“Do not face the future with timidity or with fear. Face it boldly, courageously, joyously. Have faith in what the future holds.”
These are the words of President Samuel Palmer Brooks as he penned his final letter to the seniors of 1931 and the “seniors of all years.” Just as these words were true then and just as they have inspired decades of Baylor alumni since, we look to a future for Baylor University with a bold plan.
Our aspiration to integrate academic and teaching excellence with an uncompromising Christian identity positions this university to have a transformative impact on our students, on higher education, and on the world. Higher education is in a time of significant change and challenge. Colleges and universities are criticized as being disconnected from society and lacking coherent values or applicability to real life. There is also growing disagreement over how higher education should shape leaders of character.
Ultimately, our vision, Pro Futuris, affirms, “the world needs a preeminent research university that is unambiguously Christian — where such a commitment does not imply a lack of scholarly inquiry, but rather requires scholarship and creative endeavors at the highest levels of quality to complement and inform its teaching and service.” Baylor exists to demonstrate that faith is not a deterrent to scholarship. Rather, faith is the very motivation for discovering the richness of creation. It compels us to engage with issues spanning the intellectual and ideological spectrum, fostering productive dialogues that ultimately bring our discoveries to bear on the most complex problems of today.
Preeminent universities attract the best and the brightest men and women to their campuses, creating a community of excellence that extends from the student body through the faculty and staff and to the administration and governing board. Working shoulder to shoulder with men and women who are among the best in their fields nationwide creates an environment in which what seems impossible becomes possible.
Preeminent universities embody the core American value of independence, which has given them unique opportunities for unencumbered progress and change. Faculty members are empowered with defining their role in the academy and pursuing their passions, both as teachers and scholars, enabling them to advance the frontiers of knowledge in all fields without unnecessary restrictions.
Preeminent universities serve as centers of intellectual dynamism, with faculty members whose research and creative endeavors are at the forefront of scientific innovation and human betterment. Research universities also train the next generation of scientists and researchers, providing foundations for those who will go on to create and lead new industries made possible by future discoveries. In addition, preeminent research universities instill in their graduates an ethos of public service and provide robust graduate education programs for those who will become faculty and administrators at other institutions.
Preeminent universities possess the financial strength to robustly pursue and preserve institutional excellence. Higher education is a cost-intensive enterprise with expenses that will only increase in the future. To meet the needs of today and position themselves for events on the horizon, preeminent universities pursue a variety of means to secure financial strength, from tuition and philanthropy to federal, state, corporate, and foundation funding for research.