Presidential Perspective - January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I hope you have enjoyed the green glow of campus this week as we launched Baylor's new brand reintroduction campaign, "Where Lights Shine Bright." Tonight, you can scan the campus skyline for lights that will lead to a special giveaway location. Then on Monday, be sure to attend the men's basketball game against Oklahoma State and participate in a special LED light show with 8,000 of your fellow Bears. You can follow the progress of the campaign on social media at #BaylorLights.

Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • Our annual Spring Faculty Meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 25, on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center. I hope our faculty will be able to join me and Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon for a reception at 3 p.m., which will be followed at 3:30 p.m. with an update on the Academic Strategic Plan and other University initiatives.
  • The latest issue of Latino Leaders Magazine includes Baylor in its list of the Best Colleges for Latinos. The publication highlights 50 U.S. institutions that have exceeded traditional practices and provide Latino students with helpful guidance and support to pursue their career aspirations. Our student body continues to reflect the great diversity of our state and nation, and I remain resolute in our commitment to ensuring an environment that is welcoming, inviting and supportive for students, faculty and staff.
  • If my raspy voice holds out, I will bring greetings at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at Waco's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park tomorrow at noon. Although the University will not hold classes Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, many of our students will honor Dr. King's legacy by serving our community on the MLK Day of Service. In partnership with Baylor Campus Kitchen and the Heart of Texas Urban Gardening Coalition, students will be preparing and delivering lunches to garden volunteers on Monday as well as working at nine community garden sites throughout Waco, including the Baylor Campus Kitchen Community Garden at Ninth Street and James Avenue. MLK Day of Service strengthens our city and our University and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."
  • Baylor's online master's degree program in nursing leadership and innovation within the Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas has been ranked No. 39 nationally for the second year in a row by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Online Graduate Programs rankings. To view the full list for 2018, visit
  • Congratulations to Dr. Brian A. Schmidt, associate professor of choral music in the School of Music, on four Grammy nominations, including Best Choral Performance, for the album, "Tyberg: Masses." Schmidt led the South Dakota Chorale, the professional choir he founded, in recording two overlooked Catholic masses by 20th century Austrian composer Marcel Tyberg, who died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1944. The Grammy Award winners will be announced on Jan. 28.

It has been great seeing our campus come back to life this week with the start of the spring semester. Thank you for being a light and for your dedication and service to our great University.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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