Looking Ahead with Joy
During the past year, Baylor University has had to navigate passage through a period of extreme uncertainty across higher education. However, after facing these unprecedented times we have arrived at a unique place of strength. Because of our proactive, comprehensive approach to pursuing our mission even in the midst of a pandemic — and the determined, coordinated work of our on-campus teams of staff and faculty — today we are able to take immediate steps to restore the robust Baylor experience for our wonderful students.
Remarkably, the past year has actually been one of great accomplishment at Baylor due to our institutional resilience. Of course, we are all still basking in the glow of our men’s basketball team winning the NCAA Championship — a history-making achievement. And we continued to make great progress on many fronts last year, from maintaining the momentum around our faculty’s research and scholarship enterprise to surpassing the $1 billion mark toward our Give Light campaign — the most the University has ever raised during one campaign effort.
All indicators are that people believe in our Christian mission and our aspiration to be the preeminent Christian research university. More than 77,000 members of the Baylor Family have contributed so far to Give Light at all levels of philanthropic support. We had the pleasure in May of announcing a $7 million gift from Regent Paula Hurd to go toward the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, naming The Mark and Paula Hurd Floor, as well as toward other capital projects.
A Bright Future
So what does the immediate future hold for the Baylor Family?
First, we are anticipating a wonderfully diverse and academically prepared freshman class, as well as excellent retention of our returning students. Our teams across campus have prepared for Orientation and Line Camp, made housing assignments and are readying our buildings and grounds for an exciting start to a normal fall semester. I can’t wait to see so many smiling faces!
We have announced a return to 100 percent capacity in all of our indoor and outdoor athletic venues, which will make for a great season of fall sports. We look forward to having fans in the stands to support all our student-athletes.
This summer, Baylor will break ground on the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, a 125,000-square-foot facility that will create a new “front door” to Baylor’s campus at the intersection of University Parks Drive and Interstate 35. This new facility will change the Baylor skyline and welcome current students and student organizations, Baylor alumni, prospective students, and other visitors who will experience a remarkable first impression of our campus.
The past year has proven that the demand for a Baylor education — one that is centered on Christ in an environment focused on academic excellence — has never been greater. We are very excited about resuming in-person classes, student activities, and traditions across the campus and experiencing all the joys of belonging to the Baylor Family.
Moreover, we are continuing to grow in a strategic, deliberate manner, increasing our graduate student population while maintaining our commitment to excellence in undergraduate studies. Our Christian faith continues to remain our guiding light.
Baylor has always thrived by living out our commitment to Christian principles while compassionately attending to the needs of our diverse student body. With students coming to Baylor from every state and across the globe, we are truly serving the world.
Our founders envisioned an institution that “would be susceptible of enlargement and development to meet the needs of all the ages to come.” This forward-looking disposition is ingrained in our mission, and in developing the resources to care for all our students, we are enlarging our capacity to prepare students for leadership roles for the future.
Thank you for your support and love of Baylor University.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President, Baylor University