Every year during Family Weekend, the Baylor Parents Network selects one family to represent the hundreds of family members who go above and beyond in giving of their time to welcome and support Baylor students and each other. This year’s Parents of the Year are Fran and Craig George of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The George family keeps a message board in their home to share handwritten notes of encouragement. When Craig George returned home recently, he noticed his daughter, Mary Scott, had written a congratulatory note for being “parents of the year.”
“Oh, that’s nice,” thought Craig, who believed his daughter was expressing her own loving thoughts about her mom and dad. It was only when he spoke to his wife, Fran, that he learned the news—the Georges had been named Baylor University Parents of the Year for their efforts to share and grow the Baylor Family in North Carolina.
That two lifelong North Carolina Tar Heels—both attended the flagship school of their home state—would end up as Parents of the Year at a school 1,200 miles away was an honor they would never have imagined. First, their oldest child, Benjamin, decided to deviate from the entrenched family path to UNC and instead chose The King’s College in New York. Then, their two daughters, Mary Scott and Catherine, were called to Baylor. That’s where the Georges were introduced to what Fran calls “the Baylor difference.”
“Baylor is a verb,” Fran says, “it’s not something that’s stagnant. I asked Catherine to describe Baylor in one word and she gave me three—encouraging, strengthening and steadfast. All of these things are true, and they continue from one generation to the next. That’s the Baylor difference. Baylor is steadfast in mission, strengthening each student where they are. It’s not a cookie cutter school. It’s an encouraging place.”
When their oldest daughter, Mary Scott, chose Baylor, she asked Fran if she would be as involved at Baylor as she was with Benjamin’s school. Another family member told Fran, “Baylor is a major university. They don’t need you.” However, when the Georges found out about the Parents Network, they discovered they were needed indeed.
Before Mary Scott or Catherine ever took a class on campus, their parents were hosting events with other Baylor families in North Carolina. A Send-Off Party opened the door to Packaging Parties, and then alumni gatherings. Soon, a North Carolina chapter of the Parents Network was formed, sharing the Baylor experience with hundreds of families in their state.
“We tell parents that Baylor may be a long way from home, but students are going to a school that will give you the freedom and opportunities to reach your full potential, in academics, maturity, leadership, wisdom, knowledge and spiritual growth,” Craig says. “Baylor’s mission is more than words. It is a call to action, combining a love of learning with a love for God. Baylor has been a safe space for our daughters to take risks that have made them more like Jesus in so many ways.”
Mary Scott graduated in 2016 with a degree in corporate communications, then returned to pursue a passion for nursing, receiving a nursing degree in 2018; Catherine is a junior communications major on track to graduate in 2020. Long after their daughters are drawing on their Baylor experiences in the professional world, the Georges plan to stay involved with the university they’ve grown to love. For their tireless support as volunteers and their passion to share their love of Baylor with so many families in their home state, Fran and Craig George are the 2018 Baylor Parents of the Year.
Click to read Fran’s posts on the Parents Guide to Admissions blog.