North Village To Be Home To First Faculty-in-Residence

Nov. 4, 2003
News Photo 1628Dr. Walter and Ann Bradley will be Baylor's first faculty-in-residence when they move into the North Village next fall.

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Engineering and associate dean for research in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, and his wife, Ann, will be among the 600 new residents of Baylor University's North Village Residential Community when it opens in fall 2004.

The Bradleys will serve as Baylor's first "Faculty-in-Residence" and will reside with the expected 180 engineering and computer science students in the ECS Living-Learning Center located within one of the three North Village "houses." Two other ECS faculty members are expected to have offices in the North Village Community Center.

Motivated by their enthusiasm for the new partnership between Campus Living and Learning and the School of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as their love for college students, the Bradleys will make an apartment in the ECS House their permanent residence for the 2004-05 academic year. Faculty-in-Residence has been a tradition at institutions such as Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Stanford and Rice. More recently, institutions such as Vanderbilt University and the University of Miami have strengthened efforts to foster greater interaction among faculty and students outside of the classroom.

"Walter and Ann Bradley's decision to make their home in the North Village as our first 'faculty-in-residence' represents a watershed opportunity for students and opens possibilities for learning and interaction with unusual potential," said Dr. Frank Shushok, associate dean for Campus Living and Learning. "There's plenty of evidence, too, that students are profoundly affected by chance encounters with faculty members outside of the classroom setting, and there are many chance encounters waiting to happen with the Bradleys at the North Village. I'm sure that Walter and Ann will influence students in ways that they may never know."

Bradley joined the Baylor faculty in 2002, after serving for more than 20 years as a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University. Among his many professional writings, Bradley has co-authored one book and six book chapters on "faith and science" issues and spoken at more 60 college and university campuses on the topic, "Is There Scientific Evidence for Existence of God." The Bradleys are both graduates of the University of Texas.

The couple said they made the decision to live on campus, in part, because of their own experiences as college students.

"I never had a Christian professor - at least not one who admitted it. I also never darkened the door of a faculty member's home during my college years. The same for Ann," Bradley said. "Ann and I decided that God was calling us to a career in academia to be for our students what no professor ever was for us."

During their 32 years teaching in public universities, the Bradleys have opened their home to students, ministering to their intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs. They also spent two summers in France with Texas A&M engineering students, living side-by-side with them in a dormitory.

"We found that our two summers doing study abroad with engineering students provided us our most significant and enjoyable opportunities to invest in the lives of students," Bradley said. "We want the Living and Learning Center to be a place of real community and fun, where we can all share in each others lives in a significant way. Ann really has a special gift of hospitality that has allowed us to use our home as a unique place in which to minister to students."

"I'm very much a people person, and I just enjoy being around students," Ann Bradley said. "We'll be there mostly for support, and I enjoy doing that, having conversations with students and discussing what's going on in their lives."

Bradley said they also hope to create an environment that will stimulate Christian students to think more deeply about their relationship with God and grow in their faith.

"We want to facilitate the integration of their faith into their intellectual life as well," Bradley said. "We also want to create a safe environment for students who are not Christians to explore the questions about faith that they may have."

The Bradleys also will provide "practical training" for students to help them become more effective in academic and extracurricular activities. Both are certified Franklin-Covey facilitators for the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and Bradley also is a facilitator for Four Roles of Leadership and First Things First. In addition, he has developed a time management and study skills workshop called "Success4Students."

Although their focus is on students, the Bradleys also see their new living arrangement as an opportunity to simplify their lives.

"We are planning to sell our home in College Station, get rid of most of our 'junk' and try living in a small two-bedroom apartment, retracing the first four-and-a-half years of our marriage," Bradley said. "We look forward to the extra time this will provide to be involved in relationships with students and faculty rather than being so encumbered with the necessities of life which a house brings."

For more information, contact Dr. Walter Bradley at (254) 710-7370; Dr. Benjamin S. Kelley, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, at (254) 710-3871; or Shushok at (254) 710-6957.

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