Presidential Perspective - May 23, 2019

May 23, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

It was such a joy to celebrate our nearly 3,000 spring graduates during last week's Commencement ceremonies. Did you know that as our ceremonies were beginning, several of our 15 teams of 247 students, faculty, staff and friends already were making their way with Baylor Missions to serve in eight counties, the Rio Grande Valley and Washington, D.C.? In addition to our Baylor mission teams, my daughter, Shelby, also is serving on a mission trip in South Africa over the summer. The First Gent and I pray daily for Shelby and all of our mission teams, who are bringing together their faith, passions and academic disciplines to contribute to real-world challenges and to shine the light of Christ globally. As we join together in prayer, Baylor Missions has developed prayer guides to help us pray specifically for our students, their experiences and the people they will serve.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • Tonight promises to be a memorable one for 17 Baylor students who won the School of Music's 2019 Semper Pro Musica Solo & Chamber Competition and will perform in New York City at the Weill Recital Hall within historic Carnegie Hall. Prior to the concert, we will be joined by many alumni, current and prospective students, and friends of the University for a Give Light regional launch event, where we will provide an update on the $1.1 billion fundraising campaign and Baylor's vision for the future.
  • I would like to extend a special note of appreciation to our Board of Regents who have stepped forward and personally donated $27,000 to fund The Store's operations for the next academic year. The Store, which opened in December 2017, provides students in need with free access to supplemental, nutritious food and normalizes food resources so they can fully thrive in their personal and academic achievements at Baylor. This project is critically important, as there were a record 2,677 visits to The Store during the spring semester, and it needs our continued support. You can donate here.
  • Congratulations to Laine Scales, Ph.D., professor and Master Teacher in Baylor's Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Sarah Gilbreath Ford, Ph.D., professor of English in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Beall Poetry Festival, who have been named 2019 Baylor Centennial Professors. Created by the Baylor Centennial Class of 1945, the award supports faculty development by providing a $5,000 grant for a project that will help the professors contribute to Baylor's academic growth.
  • When the First Gent and I find time to watch movies, we do our best to put down our phones, relax and give our full attention to the story on the screen. That's why I enjoyed reading this Q&A with Baylor's own Chris Hansen, professor and chair of the department of film and digital media, who explained what he, as a director, hopes we, as the audience, take away from his films. And I think it's wonderful that our FDM faculty invite Baylor students to work on their films.
  • It's not often that you get to open Christmas presents in May, but we learned recently that our 2018 production of "A Baylor Christmas" received three Telly Awards, which honor and celebrate the best work created within television and across video, for all screens. The awards include a gold for directing and two silvers for entertainment and editing. "A Baylor Christmas," which featured the performances of the Baylor University Symphony Orchestra and combined choirs of the School of Music, is an hour-long annual program produced by KWTX Television and airs nationwide throughout the month of December.

Well, there is no denying that summer is here. Campus is quiet, and the temperatures keep rising. Please take care of yourselves over the summer months, and don't forget to carve out a little time each day to spend with God and to praise Him for our many blessings.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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