Presidential Perspective - October 3, 2019

October 3, 2019
Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I can’t believe that Homecoming is next week – it’s so early this year! We have a host of activities planned throughout the week, and I wanted to extend a special invitation for everyone to join the First Gent and me for Family Dinner at the Livingstones this Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on the front lawn of Allbritton House. We will have all of your favorite local food trucks at this come-and-go event, with a photo availability beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A couple other Homecoming-related notes:

  • The nation’s oldest Homecoming Parade – dating back to 1909 – is still on for next Saturday, even with the I-35 construction. The parade should step off in Downtown Waco beginning at 8 a.m., which puts its arrival at 5th Street on campus around 9 a.m.

  • Tickets are available for the Homecoming football game Oct. 12 against Texas Tech at McLane Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. as the Red Raiders make their first trip to Waco since 2007 and play their first-ever game in McLane Stadium. You can purchase tickets here. A reminder that student ticket pull for the big game will begin on Monday at 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis!

Other items to spotlight this week:

  • We plan to hire 65 professional researchers over the next three years – more than double the current number – as part of a new postdoctoral researcher hiring program to support and enhance research across the University. “Postdocs” deliver invaluable assistance to faculty through the management of laboratory activities and daily research tasks, as well as provide high-level expertise and intellectual capital to advance the meaningful work taking place in a professor’s lab or group. This plan is a significant component of Illuminate and our efforts in moving toward recognition as an R1/Tier 1 institution.

  • In case you missed Monday’s faculty panel on civil discourse as part of the Baylor Conversation Series, I would encourage you to listen to this thought-provoking event here. Drs. Elesha Coffman (history), David D. Corey (political science), Greg Garrett (English) and Leslie Hahner (communication) provided some great insights as we work together campus-wide in improving our abilities to communicate with one another across ideological boundaries.

  • It’s been an exciting few weeks for Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative, whose work to find innovative hunger and poverty solutions is recognized beyond Texas on a national scale. That expanding vision has led to the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, which will bring together interdisciplinary research and practice through THI, Research Fellows, Global Hunger and Migration Project and more. All of this has followed two significant grants recognizing THI’s expertise: a $5 million USDA grant to research expanding food access for rural students during the summer and a $2.6 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to increase access to healthy food through learning labs, direct outreach, research and policy engagement.

  • I would be remiss if I did not again recognize our top-ranked and undefeated volleyball team(!), which will be in home action again on Saturday against Big 12 foe Kansas State at 2 p.m at the Ferrell Center. The match is designated as “70s Night” and the “flossing” First Gent was caught listening to “Grease” and “Dancing Queen” through the Allbritton patio speakers yesterday. Also, don’t forget our soccer team is in Big 12 action tonight at 7 against West Virginia at Betty Lou Mays Soccer Field.

It’s a busy time on campus, and I look forward to seeing our Baylor Alumni join all of you for Homecoming festivities next week. Let’s fling our green and gold afar!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
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