Presidential Perspective - January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Before the holiday break, I shared with the Baylor Family that one of our beloved live bears, Lady, had been diagnosed with a benign mass in her chest called a thymoma. Thanks to the proactive treatment of our bear caregivers and the wonderful veterinarian staff of our partners at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in College Station, we can happily report that Lady’s tomotherapy treatments appear to have halted any further growth of the mass. She will have a follow-up appointment this spring with her primary veterinarian, so please keep Lady, her caregivers and the veterinarian staff in your prayers. And be sure to stop and say hello to both Lady and her sister, Joy, the next time you pass the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat.

A few items to spotlight on this week:

  • Baylor’s role as a Christian research university leads us to ask important questions about innovation, future challenges and the ways research partnerships address tomorrow’s needs. Be on the lookout tomorrow for the results of a Baylor survey, conducted in partnership with Texas Business Journals, which features nearly 600 Texas business leaders’ insights into these issues and more. More than 7 in 10 respondents believe that it is important to the state’s future competitiveness to have more research universities, while 8 in 10 either agree or strongly agree that a university research experience better prepares students for the workforce. We’re excited to share the complete results, which include respondents’ outlook for the Texas economy in 2020, tomorrow at
  • This year’s recognition of Founders Day on Feb. 1 will have special significance as it will also mark the 175th anniversary of Baylor’s founding. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor has distinct status as the oldest continually operating university in the state. Throughout 2020, we will introduce various recognitions, events and branding elements that celebrate our 175th anniversary and the impact Baylor has made on the state, nation and world.
  • A reminder to our faculty: Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., and I will host the annual Spring Faculty Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, in Foster 250. Refreshments will be served from 3-3:30 p.m., with the meeting immediately following. For those faculty who are off campus, the meeting will be recorded, and a link to the recording will be provided on the Provost’s website.
  • Beginning tonight through next week, Baylor will join the Waco community at local events to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You can find a full list of events, including the annual wreath-laying ceremony, peace march and observance, candlelight vigil and our Multicultural Affairs MLK Luncheon – “What If We Could Interview MLK in 2020?” – at
  • Note that the University will be closed on Monday as we observe the 25th anniversary of MLK Day of Service – the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Students, faculty and staff will be volunteering with Baylor Campus Kitchen, Keep Waco Beautiful’s Brazos River Cleanup and at nine community gardens, including the Baylor Community Garden, with the HOT Urban Gardening Coalition. Please join us as we remember Dr. King and take to heart his words: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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