News and notes from the Office of the President
September 16, 2010

President's Note

What a wonderful Parents Weekend. From the After Dark student production, Parent-Faculty Coffee and Dinner on the Grounds, the events were well executed and parents found an engaging experience with their students. Congratulations to Max and Debbie Underwood of Colleyville, Texas, recognized as Baylor University's Parents of the Year. Debbie is the daughter of former Baylor Regent Minette Pratt.

Parents Weekend also saw Col. Charles Hobaugh, Baylor dad and commander of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-129 mission, return to the University a Baylor flag that he carried into space. The flag, which will be displayed in the Bill Daniel Student Center, and Col. Hobaugh traveled more than 4 million miles in 171 orbits around the Earth.

As I prepare for the various activities of the Inauguration, I am humbled by the work so many have done and are doing to make these events truly meaningful for the entire Baylor community. This is a time for the University family -- alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, leadership, friends, and donors -- to come together for the good of the University. This is also a celebration of all Baylor has been since its founding in 1845, and all that it will be in its bright future.

Last night, I spent time with our students in a pre-inauguration dinner on the grounds. What hope they represent for our nation. The evening was filled with performances of various kinds and with remarks and well wishes. I was touched by their generosity and inspired by their spirit.

Scholarship Initiative

When I arrived at Baylor on June 1, I immediately began expressing my conviction to helping address the financial challenges experienced by many of our students. As I have met with so many faculty and staff during these early months, I quickly have come to recognize that we share a deep sense of compassion for those young people who desire or cherish a Baylor experience but find cost a significant impediment. On Wednesday, Sept. 15, I announced a 3-year, $100 million Scholarship Initiative aimed at increasing scholarship endowment for future Baylor students.

It is a moral imperative that we assist students and their families to address the increasing burden of higher education costs and, even more so, that we do whatever we can to increase access to a distinctive Baylor education -- an education that challenges the mind and nourishes the spirit. Will you join me in this endeavor? To do so is an investment in the health and well being of our society. It is an investment that extends the Kingdom and impacts positively the future of the state of Texas and the lives of young people and their families. Please visit to learn more about our initiative and to contribute to our student scholarship effort.

Presidential Symposium and Inauguration Installation

Inauguration Day, Sept. 17, also marks Constitution Day in the United States, a day established by Congress to commemorate the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution and to celebrate the rights and freedoms "We the People" enjoy today. It is fitting that the opening inauguration day events honor Constitution Day. The Presidential Symposium, The Role of the Supreme Court in American Society, will be held in Waco Hall at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Following the symposium, further discussions are scheduled during lunchtime break-out sessions led by David Guinn and David Guinn, Jr., discussing Packing Heat and the Second Amendment, and Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, leading Immigration in America -- Who's Really in Charge.

I hope as many of you as can will take the opportunity to participate in Inauguration Day activities, including the 2 p.m. installation ceremony at the Ferrell Center. Noted author, scholar and friend, Stephen L. Carter will provide the keynote address at the ceremony. Please work with those in your area to determine a plan that allows the greatest level of participation while maintaining the necessary operations within your offices.

Supporting Our Team

I thoroughly enjoyed leading the Baylor Line onto the field at our first home football game against Sam Houston State University and reveled in the atmosphere of our more than 42,000 fans. Special highlights included seeing the Men's Basketball team with their Elite Eight rings and Prof. Kay Mueller accepting the Norman "Moon" Mullins Award. The team's victory capped the day's experience.

Hometown Heroes marked the theme of the day for our Sept. 11 game against the Buffalo Bulls. The March of the Bears is truly becoming a Baylor tradition and my tour through the tailgating area allowed me to meet many of our loyal fans who made up the game-day crowd of 40,000-plus. The team's victory puts us on a positive course for the season.

We must continue building upon that strong opening, at both home and away games. Please make plans to support the team at the remaining football games this season. Remember, if you need individual game tickets or season tickets, call the Baylor ticket office at 254-710-1000 (8 a.m.-5 p.m. CST) or go online to

This weekend's game against No. 4-ranked TCU is a sellout, and the game will be televised nationally on Versus (check your local listings). Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. in Fort Worth.

Upcoming Football Games (times TBA):
Sept. 25 in Houston vs. Rice
Oct. 2 home vs. Kansas
Oct. 9 in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl vs. Texas Tech
Oct. 16 in Boulder vs. Colorado
Oct. 23 Homecoming, vs. Kansas State
Oct. 30 in Austin vs. Texas
Nov. 6 in Stillwater vs. Oklahoma State
Nov. 13 home vs. Texas A&M
Nov. 20 home vs. Oklahoma

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