News Briefs

Truett Seminary's Joel Gregory named Preaching and Evangelism Chair

Joel Gregory, BA '70, PhD '83, longtime professor of preaching, now holds the newly established George W. Truett Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism, made possible by a gift from First Baptist Church of Dallas, at Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Truett served 47 years as the pastor of FBC Dallas. The George W. Truett Chair in Evangelism was originally established in 1968 by FBC Dallas to support a chair in Baylor's Department of Religion. Earlier this year, the agreement was amended to establish the new chair at Truett Seminary with Gregory installed Sept. 1. Gregory has preached in venues as varied as Westminster Chapel in London and the Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa. Last year, he spoke or taught 170 times in 32 churches and 20 conferences in the United States and abroad.

Gregory earned his BA summa cum laude, with a double major in Greek and religion, from Baylor as well as his PhD in religion. He earned the MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1973 and taught preaching there from 1982-1985. He served for two terms as president of the 5,800-church Baptist General Convention of Texas, and he is founder and president of Joel Gregory Ministries, an international ministry of teaching, preaching, counseling and writing.

"Truett Seminary is profoundly grateful for the generosity of the First Baptist Church of Dallas in establishing The George W. Truett Chair in Preaching and Evangelism," said Todd D. Still, The Charles J. and Eleanor McLerran DeLancey Dean and William M. Hinson Professor of Christian Scriptures at Truett.

"Even as George W. Truett is rightly considered to be one of Baptists' greatest pastors and statesmen, Joel C. Gregory is unequivocally one of the premier pulpiteers in and beyond Baptist life today," Still said. "This chair and its holder, then, add increasing luster to Baylor's Truett Seminary in its 25th year of existence and further strengthen the seminary in fulfilling its call to train men and women for gospel ministry in and alongside the local church."

Baylor Institute for Air Science begins new major

Baylor Institute for Air Science is offering a new major in aviation administration to provide a curriculum for students interested in working for the business side of aviation.

Trey Cade, director of Baylor Institute for Air Science, said the program was developed after a number of collegiate aviation programs began offering management or administration major options. Current and prospective Baylor students also were asking for this major, so Cade knew the demand was there.

"In conjunction with our current aviation sciences major, this gives our students a more complete range of options when considering how they wish to pursue the aviation profession," Cade said. "This is a great opportunity for aviation students to take advantage of Baylor's tremendous and highly regarded Hankamer School of Business."

Allen Seward, director of Baylor Business Fellows, believes the program will strengthen aviation students' skill sets.

"The combination of technical and institutional detail from aviation sciences with management and general business skills will result in a new generation of professionals with the background to handle the full gamut of issues that arise in aviation administration careers," Seward said.

"We've had Baylor alumni who've said they would have absolutely pursued this major had it been available at the time," Cade said. "In fact, some of them are even considering coming back to Baylor to get it."

BIC at 20 years: Taking BIC truly global

The groundbreaking Baylor Interdisciplinary Core began 20 years ago this fall, with approximately 200 freshmen entering the 4-year team-taught, community-based program.

Faculty led the request, design and implementation of BIC, and its core sequence is a model for other colleges and universities.

The transformative program, now housed in the Honors College, continues to receive about 200 students each year. The students and faculty form a community of learners as they follow the core sequence to learn about and from cultures and break down barriers. Field trips and cultural meals enhance the BIC experience, but the program seeks to aid students in international travel to further grow the global perspective.

To celebrate the 20-year anniversary, the program has established a goal to raise funds for global scholarships. Scholarships would be available to BIC students who complete the first two years of BIC successfully and use them for international travel with a BIC or a Baylor international academic program. If you would like to support the global perspective gained by students through BIC, give to the BIC excellence fund by visiting and designating your donation for BIC’s global initiative fund.

Baylor gets 'Cool Schools" nod for campus sustainability

Baylor's ongoing commitment to sustainability has garnered attention again, this time from the Sierra Club, which has named the university to its 2015 Cool Schools list.

Baylor is one of only four schools from Texas (others are Rice, Texas A&M and UT-Dallas) and one of only two Big 12 Conference schools (Iowa State is the other) among the 153 four-year colleges and universities honored for their campus sustainability practices.

To be considered, schools submitted a voluntary survey--the Campus Sustainability Data Collector--which is a collaborative effort among the Sierra Club, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Sustainable Endowments Institute and the Princeton Review. Researchers scored responses and ranked the participating institutions on a variety of criteria, including overall sustainability program and outreach, water and energy consumption in buildings, waste reduction, recycling, and food and beverage purchasing policies.

"It is an honor for Baylor to be placed on the Sierra Club's rigorous, and nationally recognized, 'Cool Schools List,'" said Smith Getterman, assistant director of sustainability and special projects at Baylor. "Our success is the result of the hard work of our faculty, staff and students and should be seen as an indicator that Baylor University considers the judicious stewardship of our God-given resources a top priority. This is a great achievement for the entire university community and a great time for reflection on all that God has gifted us."