My prayer for the Baylor Family this Christmas season is that you will behold the Light of the World that shines upon and within you by faith. This is a gift of grace to celebrate and share at Christmas and always.
It’s always sad to peek out my office window and see the stillness of campus, signaling that another semester has come and gone. But I always look forward to Commencement, and this Friday and Saturday we will confer approximately 970 degrees, welcoming a class of new alumni into the Baylor Family.
I am pleased to share with you the good news that Baylor University has received official reaffirmation of its 10-year institutional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the recognized regional accrediting body in 11 southern states and Latin America for higher education institutions that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees.
I enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with many of you last night at one of Baylor’s special traditions – our All-University Thanksgiving. We truly have so much to be thankful for as a community of faith here at Baylor.
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.