North Village Welcomes Bradleys As Faculty-In-Residence
by Judy Long
As students and their parents arrive for fall move-in at Baylor University's new North Village Residential Community, the first residential complex to be built on campus in nearly 40 years, two occupants are unique as campus dwellers go. Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Engineering and associate dean for research in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and his wife, Ann, have moved into Texana House as Baylor's first faculty in residence.
The Bradleys will reside with 80 engineering and computer science and 520 other students from across academic disciplines in the Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) Living-Learning Center. Two other ECS faculty members are expected to have offices in the North Village Community Center.
Walter and Ann have worked with youth and college students the entire 40 years of their marriage, so living at the North Village will be a natural extension of an already-established lifestyle. The Bradleys moved to Waco from Texas A&M in 2003, and they lived in an off-campus apartment last year.
"I think we were the only residents in that whole complex last year that were not college students," Ann said.
Walter is looking forward to the campus living experience. "I've been waiting 40 years to live in a dorm. I couldn't afford it when I was an undergraduate--I lived in a small apartment and worked my way through college."
The biggest impact of living in the facility for Walter will be his daily commute. "I've timed it and I can get from my front door to my office in 30 to 45 seconds," he said. Ann is waiting to see what is in store.
"We'll probably put a sign on the door saying visitors are welcome until midnight or something," she said.
The Bradleys are looking forward to daily contact with students and are considering a time each week when students know they can drop in to visit in their home. They also plan to let students know anyone is welcome to join them when they have meals in the Penland food court.
Until coming to Baylor last year, Walter taught at secular schools--A&M and the Colorado School of Mines. Sharing the Christian life and message on a secular campus was his mission.
"I felt the need was greater on secular campuses, so that's where I chose to be. I would not have been interested in a typical Christian school, but the opportunity to be part of a school with a bigger vision was appealing. It's an opportunity to make a bigger impact in the world," he said.
The North Village features three residential buildings and a community center. Students will have access to a state-of-the-art classroom, café, convenience store and study areas. Aimed at providing upper division students with additional amenities, North Village also offers residents advantages such as free cable television, Internet access and laundry facilities.
Students living in this center will take at least one course each semester with a cohort of other students participating in the ECS-LLC. The School of Engineering and Computer Science will hire a full-time staff person to direct the program and work with Campus Living & Learning in day-to-day coordination of the center. Other professional residents include a residence hall director and assistant director and a resident chaplain.
By joining the small, close-knit community, students will strike a balance between serious intellectual pursuits and social interaction that will reinforce experiences in the classroom and living room.
The 212,000-square-foot facility is located near the Dutton Avenue office and parking facility, Castellaw Communications Center and the Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building.
The North Village is the first of three projected residential villages to be built over the next decade, which addresses the second imperative of Baylor 2012, the university's 10-year vision -- "to build a truly residential campus."