Presidential Perspective - October 17, 2019

October 17, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

What a great Homecoming we had last week! I suspect my favorite moment is shared by many of you – Coach Matt Rhule and our Bears’ 33-30 Big 12 win over Texas Tech in double overtime. It was certainly a win for the ages. And as a former women’s basketball student-athlete, I loved the Golden Wave Band’s halftime tribute to our national champion Lady Bears – featuring coach-turned-conductor Kim Mulkey.

I hope you enjoyed all of the Homecoming activities, and most importantly, the opportunity to visit and reminisce with the multi-generations of the Baylor Family as they returned to campus. BaylorProud has a great summary of the Homecoming highlights in case you missed anything.

A few items to spotlight this week:

  • As I’ve mentioned previously, we are focusing this fall semester on civil discourse through the Baylor Conversation Series and a variety of events across the campus. Last week, I took to the airwaves with Baylor Connections on KWBU-FM to talk about this important initiative not only for Baylor, but for our society overall. Be sure to check out the podcast or listen online.
  • Earlier this semester, I outlined Baylor’s commitment to provide a loving and caring community for all students – including our LGBTQ students. As part of this communication to students, faculty and staff, the University pledged to continue ongoing conversations, and I wanted to provide a brief update. We have since initiated focus group discussions, beginning with members of the Faculty Senate and many student leaders, as we explore the best ways to support the educational experience of our LGBTQ students within the context of our Christian mission.
  • Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS) has been awarded a five-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-Stem) program to be used for the ECS Scholars Program. The grant will support scholarships and activities for 22 students who are pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science and bioinformatics. This is a great example of the transformational undergraduate education we provide at Baylor – one of the key pillars of Illuminate.
  • As you look at your calendars over the next two weeks, a reminder that we will cancel Waco-based classes and close campus at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, to prepare for that evening’s football game against West Virginia. Details are provided in the memo distributed last month. Baylor Athletics is planning a “Growl-O-Ween” for the 7 p.m. game, complete with full-size candy, face painting, inflatables and photo ops for the kids, as well as a postgame fireworks show and more. Faculty and staff can get $10 tickets for a limited time by going to BaylorBears.com/Promotions and entering GROWL. And, of course, students are encouraged to wear costumes – no masks, please.
  • Speaking of Halloween, Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, professor and chair of the department of journalism, public relations and new media and an expert on mass media representations of minorities, women and other underrepresented groups, offers many tips for selecting respectful and culturally appropriate costumes.

I know that many of our students have mid-terms this week, following the full slate of Homecoming activities. Please know that both the First Gent and I have lifted you up in prayer each and every day. We pray for your minds and wisdom, health and safety, and rest and recovery during this stressful time of the semester.

Sincerely,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President

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