Presidential Perspective - August 23, 2018

August 23, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

What a great start to the fall semester! It was so good to see our returning students and welcome our new freshmen, transfer students and graduate students to campus. So many smiling faces! The First Gent and I started the first day of classes with students over free Common Grounds coffee and Steak ‘n Shake breakfast tacos in the SUB Den, then we had a great time at the Mosaic Mixer last night. Be sure to catch Late Night this Friday, which will feature more than 225 student organizations for games, exhibitions, free food, prizes and more. To wrap up the first week of the semester, there is a service day for first-year students on Saturday.

Here are several campus happenings that may be of interest:

  • The Washington Post ran an op-ed yesterday by former Chronicle of Higher Education editor Jeffrey Selingo that provided three tips for college freshmen to be successful: Participate in campus life, connect with learning experiences that go beyond coursework and get to know faculty and staff. I think these are great tips for all students, especially here at Baylor.
  • I enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with many of our faculty at yesterday’s Fall Faculty Forum. Several members of our leadership team joined me to provide an update on the University’s strength and resilience and give a progress report on Illuminate, our academic strategic plan. We also recognized our 2018 Outstanding Faculty Award winners. The entire forum is posted online for your viewing, along with the slides that were used as part of the presentations. And, by the way, our faculty can sing!
  • Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 28-29, Baylor will celebrate Giving Day, in which the entire Baylor Family will come together to financially support our great University. I would encourage you to start thinking about what area of Baylor you would like to support next week as part of this exciting initiative. There are so many worthwhile and impactful opportunities to support your individual passion.
  • Our team at BaylorProud uncovered the fascinating story of Col. Althea Williams (MHA ’60), who was known as “Chief Nurse.” When she retired from the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in 1970, this Baylor graduate was one of the highest-ranking women in the Army. Williams cared for sick and wounded soldiers in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Sadly, this true hero passed away over the summer, just shy of her 98th birthday.
  • Over the past several weeks, I have introduced you to Ignite, Baylor’s upcoming cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning system. This campus-wide project will transform and streamline our administrative processes and the underlying technology across financial, administrative and research support organizations by making each less complicated and more efficient while consolidating system applications and planning for future University growth. Today, I am excited to unveil the logo for Ignite, which as you can see reflects Illuminate and the theme of light that is permeating our campus.

  • It’s an exciting time of year as several of our athletics teams begin their fall seasons. Tomorrow at 7 p.m., I invite you to help #PackTheHouse as our volleyball team hosts LSU at the Ferrell Center. And I have a feeling everyone is looking forward to our first football game of 2018 at McLane Stadium next Saturday.

Every Friday is Spirit Friday, so wear green and gold tomorrow! I am so glad that you are part of the Baylor Family.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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