I want you to be among the first to know that tonight we officially launched Give Light, a $1.1 billion comprehensive philanthropic campaign for the future of Baylor University. Give Light undergirds our academic strategic plan Illuminate and will impact every aspect of campus life — from academics and athletics to student life and service learning — while also bolstering financial support for students, faculty and the campus community.
I am pleased to report that the Big 12 Conference has completed its Verification Review of Baylor University’s 105 recommendations in response to past reports of sexual assault and interpersonal violence within our campus community and has confirmed all recommendations as complete and implemented.
I am excited to report that interest among prospective students in attending Baylor continues to be incredibly strong. In fact, Saturday’s Fall Premiere event is “sold out” and is expected to be one of the largest Premiere days ever at Baylor.
Greetings from 30,000 feet somewhere between San Diego and Nashville! We are making a couple of stops this week with the Baylor Conversation Series as we visit with alumni, parents of current and prospective students, and friends about Baylor’s progress and Illuminate, our academic strategic plan.
Baylor University has been actively investigating an allegation that former Board of Regents Chair Richard Willis used extremely offensive and hurtful language in a private conversation in Mexico in 2014. Mr. Willis, who served as Chair from 2012-16 and left the Board in 2017, adamantly denies making the statements.
I am looking forward to opening up our campus for Family Weekend this Friday and Saturday. This is such a special time now that the fall semester is in full swing and we have an opportunity to showcase several student performances, athletic competitions and the Waco community.
Our campus community kicked off National Hispanic Heritage Month yesterday with a luncheon and special guest speaker. Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, the sister of the late singer Selena, shared her family’s story and reminded those in attendance of the importance of celebrating one another’s cultures.
Yesterday we hosted our annual Fall Staff Forum over the lunch hour at the Ferrell Center, where I provided an update on Illuminate, our University’s strategic plan, and we also learned a few tips on how to receive feedback from others.
Baylor holds an unwavering commitment to fostering and nurturing the diversity of our students, faculty and staff. More than that, we celebrate our diversity, which lies at the core of our mission to transform lives and serve others.
I cannot believe the fall semester is here! It is great to see our beautiful campus come back to life with the hope and excitement that a new semester brings. And to the Class of 2022, we are so excited to have you as part of the Baylor Family.
“Our glowing possibility comes to life in the hands of a craftsman who knows what He is doing, who made beauty and brightness with handpicked glass, a unique plan and His own breath. In our Creator’s hands, we burn brightly in a dark world.”
This is my prayer for all of you – that our lights will shine brightly this fall semester for the glory of our Creator.
It has certainly been a busy, productive summer as the University community has continued building out our Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan, while also preparing for the upcoming fall semester. Baylor is definitely moving forward in a big way.
We are fortunate to have such a remarkable natural science and cultural history museum that engages our community and inspires learning through rich collections, vibrant programs and hands-on experiences.
Pastors from several denominations, religions and races throughout Waco and Central Texas joined me yesterday in the Powell Chapel at our Truett Seminary to gather in prayer for area students, families, teachers and faculty in preparation for the rapidly approaching fall semester.
I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July holiday yesterday! As many of you know, the First Gent is a history buff, and we’ve learned that two Baylor faculty members have done quite a bit of research on Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers. Did you know that Franklin was a businessman, entrepreneur, inventor, journalist, author, printer, editor, politician, postmaster, statesman and ambassador, in addition to being a signer of the Declaration of Independence?
The Livingstone Family is already looking forward to the July 4 holiday next Wednesday and celebrating the freedoms we enjoy here in our great country. We should never take these for granted. I hope you will join us at Touchdown Alley on the banks of the Brazos River for the City of Waco’s annual Fourth on the Brazos Celebration. We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s event with all the music, food and fireworks, as well as the opportunity to engage with the Baylor Family and other community members.
As we near the midpoint of the summer break, I am longing for many things … the hustle and bustle of our students on campus, the engagement and interactions with faculty, the start of football season and a Dr Pepper Float!