'Tis the season for giving

While we don't always prepare our issues with a specific theme in mind, the more we worked on this particular volume, a common subject continued to surface: Giving.

Certainly at this time of year, we reflect upon the ultimate gift given by God in the form of a child, Savior and Lord, but somehow in our consumer-driven world we have distorted that act of sacrifice into the motivation to purchase an Xbox or the latest gadget from Apple. In reality, Jesus' teachings and actions should motivate us to give of ourselves and to be good stewards of the many wonderful gifts we also have received.

At Baylor, we are reminded every day that the students who come here are gifts. They add to the richness of campus life, contribute to the intellectual stimulation of the classroom, energize and excite us with their athletic ability, and encourage and inspire us with their humble service in the community and around the world.

In this issue you get to meet one such student, Brittney Griner. You may think you know her by her accomplishments on the basketball court, but that's only part of who she is. Read "Game changer" to learn about the quirky, fun-loving 22-year-old who loves longboarding around campus almost as much as blocking a shot.

You will also meet a Baylor family that somehow found its way from Lebanon to Waco. In "The Gift of Learning," we relate the story of the Choucair family and how a mother's love and passion for learning motivated her children to pursue excellence in their own lives in business, medicine, education and journalism.

Many departments around Baylor seek to teach students how to give back by using what they learn in the classroom to serve the community. The Baylor Autism Resource Center is one example of that, providing support for Central Texas families of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder; read more about their efforts and a dozen other Baylor clinics in "Life within the spectrum".

Finally, we take a few pages to demonstrate just how much we as a university have been given financially over the past year, for better (Fiscal Year 2012 was one of the best on record) or worse (Baylor's numbers still lag woefully behind many peer universities). "The impact of giving" attempts to convey both our gratitude for the sacrificial and transformational giving of so many as well as the need for broader support for the Baylor family.

The issue's features close with an excellent short essay from David Hardage, a Baylor graduate and former pastor now serving as executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, encouraging each of us to consider how we might take up the Biblical call to live generously. Be encouraged as you read his words, and consider how you might answer that call in your life today.

Randy Morrison

Editor in Chief, Baylor Magazine


Remembering football on campus

I read Mr. Jeff Brown's story, "Baylor Stadium: The Pieces Come Together," with great interest. His lead paragraph read, "Few, if any, living alumni have seen the Baylor campus host a varsity football game."

Well, this old Baylor grad (BA '50, Journalism) is one of the "few." I saw my first college football game on Oct. 27, 1934, at Carroll Field with my Dad. I was only seven years old. I recall we sat on the east side toward the south end zone. Baylor's opponent was Texas A&M. The Aggies won the game, 10-7. The tickets were $2.50 each, which was a bunch of money in 1934 (during the depression).

We lived in Marlin, and my Dad had been a football official, working up the "pecking order" until he was calling some Baylor freshman football games (this was before freshmen could play on varsity teams). Dad was a good friend of Ralph Wolf, business manager for athletics at Baylor. We often visited Holt's Sporting Goods store in downtown Waco on North Sixth Street. Many times some of the Baylor notables, including the long-time sports editor of the Waco newspapers, Jinx Tucker, would be in Holt's. Dad always enjoyed talking with them.

During my 85 years, I've seen many Baylor football games. The last Baylor game I attended was about two years ago. My son, daughter-in-law and I were guests of the Teaffs in their box at Floyd Casey Stadium. If I can make it to 2014, I will have seen my Bears play on four home football fields - Carroll Field, Municipal Stadium (South 14th and Dutton), the original Baylor Stadium (now Floyd Casey Stadium), and the new campus stadium.

Stuart Chilton, BA '50

Stephenville, Texas

Award winner feedback

I recently opened up your Homecoming edition of Baylor Magazine and was excited to see the wonderful things happening at Baylor. As I continued to review the magazine, I came across one of the features of the Meritorious Achievement Award recipients.

As an alumna of Baylor (BBA '86), it saddens me to see that of all the alumni who were honored as outstanding, that not one member of this prestigious group was a person of color. I am proud to see and read about the honorees; however, it was a little disappointing to see that Baylor does not look at this as an issue.

I am not sure who is responsible for the selection of the honorees, but I would request that in the future that it not be so evident that Baylor found it difficult to find anyone of color to recognize for their accomplishments. I know and recognize that there are many students of different backgrounds that attend the university today, and it would be nice to be able to have them see someone like them be recognized. I hope and pray that this was an oversight, and maybe next year we can find out where we can send the names of some great candidates to have them considered.

Cynthia Rocha, BBA '86

Boerne, Texas

Scripture admonishes us to let the scales fall from the eyes. A very plausible, objective assessment can be made that the world is not one whit better off because of the work of Billy Graham. On the great moral issue confronting America in the last half century, civil rights, he said nothing and did nothing.

Because of his great prominence, he could have helped the nation ameliorate the traumas of that era. He chose to pass by on the other side. While numerous white ministers lost their positions because they dared to speak out and proclaim change must come, he turned his face and preached happy endings for believers. He pandered to the mighty, and they pandered to him.

He continues to avoid any utterance to further social justice. What meritorious achievement is this?

Stephen Guittard, BA '58

New York City

Why consider Baylor?

We went to the Baylor-Texas game in Austin and were sitting next to a nice young man and young lady wearing Baylor shirts. I asked and they said they were sophomores at Baylor. During a break in the action later, I asked the young lady, who said she was from Monterrey, Calif., if she could give my high school son with us a 30-second sales pitch on why he should consider Baylor.

She said, "I go to Baylor because I love Jesus and I love football." She then went on to talk about small class sizes, individual attention, great facilities and faculty and all the other expected things. I thought it was a great answer.

Jerry McAdams, TCU 1973
Hico, Texas