Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
Greetings from Dallas! I am with our Regents today at Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing for our annual Board Retreat and Summer Meeting, which will conclude tomorrow. This is the first Board meeting for six new Regents, as well as for our new student Regent, Cassidy Parshall. In addition to our discussions and regular Board business, we will have an opportunity to tour the nursing school’s new academic building and visit with the students, faculty and staff based here in Dallas. As always, we will provide a summary from the Board meeting to you via email tomorrow afternoon.
Here are several items of note for this week:
- Yesterday we announced the largest annual fundraising total in Baylor’s 174-year history, as members of the Baylor Family made $243 million in gifts and pledges during the 2018-19 fiscal year. This marks the eighth consecutive year the University has surpassed the $100 million benchmark in fundraising and includes the largest current gift in Baylor history with an anonymous $100 million gift. To date, members of the Baylor Family have made gifts and pledges totaling more than $700 million towards the priorities of the University that are outlined in the $1.1 billion Give Light campaign.
- Did you know that Baylor Libraries recently acquired a hand-scripted, fully illuminated Heritage Edition of the Saint John’s Bible? Provost Brickhouse and I recently visited Central Libraries Special Collections to view this artistic and spiritual masterpiece – seven volumes, each measuring 2 feet by 3 feet, that feature 160 illuminations that weave together the Biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation. We are blessed by this beautiful gift of sacred art that illuminates the Word of God for generations to come.
- Baylor has a longstanding dedication to church music, and this week the tradition continued as more than 1,000 visitors from around the world traveled to Baylor for the 18th annual Alleluia Conference. The event offers hands-on learning sessions, worship and concerts for the public. Randall Bradley, D.M.A., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Church Music and director of the church music program and the Center for Christian Music Studies in the School of Music, noted that a special emphasis was placed this year on universal worship design, including accommodation of people with physical and mental challenges.
- A reminder to all faculty and staff that several payroll system improvements will go into effect Aug. 1 as we continue to enhance the stewardship of the resources entrusted to us by our students and funding partners. Most notably, biweekly paid staff will see payroll deductions evenly distributed across all 26 pay periods. Additionally, cash, debit cards, credit cards or checks will now become the standard forms of payment for all campus commerce, replacing the ID swipe that was costing the University nearly $5 per transaction. You can learn more at baylor.edu/payroll.
- Reading the comments from Coach Matt Rhule and several of our seniors from Big 12 Media Days earlier this week got me excited about the upcoming football season. I was impressed to learn that there are 15 graduates on this year’s team, including 10 who are already in graduate school. Talk about STUDENT-athletes!
Tomorrow is Spirit Friday, and I will be wearing my green and gold in support of Baylor. Will you?
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.