When we launched the "Are You #BaylorProud?" photo contest in August, we purposely chose to give the winner a $250 Baylor Bookstore gift card. We thought that the winner would be able to use the card to buy more Baylor t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. with which he/she could show his/her Baylor pride.
But that's not what happened--and the story that follows exemplifies what makes the Baylor family different.
On the final day of the contest, we selected our winner--Rhonda Black, BBA '98; her photo, showing Rhonda and her Spring 1995 Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters outside McLane Stadium, gathered nearly 1,000 votes (Facebook likes) in our contest.
"Over the past 20 years, my sisters and I have continued to grow closer," Rhonda Black said. "No matter what life has brought our way, we've been there for one another through both the peaks and the valleys. Together we've celebrated marriages, welcomed babies, cheered for promotions, mourned at funerals, and all things in between."
Dallas photographer Ginger Matthews snapped the winning #BaylorProud photo of Erika R. Griffin, BS '96, Crystal D. Woods, BSE '97, Erika N. Kinney, BA '97, Tanya L. Smith, BA '99, Cecilia E. Embra, BBA '97, Tiffani S. Hodges, BA '97, Kimberly I. Morris, BBA '97 and MBA '99, Rhonda V. Black, BBA '98, Patrice O. Holmes, BS '97, and Anitra M. Bogar, BBA '97.
"Our photo demonstrates #BaylorPride in that you see 10 strong, Baylor educated, Christian women who became productive members of society as wives, mothers, professionals, community servants and better people overall, due in part, to our time at Baylor," Black said. "Our bond of sisterhood has strengthened over the past 20 years--a bond that originated at Baylor."
The next step was to find out how to get her the gift card. She promptly sent us her address--along with an alternative suggestion for the prize.
"My sorority sisters and I would like to donate the Baylor Bookstore gift card to a student in need," she began. In fact, she had already contacted another sorority sister in Baylor's Department of Multicultural Affairs who was willing to help identify a student who could use the gift card to help pay for books, school supplies or other needs.
Rather than enjoy the prize, these Baylor alumni not only chose to use it to benefit others--they went out of their way to find a way to make it happen. Rhonda, your actions are just another reason we are BaylorProud!
Along with the sorority sisters, whose generosity will benefit a Baylor student in need, the #BaylorProud photo contest garnered several entries with compelling stories.
Here are the other top vote recipients in the contest, from adorable Bear cubs to a U.S. Air Force captain who takes her Baylor flag on deployment and a firefighter determined to display his alma mater on his helmet.