Baylor Welcomes Inaugural Getterman Scholars

  • Kendall Sewell
    Kendall Sewell, a University Scholar with a pre-law concentration from Collierville, Tennessee, is one of two inaugural Getterman Scholars at Baylor University. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
  • Taylor Siebenman
    Taylor Siebenman, a University Scholar with a pre-med concentration from Ballwin, Missouri, is one of two inaugural Getterman Scholars at Baylor University. (Matthew Minard/Baylor University)
Oct. 29, 2018

High-achieving students in the Honors College earn top scholarships for academics, leadership, service of the highest merit

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
Follow Baylor Media Communications on Twitter: BaylorUMedia

by Gabrielle White, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Oct. 29, 2018) – This fall, Baylor University has welcomed its inaugural Getterman Scholars, two high-achieving students who completed a five-month selection process to earn a renewable scholarship that covers everything from tuition, fees, room and board to support for study abroad, research and mission/service experiences.

Kendall Sewell, a University Scholar with a pre-law concentration from Collierville, Tennessee, and Taylor Siebenman, a University Scholar with a pre-med concentration from Ballwin, Missouri, are the first students awarded into the Getterman Scholars Program. Both are students in the Honors College at Baylor.

The Getterman Scholars Program is open to students across a variety of academic disciplines, especially students interested in an integrated undergraduate liberal arts education that encourages connections between the various disciplines of study, the local and globally, the past and present, and the love of learning and service of God and neighbor.

Sewell and Siebenman were selected as the first Getterman Scholars in an applicant pool of more than 225 brilliant high school students from around the United States. Applicants were in the top 1 percent of all American college applicants as reflected by their ACT or SAT scores. Both scholars were chosen because of their appreciation of learning and their academic abilities.

“Kendall and Taylor were selected because they regard the love of learning as noble in itself,” said Douglas V. Henry, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and associate dean of the Honors College. “[They] show wonder toward the natural world and appreciation of beauty and goodness as manifest in the arts and in human virtue, possess a sense of the contingency of their own merits and ability, have habits of gratitude for all they have received, express a generosity of spirit that makes them women who love God and others, and desire to pursue a calling in the world that has a deep, lasting impact.”

“Right at home”

Sewell and Seibenman learned about Baylor through family connections. Siebenman’s older brother is a 2014 Baylor graduate, and Sewell was informed of Baylor through her uncle, a Dallas attorney who spoke highly of colleagues who graduated from Baylor Law Although both are from out of state and had considered other universities, they moved Baylor to the top of their lists after experiencing the welcoming community, outstanding academics and Christian atmosphere.

“I was mainly looking at schools in Chicago,” Siebenman said. “Of course, the Getterman Scholarship was a big deciding factor for me, but I absolutely fell in love with the community and people at Baylor. Everyone here is so friendly and welcoming, and I felt right at home.”

Both students have immersed themselves in Baylor’s growing academic enterprise that ignites education excellence, leadership and research discovery. With dedicated professors and a commitment to Christian values, students are provided with the tools to lead, serve and succeed in their future, as they work alongside faculty to illuminate solutions to significant challenges facing the world. Sewell intends to go to law school after graduation and become a civil rights lawyer while Siebenman plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon.

As students committed to scholarship, leadership and service of the highest merit, Sewell and Siebenman acknowledge the difference the scholarship has made in their lives. Earning this scholarship has not only enhanced their education, but they have had the opportunity to meet extraordinary speakers and people and build their Baylor networks, taking their Baylor experience to the next level.

“The scholarship made it possible for me to attend Baylor, but it also opened up a lot of doors for me that wouldn’t have been available anywhere else,” Sewell said. “From rewarding relationships with Honors College Faculty like Dean Thomas Hibbs and Courtney DePalma (program director of Honors Residential College), to the facilitation of mission trips and study abroad opportunities during summers, the Getterman Scholars Program has really put all Baylor has to offer at my fingertips.”

Experiencing Baylor

With only a month a half left of first semester, Sewell and Siebenman have settled in and gotten comfortable at their home away from home. They have had great experiences in their time here, both social and academic, from enjoying Texas food to taking part in Baylor’s unique tradition of running the Baylor Line, where freshmen – in their personalized gold Baylor jerseys – run the length of the field at McLane Stadium and form a human tunnel for the Baylor football team as it enters the field.

“So far Baylor has been amazing,” Siebenman said. “I’ve had some successes and failures in my classes. I’ve gotten to run the Baylor Line every football game, and I’m also happy to report that as someone from out of state, I have officially been converted to a Whataburger fan.”

Sewell also has taken part in the Baylor Line, which was expected, but did not expect to attend – voluntarily – so many Honors Residential College lectures, she said. Their first nine weeks at Baylor have been exactly what they hoped for, and they are excited for what is in store for the second half of their freshman year, as well as for their future careers through the preparation of the Getterman Scholars Program.

The Getterman Scholars Program was established through the generous support of The Ted and Sue Getterman Endowed Scholarship Fund. The Gettermans, classes of ’50 and ’51, have devoted their life to a life of Christian conviction, civic engagement, leadership and service. Ted Getterman passed away in 2014. Sue Getterman served on the Baylor Board of Regents from 2001-2010 and was named a Regent Emerita in 2015. In 2005, the Gettermans were presented with the Founders Medal, one of the University’s most distinguished honors, which recognizes men and women whose service and contributions have been unusually significant to the life and future of Baylor.

Applications to the Getterman Scholars Program are available by invitation to well-qualified prospective students who have scored 1500 or above on the SAT (math and critical reading) or a 34 or above on the ACT. Eligible students may access the application via goBAYLOR. The application deadline is Nov. 8, and the interview weekend for selected candidates is Jan. 25-26, 2019, during Baylor’s Invitation to Excellence Weekend. If selected as a Getterman Scholar, students will be notified on March 1.

For more information about the Getterman Scholars Program and other scholarship programs at Baylor, visit the Baylor Admissions website.

ABOUT BAYLOR HONORS COLLEGE

The Honors College at Baylor University brings together four innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate programs – the Honors Program, University Scholars, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and Great Texts – with a shared commitment to providing high-achieving students the opportunity to pursue questions that often fall between the cracks of the specialized disciplines by investigating the writings of scientists along with poets, historians and philosophers. For more information, visit www.baylor.edu/honorscollege.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?