Presidential Perspective - June 13, 2019

June 13, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Father’s Day is Sunday, and it’s a day I remember my father, Doyle, who had an enduring impact on my life not only as my dad but as my coach and friend. From my father, I gained a love of athletics early in life and followed in his giant footsteps to get an education while playing basketball at Oklahoma State. Earlier this week, I read an interesting article on about father-daughter relationships that included an interview with Mark T. Morman, Ph.D., professor of communication in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Morman’s research found that fathers and daughters often connect emotionally by starting with a shared activity, with sports the most frequent activity mentioned by both. I am grateful for my father’s love for my mother, my brothers and sister and me, and I cherish remembering those special moments he and I shared on the basketball court that helped shape me into the person I am today.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • The discovery of a massive deposit beneath a huge crater on the Moon – research led by Peter James, Ph.D., planetary geophysicist in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences – has grabbed international headlines in numerous high-profile media outlets, among them National Geographic, Discover, CBS News and Smithsonian. The study by James and co-researchers – published in the journal Geographical Research Letters – suggests that the mass, more than five times the size of the Big Island of Hawaii, may contain metal from an asteroid crash that created the crater some 4 billion years ago. Dr. James has served on the science team of three NASA missions and is the founder of Baylor’s Planetary Research Group, which currently is collaborating with Goddard Space Flight Center to study the properties of Mercury’s crust and lithosphere.
  • The First Gent and I really enjoy supporting our talented students throughout the year as they perform with Baylor University Theatre. They will be back on stage next week for the 2019 Summer Series, which will feature performances of “An Infinite Ache” June 20-22 and “With Love and a Major Organ” June 27-29 in Theatre 11 in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. Break a leg, Baylor theatre arts students! For ticket information, call 254-710-1865 or visit
  • With vacation season upon us, folks will be posting selfies and other photos on social media to preserve and share memories. But Charles Weaver, Ph.D., professor and chair of psychology and neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences, advises it’s smart to process before you post. While pictures and videos allow people to document an event, they don’t help them focus on the experience itself, says Dr. Weaver, who has researched memory. “Personal photographs function as ‘retrieval cues,’” he said. “They have very little intrinsic value. The photograph’s value is to help us remember what we felt and experienced, not just what we saw. That’s why looking at other people’s pictures isn’t all that enjoyable. They have personal significance only to those who experienced the event.”

I hope you are having an enjoyable summer. Don’t forget to fling your Green and Gold afar!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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