The Power of Engaged Alumni
Each year, we look forward to welcoming Baylor alumni and their families back to campus for a wealth of traditions and events that range from exciting football games at McLane Stadium and Christmas on 5th Street in the fall to Green and Gold Weekend and All University Sing in the spring. But none is more exciting than the opportunity to showcase campus during Homecoming. We always look forward to seeing Fountain Mall filled with excitement for the pep rally and bonfire, the city and campus streets lined with families for the Homecoming parade and McLane Stadium at capacity with green and gold for the Homecoming game with thousands more watching and cheering for the Bears across the country. There is something very special about the opportunity to share rich traditions through generations of Baylor alumni.
It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of having an active base of alumni who are connected to one another and to the University. Indeed, such engagement is a distinguishing mark of every great college and university in our nation. Baylor is fortunate that the multiple generations of men and women who have proudly become members of “that good old Baylor line” over the years remain closely affiliated with Baylor and seek to support the University’s growth in a variety of ways.
One aspect of such strong connections is the uplifting power of philanthropy. Baylor continues to be tremendously blessed by the generosity of alumni, parents, friends and organizations who have chosen to support our Christian mission and our students through gifts to the Give Light campaign. During this past academic year, the Baylor Family celebrated surpassing $1.1 billion in overall giving in support of the priorities and aspirations of our Illuminate strategic plan, and this momentum has carried over into the fall semester with continued gifts toward endowed scholarships and endowed chairs and professorships.
Such generosity enables us to set our aspirations for Baylor’s future ever higher. As a result, the Baylor spirit has never shined more brightly than today.
Your passion for Baylor, as an alumna or alumnus, forms an essential component of the University’s increasingly recognized presence in the world of higher education. Through your advocacy of Baylor’s mission and your connections to one another and the University, you have played a direct and influential role in Baylor’s recent achievements, from the football team winning the Big 12 championship to the University being named a Research 1 (R1) university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
The power of active, engaged alumni in helping to positively position the University was dramatically demonstrated this summer when Baylor received recognition as one of the nation’s top-10 Most Trusted Universities, joining the likes of MIT, Stanford and Harvard, according to the global research firm Morning Consult. Several particularly encouraging details can be found within the Most Trusted Universities report; in addition to being the only university included from the southern region of the United States, Baylor was ranked No. 2 by parents — behind only Princeton and ahead of Duke, Notre Dame and Yale. Such recognition can be rightly attributed to the power of many people working alongside one another toward common goals — from the campus-wide efforts of our dedicated faculty and staff who live and promote Baylor’s Christian mission every day to the widespread members of the Baylor Family who serve as our brand ambassadors across the country.
As Baylor continues to enjoy record interest among future students and enrollments, expand our academic programs, make ongoing renovations to historic residence halls and build new “destination” facilities — such as the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion and the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center — the University is becoming increasingly recognized as a preeminent Christian research university. That awareness is a reflection of the illuminating love that Baylor alumni have for their alma mater.
The fostering of long-term relationships with alumni and friends has been a priority for many decades, and it will continue to be a focus as we move into the next chapter of the University’s life. In fact, this fall we will launch an initiative to encourage the Baylor Family to find and engage with each other and the University wherever they are located. Keep your eyes out for Baylor Law alumnus Chet Garner, the host of the PBS show “The Daytripper,” who will be serving in a lead role as our guide for Bear Encounters: Meet Bears in the Wild.
As Baylor continues eagerly pursuing our mission to prepare the next generation of servant-leaders, we are deeply grateful to partners like you who join us in the journey.