Presidential Perspective - August 9, 2018

August 9, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I try to log into Twitter every day to see what’s going on around campus, but primarily to check on my daughter Shelby down at Rice University and to find out what the First Gent is up to! One of our staff members recently forwarded me a tweet from Southland Christian Church in Kentucky, which included a video of a glassblower with the most beautiful passage:

“Our glowing possibility comes to life in the hands of a craftsman who knows what He is doing, who made beauty and brightness with handpicked glass, a unique plan and His own breath. In our Creator’s hands, we burn brightly in a dark world.”

This is my prayer for all of you – that our lights will shine brightly this fall semester for the glory of our Creator.

  • Speaking of #BaylorLights, I am looking forward to Summer Commencement this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Ferrell Center. As part of the ceremonies, we will hear from three students who will take their lights out into the world with Baylor degrees in hand. If you are unable to attend Commencement, we will have a live stream available.
  • Baylor’s commitment to a transformational undergraduate education and exceptional graduate student preparation is enlivened when faculty mentors engage students in the impactful research that fuels learning. A new Baylor video captures the experiences of students who joined Bryan Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of environmental science and biomedical studies, on a recent study in the waters of northern Utah. I appreciate the way Dr. Brooks describes the importance of transdisciplinary research and shares his view of these experiences as the “purest form of teaching and mentoring.”
  • From time to time, I like to share information that illustrates Baylor’s strength and resilience and the incredible support of the Baylor Family. On Wednesday, Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack B. Rhoades, IV announced the third-highest annual giving total in the 70-year history of the Baylor Bear Foundation. Overall, the Athletics Department reported $19.1 million in total annual giving to close out the 2017-18 fiscal year – all for the benefit of our student-athletes.
  • The fall sports season is right around the corner, with our soccer, volleyball and football teams preparing for their home openers. The Athletics Department is encouraging everyone to #BClear this year with the introduction of a new clear bag policy (PDF) to enhance the safety and security of our gameday environment. Before heading to any upcoming athletics events, I would encourage you to review the clear bag policy or stop by the Baylor Bookstore or Bruiser’s Locker Room in McLane Stadium to purchase an approved clear bag. I understand a 1-gallon clear plastic storage bag works just as well.
  • As many of you know, Baylor has made significant improvements in the areas of safety, security, compliance and equity over the past few years. Given their importance, I have realigned the organizational structure of these areas to report to Robyn L. Driskell, Ph.D., in an expanded role as Vice President for Internal Administration and Compliance and Chief of Staff. Dr. Driskell will continue working with the Diversity Council and other groups focused on equity, in addition to our new Title IX Coordinator Laura Johnson, Ph.D., and the Title IX Office.

I cannot wait for Move-In Day next week as we welcome #BU22 to campus! The First Gent and I have our Move2BU T-shirts ready and have been working out in preparation for carrying heavy boxes and climbing too many stairs. Here’s to hoping for some cooler weather!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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