Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
I hope you have enjoyed the launch of Baylor’s 175th anniversary over the past week. From the banners and exhibits across campus to the many stories told on social media – and, of course, the birthday party with our Baylor Family at the men’s basketball game last Saturday – we have a proud history to share and a bright future ahead. Be sure to mark your calendars for a special Birthday celebration at Dr Pepper Hour on Feb. 18. You won’t want to miss it!
A few updates to share with you this week ...
- On the anniversary of Baylor’s founding, it’s an honor to recognize Mark and Paula Hurd with the Founders Medal, one of the University’s most distinguished awards for significant contributions to the life and future of the University. From their lead gift – one of the largest in Baylor history – to launch the public phase of Give Light to their significant investments in our championship tennis program, the Hurds’ bold vision has inspired many others to come alongside the University and help us set a new standard of excellence. We will ceremonially break ground on the Mark and Paula Hurd Center – our new welcoming point to campus – at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, and you are invited to attend.
- Faculty and staff investment in Baylor is an outward sign of our belief in the University’s mission and future. When we give back financially, Baylor alumni and friends are more willing to join with us in sustaining our ongoing initiatives. Additionally, corporations and foundations look for high levels of financial support from faculty and staff when making funding decisions. I ask that you join me in participating in Baylor Giving Day next Wednesday, Feb. 12, by doing three things:
- Give a gift of any size on Feb. 12 at www.baylor.edu/givingday.
- Share your school or unit’s story that day using #BaylorGives.
- Ask your social media networks to participate by posting the link to the Baylor Giving Day page.
- Our students and leadership across campus, as well as the Waco community, have put together multiple academic opportunities, special events and celebrations all month long in recognition of Black History Month. Tuesday’s Pruit Memorial Symposium lecture and gospel sing with Grammy Award winner Dr. Cedric Dent was a powerful celebration of the tradition of black gospel music, and there is so much more to come. You can find a calendar of University and community events on the Multicultural Affairs website and at actlocallywaco.org.
- Scheduled for launch in June, the Ignite project will simplify and standardize many of the University’s processes to better support faculty and staff and provide a heightened focus on our mission and Illuminate. Oracle Corp., our primary partner and creator of the Ignite cloud system, recently sent a Los Angeles-based film crew to our campus to spotlight the Ignite team and our work on this transformational initiative. The result is two beautiful videos that tell why Ignite is critical for Baylor as we strive to be the preeminent Christian research university. I encourage you to read and watch more on Ignite.
- Baylor will conduct a routine test of our Baylor Alert emergency communications systems tomorrow, Feb. 7, between noon and 1 p.m., that share important information in the event of an emergency. This test will include sending Baylor Alert “test” messages via text and email to all students, faculty and staff, as well as testing our outdoor and indoor notification systems and social media and website communications. This is only a test but a very important one. You can find more information about emergency preparedness and Baylor Alert at www.baylor.edu/emergency. George Nunez, our director of emergency management, and his team do an incredible job preparing our campus for safety- and weather-related events, as well as responding when emergencies arise.
I have been on the road quite a bit the past two weeks meeting with alumni, prospective students and donors, and potential partners, and people are so enthusiastic about what is happening at Baylor. I hope you are as excited to fling the green and gold as I am!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.