Presidential Perspective - July 25, 2019

July 25, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

The excitement is building as we roll out our campus-wide Baylor United brand before the fall semester. It’s great to see our student-athletes sporting their new uniforms for photo shoots, incoming students wearing their new Baylor Line jerseys, campus displays – including the McLane Stadium turf – being updated and the new stationery coming across my desk. Having one brand – Baylor’s historic and iconic interlocking BU – to represent the University that unites academics and athletics, as well as the Baylor Family, is significant and an important step for increasing the visibility of the entire institution. You can learn more about our Baylor United efforts in our brand guide, and more brand installations are on the way as we head into August.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • All across campus, Baylor faculty are conducting groundbreaking research that we want to celebrate. Be on the lookout for a new research campaign this fall that highlights Baylor’s work within Illuminate’s five strategic initiatives. Throughout the summer, several faculty members have given of their time and energy for photo shoots in labs, fire stations and even the borderlands and bayous of Texas. We appreciate them – and all Baylor faculty – whose meaningful research advances knowledge, serves others and moves Baylor toward our R1/Tier 1 aspirations.
  • The First Gent has been impassioned by all of the media coverage celebrating the 50th anniversary of American astronauts landing on the moon. I can’t imagine how excited he would be if we were ever to reach the planet Mercury. One of our faculty members whose moon research I told you about a couple of weeks ago – Peter James, Ph.D., a planetary geophysicist who founded Baylor’s Planetary Research Group – is now collaborating with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to study Mercury’s crust. Here’s a great Q&A with Dr. James about his out-of-this-world research.
  • I love celebrating student successes, such as our undergraduates in the McNair Scholars Program, which places first-generation and underrepresented students on the path to doctoral programs. Five of our first seven graduates will enter graduate programs this fall, while our 25 current McNair Scholars – led by their incredible faculty mentors, such as Bessie Kebaara, Ph.D., associate professor of biology, who mentors senior biology major Jacqueline Carroll – are participating in summer research at Baylor and partnering institutions around the country. Mark your calendars for the National McNair Scholars Research Conference Sept. 26-27 at Baylor, as we shine a light on the extraordinary value of faculty-mentored undergraduate research.
  • Scrolling through my Twitter feed while I caught my breath in between meetings this week, I ran across an article about Paul Ro, Ph.D., who joined the Baylor faculty as chair and professor of mechanical engineering after 29 years at North Carolina State University. In the article, Dr. Ro shares his personal story as an accomplished Christian faculty member, as well as his department’s role in helping Baylor reach R1/Tier 1 status. Additionally, he outlined three core principles that he describes as foundational within Illuminate, our strategic plan:
    • Be truthful: I want to honor Christ in all I do;
    • Be fruitful: We are here to be very productive; and
    • Be helpful: This is the essence of ministry.

I hope that we all aspire to be truthful, fruitful and helpful, not only for the benefit of Baylor, but in our daily walk as ambassadors for Christ. Thank you for being part of the Baylor Family, and here’s to a great remainder of the week.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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