Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
“Baylor stands apart as a Christian research university — a position that empowers our aspiration to become America’s preeminent Christian research university. Illuminate, Baylor University’s Academic Strategic Plan, has one overarching goal: To bring light to the world as we accelerate our quest toward preeminence as a Christian research university, building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of research and service.”
If this text is unfamiliar to you, it’s the opening paragraph of Illuminate. As I spent some time this week reflecting and preparing for the upcoming fall semester, I was re-inspired and re-energized about what lies ahead for Baylor. I am glad that you are on this journey with me, as we shine our light boldly and brightly.
Here are several items of note for this week:
- With so many messages competing for our attention, it’s easy to lose sight of our Christian mission to love God, love others and be the Church. I was reminded of that yesterday when I read this refreshing Nations article featuring the words of Dr. Gaynor Yancey, professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and director of the Center for Church and Community Impact. “If we’re known from the womb and we’re known till our death, then the Lord has a whole lot of stuff in between,” she said.
- Before several new chapels were built on campus, Miller Chapel served for decades as our primary sacred space — and the location for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of Baylor weddings. As we prepare for the renovation of Tidwell Bible Building, we will hold an open house to celebrate Miller Chapel from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. It will be a wonderful opportunity for alumni, students, faculty and staff to reminisce about their special moments at Miller Chapel, with a professional photographer on hand to capture memories of the day. We will announce more details soon.
- We have seen a growing enrollment in our graduate and professional programs, which is an area of focus in Illuminate. Last week, Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business introduced three new concentrations for our nationally rated Online MBA program — marketing, cyber security and executive communication. These programs, which begin Aug. 27, can be completed in as few as 12 months and are taught by the same Baylor faculty who teach on campus in a traditional environment.
- This week marks the conclusion of this summer’s Line Camp for incoming freshmen and transfers as the Missions to Guatemala and Outdoor Adventure sessions wrap up tomorrow and Saturday, respectively. Nearly 2,300 future Bears attended these valuable summer sessions as we introduce Baylor traditions, build community and reinforce our Christian mission.
- One of the top questions I am asked is regarding the impact of the I-35 construction project on Move In for our first-year and new transfer students Aug. 21-22, as well as on football’s season-opener at McLane Stadium Aug. 31. As you’ve probably surmised from our updates over the past several weeks, the project is moving quickly and the construction schedule can change at a moment’s notice. We have a team working in conjunction with TxDOT and local officials to get information to you as quickly as possible via social media and e-mail. And I can assure you that TxDOT and the contractor are fully aware of Baylor-related activities over the next several weeks! Here’s your go-to resource for real-time traffic info - https://waco4bmap.org.
And for our faculty and staff, we are working on something special to communicate that you are United for Baylor. Be on the lookout for more details in the upcoming weeks, but for now, fling your Baylor Green and University Gold each Friday.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.