Alumni News & Notes

Alumni News & Notes

John Hill Westbrook

John Hill Westbrook (BA ’69), the late Baylor Arts & Sciences alumnus who became the first African American to play varsity football in the Southwest Conference, was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame on Feb. 23.

A star high school athlete and honor student in Elgin, Texas, Westbrook enrolled at Baylor in 1965 and walked on the football team as a freshman running back. He earned an athletic scholarship and made history in the Bears’ season-opening 35-12 upset win over No. 7 Syracuse in Waco on Sept. 10, 1966. When Westbrook entered the game in the fourth quarter he broke a 52 year-old SWC color barrier. 

man poses with ancient book

Adrian Herren (BA ’69), an anesthesiologist and longtime rare book collector from Pensacola, Florida, took the opportunity to return a 400-year-old devotional book to the monastery where it once had a home.

In November 2018, Herren traveled back to the Baylor campus to present a 17th century Greek psalter created by a monk at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai to Greek Orthodox hieromonk Father Justin, the monastery’s current librarian. Herren bought the rare book 20 years ago but decided to return it to the monastery after discovering the book’s origins and learning that Father Justin’s parents attended Baylor in the 1940s.

Dr. Kathy Stepp Tinius (BA ’71), a professor at Amberton University in Garland, Texas, begins her term as the new chair of the Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences Board of Advocates this spring. She succeeds John Howard Jr. (BA ’85), director of government affairs and public policy at Dell, who has served as chair the past two years. 

John Hill Westbrook

An entrepreneurial Baylor Arts & Sciences alumna is helping bring a new independent bookstore to downtown Waco. Kimberly Batson (BA ’07) (shown at left in photo) and co-owner Alison Frenzel expect to open Fabled Bookshop & Café in a 6,400-square-foot building in downtown Waco sometime this year.

The store will feature 20,000 to 30,000 books, a coffee bar, a children’s section and event space for parties and readings. Batson (with her husband Blake) also owns and operates Waco’s iconic Common Grounds and Heritage Creamery.