March 22, 2012

Former U.S. Congressman appointed as the W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for
Public Service

In January, former U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards began a new role as the W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for Public Service at Baylor. The veteran public servant will serve the university in a part-time capacity as he divides his time between commitments in Waco and Washington, D.C.

During his residency, Edwards will provide public and classroom lectures, primarily in the areas of political science and economics, and leadership development training through various programs in the Division of Student Life. He also will leverage his experience in Washington, D.C., to host educational events in the nation's capital for Baylor students who participate in the university's longtime Washington Internship Program.

With an office in the W.R Poage Legislative Library at Baylor, the former Congressman will assist in processing the Edwards Archive, which consists of print and digital materials from his 20 years of public service. Once processed, the collection will be available to scholars and citizens interested in extending their understanding of legislative processes and political history.

Baylor organist performs for final time

Dr. Joyce Jones, Baylor's Joyce Oliver Bowden Professor of Music and Organist-in-Residence, played her final recital on Feb. 13 as part of the Midwinter Organ Conference. Jones, who will retire from Baylor in August, and her husband began the conference 18 years ago and have endowed it since. The recital marked Jones' 79th birthday and the 40th anniversary of the inaugural concert of Baylor's Ruffatti Organ.

Baylor among 14 colleges 'Leading the Way' for gluten-free students

Gluten-free diets have garnered a lot of attention with the recent success of gluten-free cookbooks, diet routines, and scientific research that suggests gluten-free diets may reduce symptoms of autism. Best Colleges Online placed Baylor at the top of their list of schools that cater to gluten-free students. In a response to student interest, Baylor began carrying more gluten-free dining options for all meals in 2010. Full menu and nutritional facts can be found at

Freshman trombonist headed to Paris for international festival

The Gilberto Gagliardi Trombone Competition is a highly specialized contest, aimed at finding the best tenor trombonists in the country age 18 and under. Three national finalists have been selected for 2012 -- and one of them is a Baylor student.

Stephen Farrell, a junior in Baylor's School of Music from Niceville, Fla., will compete for world honors this July at the International Trombone Festival in Paris.

Three other Baylor students nearly matched Farrell in making it to the international competition. Sophomore Ben Holmes, of Henderson, Texas, earned honorable mention in the Gagliardi Trombone Competition, giving Baylor two of the top eight tenor trombonists under 19 in the nation.

Sophomore John Romero, of Longview, Texas, was named first alternate for the Larry Wiehe Trombone Competition (for tenor trombonists 23 and under), and junior Christian Paarup, of Azle, Texas, earned honorable mention in the Lewis Van Haney Philharmonic Prize Tenor Trombone Competition (for tenor trombonists 25 and under). All four are taught by Professor Brent Phillips at Baylor.

Baylor grad named 'Texan of the Year'

Ray Perryman, BS '74, was recognized as "Texan of the Year" by the Texas Legislative Conference (TLC). The TLC is a non-partisan organization of Texas business and political leaders that meets annually to focus on public policy issues. The group chose to recognize Perryman this year for the contributions his economic forecasts have made to the state's long-term planning processes.

"For more than 25 years, Ray has been assessing the economic impact of corporate expansions, regulatory changes, real estate developments, public policy initiatives and myriad other factors affecting business activity," said TLC Chair Sara Tays. "He has conducted hundreds of impact analyses for the U.S. and Texas economies, and these studies have facilitated desirable corporate locations and expansions throughout the state."