Presidential Perspective - January 30, 2020

January 30, 2020

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

We were very thankful this week that the University received good news in the form of negative test results in a possible case of the novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The situation provided us a good opportunity to test our protocols along with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health Distrct for such emerging health issues. We remain vigilant in keeping our campus safe and healthy, and we continue to monitor the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We also lift up in prayer those who are affected worldwide and the physicians, nurses and health officials who are working around the clock to stop the spread of the virus.

In the meantime:

  • We are still contending with the peak of flu season, so please continue to follow good health habits, such as getting a flu shot, washing your hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, staying home when you are sick and avoiding close contact with others who have the flu.
  • Students, if you are ill or need a flu shot, please know that the physicians, nurses and professional staff of our accredited Baylor Health Services are here on our campus to help you. Health Services is located on the second floor of the McLane Student Life Center. You can make an appointment by calling 254-710-1010 or online at using the Health Portal log-in.

A few items to spotlight for this week:

  • On Sunday Baylor was honored by the Baptist General Convention of Texas at historic Anderson Baptist Church as part of Institutional Legacy Day and our 175th anniversary. Truett Seminary Dean Todd D. Still, Ph.D., gave a moving sermon on God’s faithfulness, first to the church in Thessalonica and then to Texas Baptists and Baylor. And our Truett students who led the worship service in music were simply incredible. We truly have much to be thankful for as we celebrate 175 years and look forward to our bright future.
  • If you were unable to to attend last week’s Spring Faculty Meeting, the video is now posted online. Provost Nancy Brickhouse and I shared some important information regarding University priorities, including an update on Illuminate and our goal of becoming a Tier 1/Research 1 university.
  • Being good stewards of our resources is an important reflection of our faith. This includes the work of our sustainability program, particularly in the areas of dining, waste, energy and water. Our program – led by Smith Getterman and our Sustainability Student Advisory Board – was recognized recently with certification by Texan by Nature, a conservation nonprofit organization founded in 2011 by former First Lady Laura Bush. Each and every effort – from recycling to reducing waste in our dining halls – has a positive impact.
  • As we spend more time online and on our smartphones, it becomes increasingly important to be proactive in protecting our personal information and data. In conjunction with Data Privacy Day, Baylor Chief Privacy Officer Doug Welch compiled a list of seven steps to help us safeguard our information. These tips are extremely important and eye-opening.
  • Happy Birthday, Joy and Lady! Our two bears invite you to their birthday party this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. This fun event for students and families will feature bear-inspired grapefruit and honey ice cream from Heritage Creamery, cake (of course), bounce houses and bear-themed decorations. The first 100 guests will receive a special free T-shirt. Joy celebrated her 19th birthday this past Monday and Lady turns 18 tomorrow.

Speaking of birthdays … We will commemorate Baylor’s 175th on Saturday at the men’s basketball game vs. TCU, complete with party favors, special giveaways – including free popcorn – and the singing of “Happy Birthday.” Tipoff is at 3 p.m., and the First Gent and I hope to see you at the Ferrell Center as we support our No. 1-ranked Bears and enjoy the party.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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