Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
Several of you have asked if I've had a little down time this summer. With two former college basketball players and a current volleyball student-athlete under one roof, I am not sure if the competitive drive within the Livingstone household will ever allow us to truly slow down! But Brad, Shelby and I were able to sneak away in June for a few days to visit Wyoming, where we experienced God's majesty through the Grand Tetons. What a beautiful place! It has certainly been a busy, productive summer as the University community has continued building out our Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan, while also preparing for the upcoming fall semester. Baylor is definitely moving forward in a big way.
Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:
- Eleven faculty members have been selected to serve as 2018-19 Baylor Fellows for their excellence in teaching and desire to transform student thinking through innovation. Our Academy for Teaching and Learning, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, began the fellowship program in 2011 to recognize outstanding teachers and provide them the opportunity to implement new teaching approaches. The list of Baylor Fellows for this year can be found here.
- Now this is music to my ears: The Baylor Symphony Orchestra, led by Conductor-in-Residence Stephen Heyde, has received The American Prize in Orchestral Performance in the college/university category, marking our fourth consecutive year to win first place. The orchestra also is the first ensemble ever in any of the competition's categories – including professional ensembles – to win first place four times in a row.
- We received more than 50 submissions from last week's Presidential Perspective to name the University's new cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which will provide the financial and human resources foundation for Illuminate. We received every kind of name related to light and bears (naturally!). Drum roll, please … Allow me to be the first to introduce you to IGNITE! You will be hearing more and more about this exciting project in the months ahead.
- Our newly formed Office of External Affairs is off to a great start coordinating, supporting and advancing community-focused engagement. One of these efforts is through the Solid Gold Neighbor program, which is conducting a school supply drive through Aug. 6 to support the teachers and young scholars in the WISD Transformation School Zone, which includes Alta Vista Elementary, Brook Avenue Elementary, G.W. Carver Middle School, Indian Spring Middle School and J.H. Hines Elementary. Donations can be made at the above link, or much-needed supplies can be dropped off in the Clifton Robinson Tower, Suite 325.
- Two important dates for your calendars: Family Weekend on Sept. 28-29 and Homecoming on Nov. 1-3. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday Aug. 6 for a host of events for current students and families, faculty, staff and alumni.
I will be wearing green and gold tomorrow for Spirit Friday. How about you?
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.