Presidential Perspective - October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Happy Halloween, Bears … or I should say, Growl-O-Ween! I am looking forward to a special Thursday night football game at McLane Stadium as we face West Virginia in Big 12 play at 7 p.m. Several of you have asked what costumes the First Gent and I will sport to the game tonight. I will be dressed up as a Baylor volleyball player, while Brad will don a Baylor football uniform. A great fall evening is in store, and I learned yesterday that kids under 14 in costume can get into the game free. All the Growl-O-Ween details can be found here. Personally I am looking forward to the full-size candy bars donated by M&M Mars!

A few items to spotlight this week:

  • The Baylor Board of Regents is on campus Wednesday through Friday for its quarterly meeting. We have a full agenda, and as customary, we will provide a detailed summary of the Board’s discussions and action items following the meeting late tomorrow via email.
  • The July bar exam results for the state of Texas are in, and Baylor’s School of Law again ranks first among Texas’ 10 law schools for first-time bar passage with a 93.48 percent rate. The state’s overall passage rate for law school students who took the bar exam in July for the first time was 81.47 percent. The Texas bar exam is given twice each year and Baylor Law has an unparalleled record of success, ranking No. 1 on 25 of the 38 exams since 2001.
  • For the sixth year in a row, Baylor led the Big 12 in Graduation Success Rate (GSR) among our student-athletes. The Bears posted a school-record overall score of 91. Five of Baylor’s programs earned a perfect GSR score of 100: men’s golf, women’s golf, soccer, women’s tennis and volleyball.
  • A small Bolivian society of indigenous forager-farmers, known for astonishingly healthy cardiovascular systems, is seeing a split in beliefs about what makes a good life, a Baylor study has found. Some are holding more to the traditional — strong family ties, hunting and forest medicine. But others are starting to favor material wealth, with new ways of making a living, rapid nutrition transition and increasing overweight and obesity, said study author Alan F. Schultz, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences. He lived for more than a year among the Tsimane’ people and says their changing lifestyle may offer clues for lowering cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
  • Please mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 15, for a special Baylor Conversation Series event as we continue our campus-wide discussions on civil discourse. We will host nationally renowned speakers Drs. Robert P. George and Cornel West at Waco Hall at 1:30 p.m. for an always spirited, but respectful dialogue on many issues of the day. I sincerely hope you will be able to join us, as our society is in dire need of examples of true civil discourse.

Don’t forget that the Waco campus closes today at 12:30 p.m. to prepare for tonight’s football game. All gameday parking procedures will be in effect, and be sure to monitor I-35 or follow the WAZE app for the latest traffic information.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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