News and notes from the Office of the President
March 23, 2011

President's Note

In recent weeks, I have enjoyed traveling around the country and meeting with very active Baylor alumni and friends at strategic planning input sessions in cities such as Nashville, as well as here in Texas. I am grateful that so many members of the Baylor family are taking the time to contribute to this important process that will inform the development of our next strategic plan.

Last week, I shared the important news with you about Dr. Jerry Haag, who will soon join our executive team as Vice President for University Development. Since graduating from Baylor, Jerry has enjoyed tremendous success, most recently at Florida Baptist Children's Homes and South Texas Children's Home. I am deeply grateful to Dean Terry Maness and the search committee for bringing forward such a strong candidate. Jerry and his wife Christi are native Texans, as well as Baylor graduates. We eagerly look forward to welcoming them, and their sons Ben and Brady, back home to Baylor.

Each time I travel, I'm invariably approached by someone eager to talk about the great success of our Lady Bears basketball team. Our Big 12 champions, both regular season and tournament, have had a great year and are looking strong in postseason play. Like many of you, we will be cheering on Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears throughout the NCAA tournament.

For our men's basketball team, the NCAA ruling on the eligibility of Perry Jones III ushered in a deeply disappointing end to our season. You should know that Scott Drew, Ian McCaw and Perry Jones and his family have been cooperative, responsive and transparent in working with the NCAA throughout the appeal process. We intend to meet with NCAA leadership in the coming weeks and continue to express our dissatisfaction with the manner in which this matter has been handled.

Spring Break Missions

Baylor has a long and cherished tradition of equipping young people to be salt and light in a hurting world. In a powerful demonstration of that commitment, many of our students devoted their spring break to a variety of mission experiences in locations as far flung as Belize, Ethiopia, France, Germany, and Guatemala and yet as near as the Mississippi Delta and right here at home in Waco. Our director of missions, Becky Kennedy, and her able team in Spiritual Life do a remarkable job in helping our students discover their calling and serve others in the name of Christ.

In addition to these mission opportunities, 22 Baylor students boarded a bus -- their "classroom on wheels" -- and embarked on the third annual Baylor Civil Rights Tour. Sponsored by the Department of Student Activities, this experiential learning opportunity -- which included touring key historical sites of the American Civil Rights Movement -- empowered our students to confront the complex issues of race and inequality in America.

Japan Earthquake

We grieve over the unspeakable tragedy that has befallen the beautiful island nation of Japan. The most significant way we can help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami is by combining our continued prayer efforts with generous giving to organizations that are working to bring sorely-needed relief to those who have been devastated by this disaster. A list of nonprofit and Christian organizations seeking support, such as Baptist World Alliance and World Vision, can be found here.

We give thanks that Professor Yuko Prefume, who was in her native Tokyo when the earthquake struck, was unharmed and that she and her students have safely returned to the United States. Professor Prefume continues to employ her extensive network of contacts in Japan to provide both up-to-date information and much-needed reassurance to Baylor students, alumni and their families.

T. Boone Pickens, Presidential Symposium Series

We will soon be honored by the campus visit of legendary entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens. A remarkably accomplished individual, Boone Pickens is a fixture in the U.S. and international media, whether he's talking about alternative energy or corporate America. At 7 p.m. on March 30 in Waco Hall, Boone will be my inaugural guest in a new series of public conversations called "On Topic." This will be an occasion for welcoming some of the world's leading experts to share their insights on timely issues facing our nation. Please join us at Waco Hall for what promises to be a very lively conversation.

In similar vein, the Presidential Symposium Series will continue with two outstanding speakers during the next two weeks. Lee S. Shulman, former president of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and former faculty member at Stanford and Michigan State, will speak on "Learning to Profess: Challenges and Opportunities for Liberal Education in Faith-based Universities" from 3 to 5 p.m. on March 31 at Kayser Auditorium.

Dr. Mark A. Noll, The Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, will speak on "The Place of the Bible in the Modern Christian University" from 4 to 6 p.m. April 9 in the Paul Powell Chapel at George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Read more here.

400th Anniversary of the King James Bible

Anniversaries are special. And a 400th Anniversary is truly extraordinary. Please join the Baylor family for an unparalleled opportunity to view more than 100 rare Bibles and other items at Armstrong Browning Library April 7-9, when we welcome guests attending the conference -- "The King James Bible and the World It Made, 1611-2011." Hosted by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, this outstanding exhibition is open to the public (and free). The conference itself is likewise free for Baylor faculty, staff and students. Read more about the exhibit and conference here.

Student Accolades

A number of Baylor students have recently received awards and accolades from across the country. Their accomplishments provide eloquent testimony to our faculty's remarkable talent and dedication.

Baylor's nationally-ranked debate team, the Glenn R. Capp Debate Forum, qualified for the National Debate Tournament in Dallas March 25-28. Congratulations to faculty members Matt Gerber and Scott Varda for their mentorship of these outstanding students.

This past weekend, Baylor's six-member Group A trumpet ensemble won the National Trumpet Competition held at George Mason University, with Baylor's Group B ensemble finishing in the top seven. Congratulations to Dr. Wiff Rudd and graduate assistant Mark Schubert, as their students competed successfully against 30 ensembles from some of America's most prestigious schools of music.

Baylor international studies graduate Daniella Romero, of Spring, Texas, has been awarded a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship for one academic year of study in Switzerland, while Baylor sophomore Jared Strickland, an Asian studies major from Waynesboro, Miss., received the Critical Language Scholarship to study in China this summer as part of the federal government's National Security Language Initiative.

Fourteen Baylor student-athletes were among a group of 93 Big 12 student-athletes who earned the inaugural Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Conference's highest academic honor. They are:

  • Morgan Chambers, Sr., Health Science Studies, Women's Golf

  • Terrance Ganaway, Sr., General Studies, Football

  • Leigh Ann Ganzar, Sr., Biology, Track & Field

  • Carolina Korsawe, Sr., Journalism, Women's Tennis

  • Betsy Kyle, Sr., Health Science Studies/Pre-Physical Therapy, Soccer

  • Dominik Meuller, Sr., Finance, Men's Tennis

  • Taylor Ormond, Sr., English, Women's Tennis

  • Lindsay Palmer, Jr., Psychology, Women's Basketball

  • Alicia Quintana, Sr., Health Science Studies/Pre-Dental, Soccer

  • Logan Roberts, Sr., Health Science Studies, Track & Field

  • Chris Slater, Sr., Finance, Baseball

  • Caitlyn Trice, Sr., Health Science Studies/Pre-Physical Therapy, Volleyball

  • Nicole Wesley, Sr., Neuroscience, Softball

  • Tiffany Wesley, Sr., Health Science Studies/Pre-Medicine, Softball

Athletic Event Schedule

BASEBALL: vs. Kansas State, March 25-27, at Baylor Ballpark

SOFTBALL: vs. #22/23 Texas A&M, March 26, at Getterman Stadium, and March 27, in College Station

WOMEN'S TENNIS: at Oklahoma State, 1 p.m., Saturday, March 26; at #19 Oklahoma, 1 p.m., Sunday, March 27

MEN'S TENNIS: at #17 Texas Tech, 1 p.m., Sunday, March 27, in Lubbock

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: vs. #13 Green Bay, Sweet 16, NCAA Championship, 6 p.m. Sunday, March 27, American Airlines Center, Dallas

FOOTBALL: Annual spring game, April 2, at Highers Athletics Complex

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