Presidential Perspective - April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

In his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul reminds us that “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” As we pause from classes and other activities to celebrate Easter, let us experience the presence of Christ and the promise of everlasting life. Uniting us as a campus community, our Christian faith calls for us to love one another as Christ loves us. We are daily renewed in Jesus’ sacrifice, and as members of a Christian institution of higher education we are empowered by Christ’s compassion for all to lift up one another and serve the surrounding world.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • On Monday, as we began to celebrate Holy Week, we were reminded of the special bond we share with Christ followers around the globe as we watched with sadness the flames devastating the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was encouraged to see many Baylor faculty members from across disciplines share remembrances of their time spent in the historic church as teachers, historians, musicians and researchers. All spoke of a cherished history and the sadness of loss, but also of the hope of something new and beautiful to emerge.
  • Baylor has been observing National Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April with campus events focused on awareness like Cover the Cruiser, Faculty Panel for Sexual Violence Response and the art exhibit “What Were You Wearing?,” which will be featured at Dr Pepper Hour on April 23. The month will culminate at Night of Reflection on April 26, when the community will commit to sexual assault prevention and the campus will be lit teal. Participate in an event if you have not yet, and remember to keep up with resources for support at
  • A part of our proactive safety measures, one major law that Baylor — and all institutions of higher education, whether public or private — adheres to is the Clery Act. This law mandates universities must disclose information about crime on and around their campuses occurring on “Clery geography,” which are properties owned and controlled by a university or adjacent to university properties. Reported crimes that are in a university’s Clery geography are reported on a daily crime log that is made available online. It is important to note that the Clery report consists of reported incidents, and requirements do not make a distinction between whether the reported allegations are true or unfounded.
  • Last week, we celebrated the 27th annual J. Harry and Anna Jeanes Academic Honors Week, hosted by the Honors College, which featured thesis research presentations by Honors Program seniors across many academic disciplines, as well as opportunities for students to thank faculty for their outstanding mentorship. The culminating Academic Honors Convocation included more recognition for faculty as we presented the 2019 Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award to Gaynor I. Yancey, D.S.W., in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Thank you, Dr. Yancey, for your superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor through teaching, research and service.
  • During an excavation in Belize, Baylor anthropologist Julie Hoggarth, Ph.D., discovered a shattered ancient Maya vase, which bears one of the longest hieroglyphic texts uncovered in Central America. Found amid artifacts and human bones, the vessel is associated with the ritual abandonment of a royal palace complex and offers new clues into the mysterious breakdown of ancient Maya civilization. A recently released publication by Dr. Hoggarth and other scholars who have pieced together the fragments includes detailed illustrations, photos and text translation. The researchers hope the vase can be fully reconstructed and permanently displayed.
  • This past weekend, students from Baylor Law had a historic showing at the 2019 National Championship of the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition (NAAC), the largest moot court competition in the nation with 200 schools participating. The competition involves writing a brief as either a respondent or petitioner and then arguing the case in front of a mock Supreme Court. In a unanimous final-round decision, the Baylor Law team of Kyle Gardner, Haley Mowdy and Kyle Stone were crowned champions, with Mowdy winning best speaker, Gardner earning second-best speaker and Stone writing the second-best brief. 
  • Students – Be sure to mark your calendars for next Saturday, April 27, as we will host a “make-up day” for Steppin’ Out since many of the sites were unable to be served due to last week’s inclement weather. Some 525 volunteers helped out last week even with the rain. Online registration will open soon.

If you are traveling over this long Easter weekend, I pray for your safety and well-being. We will see you back on campus Tuesday as we enter the last three-plus weeks of the spring semester.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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