Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
My heart continues to be touched by the many stories of how your "Lights Shine Bright" not only across our campus, but throughout our community and beyond. Each Spring, the Freshman Class Officers put together a student-led Chapel service for their peers, and this year they explored how they can be a light to the world and to one another. I wanted to thank our freshman student leaders and to share this special Chapel from last Tuesday with all of you. I am confident that Baylor's future is indeed bright!
Here are a few noteworthy items to share:
- In preparation for a future comprehensive fundraising campaign, we recently engaged Marts & Lundy, an international philanthropic consulting firm, to conduct an online survey of a selected group of Baylor alumni, parents and friends. A couple of findings jumped out at me, and I want to share them with you: 86 percent of respondents described their attitude toward Baylor as "very positive" or "positive" and 83 percent of respondents agreed that Baylor is "heading in a good direction." This feedback is significant given the challenges our University has faced over the past few years. I truly appreciate the confidence our alumni, parents and friends have in us as we fulfill Baylor's mission and distinct role as a Christian research university.
- Last night, we had nearly 300 members of the Baylor Family join me and Chairman of the Board Joel T. Allison for a Baylor Conversation Series event in Dallas. I was energized by the attendees' engagement and their enthusiasm for our great University. An audio recording from the event has been posted on the Baylor Conversation Series website, and I hope to see many of you at the on-campus events either next Tuesday, March 27, or Friday, April 6.
- Congratulations to Howard Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and a Baylor Rising Star researcher, who has received a five-year, $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Lee's research developing ultra-thin, nanoscale optics has the potential to reduce the size and weight of your smartphone, tablet or laptop while improving its performance. In addition to Dr. Lee, we have another NSF CAREER faculty member who we look forward to introducing to you in the weeks ahead.
- April has been designated National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For the past several years, we have participated in the month with activities that bring awareness to Baylor's emphasis on prevention and support for survivors. We will do so again this April beginning with an awareness light-up on April 3. You'll see teal-colored luminaries lining Fountain Mall and teal lights on Pat Neff Hall, the I-35 bridges and McLane Stadium for the evening. Beginning April 16 and through the end of the month, a thought-provoking exhibit, "What Were You Wearing," will be on campus to generate conversations and remind us that a victim is in no way to blame for their sexual assault.
- Our Lady Bears basketball team continues its incredible season in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow at 6 p.m. against Oregon State in Lexington, Ky. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Sic 'em, Coach Mulkey and our Lady Bears!
Here's to a great remainder of the week … Thank you for your service and dedication to Baylor University!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.