Fall is always an exciting time at Baylor as enthusiastic new freshmen and returning students flood the campus. This year, the sidewalks may seem especially busy; that's because they are. Thanks in part to a near-record-setting freshman class and an ever-increasing number of returning students, Baylor is enjoying its largest enrollment ever: 15,364 - only the second time in school history that number has topped 15,000. (See page 8 for more details.)
Upon their return, students found a campus already buzzing with activity as a variety of Baylor construction projects are well underway.
The four-story East Village Residential Community is quickly rising along Bagby Avenue between Second and Fourth streets. When completed next fall, the complex (consisting of two separate residential buildings) will house nearly 700 students and feature a new dining hall plus space for a bakery, coffee shop and other retail offerings.
Extensive renovation to Marrs McLean Science Building kicked into high gear over the summer with dramatic changes to the 48-year-old facility both inside and out. Scheduled for completion next fall, the project will provide academic space for students and faculty from Baylor's School of Education.
The earliest stages of Baylor Stadium construction can be clearly seen across the river. Utility and infrastructure work is underway, land is being cleared, and the Texas Department of Transportation has begun their work on previously planned expansion of the I-35 access road bridges spanning the Brazos River on the north edge of campus. (Read Baylor Stadium details beginning on page 28.)
All of this is exciting evidence of Baylor's continued progress, but don't just take my word for it - come back to campus and see for yourself. Homecoming 2012 is just a few weeks away and provides an excellent opportunity to reconnect with the Baylor family, see some familiar sites and catch up on all that's new. (The Homecoming schedule is on page 6, with some fun facts and figures on page 27.)
When you come back for Homecoming, you will be joined by thousands of fellow Bears, including more than a dozen featured in this issue. The 2012-13 Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award winners are recognized for their significant impacts in the fields of business, healthcare, civic engagement, sports and Christian ministry. Baylor Legacy awards and the Founders Medal will also be presented to individuals who, for many years, have provided transformative support for the life and future of Baylor. (Read their stories beginning on page 40.)
This is truly an amazing time to be a Baylor Bear. Demand for a Baylor education remains high, important programs and projects are moving forward, faculty and students are joining together in research and active learning opportunities like never before, and the foundational commitment to cultivating people of faith continues to be central to who we are. Come home to Baylor this year, and as President Brooks said at the first homecoming in 1909, "feel the warm handclasp of [your] fellow students, recall old memories and associations, and catch the Baylor spirit again."
Editor in Chief, Baylor Magazine
I have just concluded reading in great detail the summer issue of Baylor Magazine. In my opinion it is one of the best since its first issue 10 years ago.
In the opening remarks by its editor, Randy Morrison, and in several different articles contained in it are many laudatory comments about the accomplishments during the 10 years of Baylor 2012. It is inconceivable that in all the glowing expressions of these accomplishments a grievous oversight was made in that the name of the university's former president, Dr. Robert Sloan, was not mentioned a single time. After all, Robert Sloan was the architect of Baylor 2012. In reality he probably was 10 years ahead of his time. What follows is a review of some aspects of his tenure as president of Baylor.
In 199 Robert Sloan, who was serving as dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, was elected to succeed retiring President Herbert Reynolds. A few years later he released Baylor 2012. While the initial skepticism voiced by many was somewhat justified at that time, developments in the ensuing years as noted in the many laudatory comments dispelled those early concerns.
Under Sloan's leadership there were numerous accomplishments. Included among those were the construction of Umphrey Law Center, Truett Seminary, the Dutton Avenue Office and Parking Facility, the Mayborn Museum Complex, the Baylor Sciences Building, and Getterman Stadium. While the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) was started after his departure, it can be seen as an extension of his goal to make Baylor recognized as an outstanding research university.
The accomplishments of Baylor sports during the school year 2012 in a large part can be attributed directly or indirectly to Sloan. He was directly involved in the employment of Kim Mulkey as head coach of women's basketball. What Kim has done for Baylor in winning two national championships is immeasurable. Scott Drew, the very fine men's basketball coach, was employed during his tenure. Glenn Moore, the very fine coach of women's softball, was also employed under him. He was personally involved in the employment of Ian McCaw as athletic director. What Ian has accomplished in his few years at Baylor is truly remarkable. Among those accomplishments was the employment of Art Briles as head football coach. Without Art Briles, Baylor would not have had Robert Griffin, whose contributions as the Heisman Trophy winner and the number two selection in the NFL draft and as an ambassador for Baylor is immeasurable.
It has been said that the contents of the lengthy document resulting from the efforts of the Strategic Themes Committee, under the very capable leadership of Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice-president and provost, that led to Pro Futuris, are an extension of the goals set forth in Baylor 2012.
While the tenure of Dr. Sloan was not without some shortcomings, the many accomplishments under the goals of Baylor 2012 far outweigh them.
Carroll Webb, BBA '47