Presidential Perspective - August 30, 2018

August 30, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Today I am up in Dallas for the dedication of an amazing, completely renovated building that will serve as the new academic home of Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing. The four-story facility, which previously was the headquarters of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, more than doubles the space of the Nursing School, which started in 1909 and became a degree-granting school of Baylor in 1950. I am truly honored to be a part of this historic day along with many generous donors and our spectacular students, faculty and staff who fling their green and gold in Dallas.

Here are several campus happenings that may be of interest:

  • Thank you to the Baylor Family for the overwhelming success of our first University-wide Giving Day earlier this week. More than $521,000 was raised over 24 hours through 2,713 gifts dedicated to projects across the University, including scholarships, colleges and schools, student life and athletics. Here is a special video of appreciation.
  • Continuing on the theme of Baylor’s strength and resilience: Our endowment hit an all-time high of $1.31 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, with strong returns of 10.5 percent that continue to outperform the average of U.S. higher education endowments. Gifts and pledges to the endowment last year increased by $21.6 million, including $16.3 million more designated for student scholarships. Endowment distributions to the University totaled $67.1 million and funded 14,325 scholarships, 76 faculty chairholder positions and $15 million for academic programs across campus. A full report on Baylor’s endowment is available online.
  • Our ongoing commitment to sustainability has landed Baylor on the list of SIERRA Magazine’s list of “Cool Schools” for the fifth time. Baylor is one of 11 universities from Texas and one of four Big 12 Conference members on this list, which assesses areas such as electricity usage, sources of cafeteria food and water management. As part of this recognition, we have provided an update on Baylor’s Sustainable 2020 and other sustainability-related initiatives.
  • A new Baylor research partnership could one day deliver electrical power anywhere in the world wirelessly through the use of surface wave technology. The new partnership is the first university collaboration for Viziv, an angel-funded startup company that will expand into the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) facility near campus. Viziv’s mantra is to “Power the Plant and Bring Light to the World.”
  • Baylor has many cherished traditions, and at Friday’s annual Traditions Rally, we will unveil a new one called “Leave Your Mark.” We are inviting this year’s senior class (2019) and freshman class (2022) to sign the gold stripe that runs down the Baylor Line Tunnel at McLane Stadium. This is just one of many fun, exciting activities as part of Traditions Rally, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on the south plaza of McLane Stadium and concludes with a pep rally and concert.
  • Thank you, freshmen, for your incredible words of support following my presentation on Mark 12:28-31 at Chapel yesterday. Your messages at #HeyBaylorPrez filled my heart with joy. I am so glad that you are part of the Baylor Family!

Two final reminders as we end the week: (1) Wear green and gold for Spirit Friday; and (2) Clear bags are now required at McLane Stadium. See you there on Saturday to kick off the 2018 football season!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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