Paying it Forward
If you spend any time in the Honors College, it does not take long to hear Dr. Alden Smith’s name. Since 1994, the longtime professor and Master Teacher in Classics has served as the Director of the University Scholars Program, Director of the Honors Program, and Associate Dean of the Honors College, but if you ask him what he loves most about his time at Baylor, it is the connections he makes with his students.
Smith’s relational approach to teaching has left an impact on hundreds of Baylor graduates and prompted University Scholars graduate Heather Bauman, B.A. ’99, and her husband Mark, B.B.A. ’99, to establish the Dr. Alden Smith Endowed Scholarship last year.
“Dr. Smith was a wonderful mentor to me throughout my time at Baylor,” Bauman said. “From my first Latin class with him, it became evident that he is a professor who is a unique combination of an excellent teacher, a strong researcher, and a mentor who loves his students.”
For Smith, the news of the scholarship came as a surprise.
“I was truly honored but extremely shocked,” Smith said. “I was astonished that her family would do something so generous. Heather was one of those students who I knew would be a difference maker in everybody’s life around her. I never dreamed she would be a difference maker for not only me, but for each student who receives this scholarship.”
The Dr. Alden Smith Endowed Scholarship supports Honors College students, with preference given to University Scholars. Because of the Baumans’ generosity, together with other important donor support, the endowment already supports awards of $5,000 annually.
“I truly want students who may not be able to afford a Baylor education to have the opportunity to experience the benefits of the Honors College and the University Scholars program,” said Bauman. “I hope this scholarship can help draw them in and give them access to the same kind of transformational experience I had at Baylor.”