Presidential Perspective - November 7, 2019

November 7, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I can’t believe it’s been a year since the public launch of Give Light, Baylor’s $1.1 billion philanthropic campaign in support of our efforts to become the preeminent Christian research university. Last week I reported to the Board of Regents that we have raised $757.5 million toward our goal, thanks to the generous support of more than 60,000 members of the Baylor Family who have donated to Give Light. And soon we will start seeing the benefits of the campaign not only to the physical campus, but also within the academic community through the Academic Challenge program for new endowed faculty chairs and additional scholarship opportunities for students.

A few items to spotlight this week:

  • As I mentioned last week, we are in for a treat next Friday, Nov. 15, as nationally renowned speakers Drs. Robert P. George and Cornel West will be at Waco Hall at 1:30 p.m. for an always spirited, but respectful dialogue as part of our Baylor Conversation Series. Both are great examples of civil discourse, and I strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to attend. The event is non-ticketed, but note that bag check security procedures will be in place.
  • Baylor has a strong institutional commitment to provide a caring community for our students, faculty and staff – a commitment we have reiterated many times throughout the semester. Yesterday we announced an expansion of the Equity Office with the addition of Laura Johnson, Ph.D., serving in an expanded role as Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX Coordinator and the hiring of Brice Yates as Assistant Vice President for Equity. The Equity Office is an important resource for Baylor, handling matters concerning equal opportunity, affirmative action, civil rights and related training.
  • This Monday is Veterans Day, and as part of our recognition of those who have served our country, University Carillonneur Lynnette Geary will ring a special recital on the McLane Carillon atop Pat Neff Hall at 11 a.m. The program will include hymns for each of the Armed Forces and a hymn of peace, “Da Pacem Domine.” Also in recognition of Veterans Day, the First Gent will give a presentation on the “10 Things I’ve Learned from My WW2 Veterans: A Compilation of Practical Wisdom from our Greatest Generation” at 6:30 p.m. at Vanguard Preparatory School in Waco.
  • For our faculty and staff, please consider participating in our United Way of Waco’s Campaign by Nov. 30. The United Way campaign is our opportunity to support McLennan County as a collective employee group and to directly support our Baylor Compassion Fund. No matter the amount, every contribution matters and benefits our wonderful community. Your contribution can be easily submitted through the Online Pledge Card or you can print a Paper Pledge Card and deliver to Human Resources.
  • This Saturday we will host more than 1,200 prospective students and their families and friends as part of Fall Premiere. If you see people walking around campus holding maps, please welcome them to Baylor and offer your assistance. All of you are our best recruiters!
  • With Thanksgiving approaching quickly, faculty in our department of family and consumer sciences weighed in on some fun, festive foods to eat during this fall season. Dr. Suzy Weems, director for nutrition sciences, suggests eating sweet potatoes for their good source of protein and cancer-preventing attributes. Dr. Janelle Walter said to try recipes that incorporate squash, such as acorn squash, which combines nicely with sausages and can be topped off with a spiced apple mixture. And senior lecturer Stanley Wilfong said eating beets and turnips, whether they are roasted or baked in a casserole, provide nutrients that are beneficial for both heart and colon health.

Thanks to everyone – especially our faculty – for your assistance in hosting a Thursday night football game on our campus last week. It was a wonderful Growl-O-Ween at McLane Stadium as we showcased Baylor for a national television audience. And there were some spectacular costumes, too. Now let’s #SicTCU this Saturday!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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