Presidential Perspective - December 20, 2018

December 20, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” – Isaiah 60:1

My prayer for the Baylor Family this Christmas season is that you will behold the Light of the World that shines upon and within you by faith. This is a gift of grace to celebrate and share at Christmas and always.

Here are several updates as we close out 2018:

  • As you recall, in early November we launched Give Light – the $1.1 billion comprehensive campaign for Baylor. This campus-wide fundraising initiative has already had a dramatic impact through November, as our development productivity for the fiscal year is up 98 percent to $86.7 million, pledges have increased 185 percent to $44.3 million and Baylor’s overall donor count is up 29 percent to 11,695. We truly appreciate the support of the Baylor Family as we continue the path outlined in Illuminate, our academic strategic plan, to reach preeminence as a Christian research university.
  • “A Baylor Christmas” will be shared across Texas and 18 states over the next week as part of an hour-long television broadcast in conjunction with KWTX and Gray Television. The annual sold-out Christmas concert featured the talents of more than 450 Baylor students and faculty, including the 82-piece Baylor Symphony Orchestra, five choirs of the Baylor choral program and the Baylor Bronze Handbells. You can find the broadcast schedule here, or visit Baylor’s YouTube channel at
  • I am honored to represent Baylor and higher education overall as a new member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating organization for the nation’s colleges and universities. In this role, I will work with ACE and its nearly 1,700-member college and university presidents and executives to shape public policy as we look toward the future of higher education.
  • I continue to be amazed by the work of our faculty, and I wanted to pass along a couple of recent recognitions that caught my eye:

    • John Haldane, Ph.D., The J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in the College of Arts & Sciences, was named to “Fifty Minds that Matter: artists, scientists, philosophers, theologians, musicians and architects who are shaping the modern world,” a list published by The Tablet. A couple of years ago, Dr. Haldane was named one of “The Fifty Most Influential Living Philosophers.”
    • Sara Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences, was recognized as one of 30 “Citizen Psychologists” by the American Psychological Association for her work in psychological intervention following the West, Texas, fertilizer explosion in 2013.
  • The Livingstones cannot wait to fling our green and gold for the Texas Bowl next Thursday and claim Houston as Bear Country! Everything you need to know can be found online at Bowl Central, including information about tickets and two special pregame events for the entire Baylor Family: Wednesday evening at the Omni Hotel from 4-6 p.m. and then on Thursday outside the south NRG Stadium entrance from 5-8 p.m.
  • And if you’re in the Waco area over the Christmas Break, basketball season for both the men’s and women’s teams is heating up at the Ferrell Center, including a Pac-12 matchup for the Bears vs. Oregon tomorrow night and a huge battle for the Lady Bears against UConn on Jan. 3.

This will be my final Presidential Perspective for 2018, and what a tremendous year it has been for our great University! We began the year with the unveiling of Where Lights Shine Bright, our brand campaign to reintroduce Baylor across the country, which was then followed by the introduction of Illuminate and the November launch of Give Light. It is clearly evident that Baylor is strong and resilient, with a bright future ahead. Thank you for being a part of the Baylor Family during this special time.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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