Presidential Perspective - August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Words cannot express the sorrow that fills my heart every time I see a photo or receive an update regarding the devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As the storm continues to ravage parts of Texas and now Louisiana, I am reminded of the goodness of people who will step out and serve. Many of the first responders and volunteers are themselves dealing with loss, but yet they support one another and tirelessly serve. I pray that we will all heed the words of 1 Peter 4:10: "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."

Here are a few important items for this week:

  • We have reached out directly to our 3,972 students whose hometowns are in the Harvey impact zones across Texas and Louisiana to offer our prayers and support. Nearly 900 of these students are freshmen. For students needing academic support or other personal assistance, we have put together an FAQ document to assist you in providing support during this difficult time.
  • Many people throughout the Baylor Family have asked how can we assist with the relief efforts, which will be ongoing in the weeks and months ahead. As a start, we will have collection PODS at Traditions Rally on Friday evening as well as on 5th Street, at the Ferrell Center and outside the Clyde Hart Track & Field Stadium prior to Saturday’s football game. A list of items needed can be found on our Hurricane Harvey Response website.
  • Also, our Staff Council is collecting items to fulfill a specific need for hygiene kits for families affected by the hurricane. They will be collecting these items at sites across campus. Visit the link above for more information. I appreciate our caring staff and our entire campus community for rapidly stepping up to help during this time of tremendous need.
  • I salute Vice President/Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades and the Athletic Department for their generosity in hosting the Rice volleyball team and opening up McLane Stadium on Friday night to host Richmond and Sam Houston State, one of our sister universities here in Texas that has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In advance of Saturday’s season-opener against Liberty, Baylor Athletics also has offered free tickets, parking and a meal to those who may be sheltering in the area due to the storm.
  • On behalf of Interim Provost Michael McLendon, I would like to thank the more than 400 attendees of our Fall Faculty Meeting last Thursday. Dr. McLendon and I presented our goals for the upcoming year and plans for Phase II of Pro Futuris, of which an academic strategic plan will be the centerpiece. We have posted both the video and slides from last week’s meeting online in the event you were unable to attend.
  • A reminder that tomorrow is our inaugural “Spirit Friday!” Be sure to fling your green and gold wherever you are in support of Baylor. If you are active on social media, Tweet or Instagram your photos using #BaylorProud for a chance to be featured on our University social media platforms. Visit the Spirit Fridays website for more information.

Thank you for your commitment to Baylor,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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