Presidential Perspective - August 17, 2017

August 17, 2017

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Welcome BU21! We cannot be more excited to add 3,300 incoming freshmen, as well as our transfer, graduate and professional students, to the Baylor Family. The start of a new academic year is always a time of excitement and renewal. I wish you all the best this fall and hope to see you around campus – please stop me and say hello. Here are a few items of interest for this week:

  • There are a multitude of events taking place as part of Welcome Week as we begin the semester, and unfortunately, I cannot mention them all. But I did want to point out three significant opportunities on the horizon: Academic Convocation tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Ferrell Center, Fall Faculty Meeting next Thursday, Aug. 24, at 3 p.m. in Waco Hall, and Fall Staff Forum Sept. 6 at 11:30 a.m. at the Ferrell Center.
  • As our country continues to struggle with the horrific events that took place last week in Charlottesville, Virginia, I ask for everyone – as a community of faith – to join me in responding prayerfully this Friday. We have set aside locations and times across campus, as well as developed a Responding in Prayer guide. Also, please note my statement from the weekend. As reflected in Baylor's alma mater, we are called "to light the ways of time."
  • Over the summer months, we have discussed Baylor's strength and resilience. This week, the independent S&P Global Ratings affirmed the University's financial strength with an A+/Stable long-term rating. The assessment cited Baylor's enterprise profile as "strong, characterized by a trend of improving demand metrics, increasing enrollment, and a management team that is diligently implementing recommendations … in relation to Title IX-related compliance matters…".
  • The first day of class on Monday corresponds with the total solar eclipse, as the moon passes in front of the sun. Dr. Trey Cade, assistant research professor and director of the Baylor Institute for Air Science, says that while Waco will not experience a full eclipse from 11:40 a.m. to 2:39 p.m., it will still be worth viewing, particularly around 1:10 p.m. And don't forget special eyewear is necessary.
  • In what might be my first official declaration as Baylor President, I am declaring each Friday as "Spirit Friday." We are asking everyone in the Baylor Family to "fling their green and gold" and wear school colors or Baylor apparel each and every Friday, especially this fall during football season. For faculty and staff, watch your email for details as well as a special gift from me and Vice President/Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades.

Thank you for your commitment to Baylor,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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