Presidential Perspective - April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Approximately 9,000 prospective students and parents have registered to experience Baylor Premiere on Saturday. This year’s version of our spring “open house” is shaping up to be the largest in University history, as high school juniors and seniors will have an opportunity to explore campus, experience college life and interact with many of our incredible faculty and staff. Let’s remind our Premiere attendees that Baylor is a place “Where Lights Shine Bright!”

Here are a few noteworthy items to share for this week:

  • “In 1966 a student holiday at this Waco school was named Dia del Oso, or ‘The Day of the Bear.’” If you answered – “What is Baylor?” – there could be a spot for you on the popular TV trivia show, Jeopardy!. This was a clue on last night’s show under the category of Big 12 Schools, and, of course, the contestant provided the correct question. We will celebrate Dia del Oso this year on April 17.
  • Next week, Baylor will continue our SACSCOC Decennial Reaffirmation process by hosting an on-site committee comprised of eight individuals from institutions across the country. As the reaffirmation process requires, the committee will be on campus to meet with faculty, staff and students. Feel free to engage with any of these individuals should you run into them on campus. Baylor has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1913, and we were last reaffirmed in 2007. We anticipate a positive visit and a successful culmination of the process this December, when the SACSCOC Board of Trustees makes determinations regarding reaffirmation.
  • Congratulations are in order for Baylor Law, as 100 percent of our 2015 graduates passed the bar exam within two years of graduation – the highest rate of all 204 ABA-approved law schools and the only law school in the nation with a perfect passage rate. The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Baylor Law climbed into the Top-50 in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Law Schools” list for 2019.
  • Baylor ranks third in the Big 12 Conference in the enrollment of freshman National Merit Scholars, with 72 scholars enrolled in the fall 2017 class. Other conference schools include Oklahoma (317), Texas (90), Kansas (35), Iowa State (29), West Virginia (17), Texas Tech (13), Oklahoma State (11), Kansas State (7) and TCU (6).
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” This Saturday, more than 2,000 students from 86 student organizations will serve at 53 sites around the Greater Waco area during Steppin’ Out, our traditional biannual day of service. Although I will not be able to serve alongside students as the First Gent and I did last November, I will at the SUB bright and early at 8:30 a.m. for the kick-off celebration. And I thought you might be interested in one of the newest Steppin’ Out projects – three teams of our engineering students will be at McLane Stadium building designs out of 6,500 canned goods that will then be donated to Shepherd’s Heart Food Pantry. Thank you, students, and our faculty and staff who serve with them, for humbly giving of your time and talents to our hometown of Waco.
  • A reminder that Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon and I will provide a second overview of Illuminate, our academic strategic plan, to the campus community tomorrow from 1:30-3 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room. You can RSVP here.

“Lord, keep my lamp burning; My God turns my darkness into light.” – Psalm 18:28

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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