spending time on campus and interviewing numerous professors, coaches and university leaders, the writer crafted an article that appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of Sports Illustrated. This long-form feature on Baylor highlighted both Baylor's athletic and academic successes and recognized the university's goals of combining great teaching and world-class research in a Christian atmosphere. Such stories open the door for the Baylor family to share their pride in their alma mater with those who may not be as familiar with the university.

Bears are carrying the Baylor name far and wide in a variety of ways, as you will see in this issue of Baylor Magazine. Extreme poverty, human trafficking and segregation are only a few of the challenging issues being addressed by graduates of the Baylor School of Social Work's Global Mission Leadership program. Learn more about their efforts and the students who have come to Baylor from such places as Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore to be trained for the express purpose of returning to their homelands as catalysts for change, starting on page 30.

Elsewhere in the world, Baylor graduate and former Jordanian cabinet member Ayman Safadi shares his distinct views on the "Arab Spring" - its violence, political upheaval and opportunities for peace - based on his unique vantage point from within the region.

This issue also provides an insider's look at a trio of Bears who have contributed to the recent success of the Texas Rangers baseball team as it has experienced its most successful run ever. Outfielder David Murphy welcomed our writer into his home just days before he headed out to spring training and provided us with a candid look at the thrilling (but often challenging) life of a major league baseball player. You'll also find Bears in the Rangers' owner's box and front office; we talked to majority owner Bob Simpson, executive vice president and CFO Kellie Fischer and half a dozen other alumni who are helping the Rangers chase their third straight World Series appearance.

This issue of Baylor Magazine covers a lot of ground. It may be hard to connect disparate subjects such as athletic success, social issues in the Far East and political change in the Middle East. But each arena has one thing in common: Baylor students and alumni engaged in their world in ways that make us proud.

Randy Morrison

Editor in Chief, Baylor Magazine