Dear Baylor Students and Parents:
As we conclude the spring semester at Baylor – amid some of the most challenging and heartbreaking circumstances we have experienced as an institution and a country – I want to express my profound appreciation for your many demonstrations of compassion and resilience, as well as for your uplifting expressions of support for the University during the past few months. The personal health and academic success of our students have been ever-present in our COVID-19 planning efforts, as well as in my own thoughts and prayers.
We began 2020 in celebration of a special anniversary at Baylor – our 175th year of service and leadership as an institution of higher education. At the centerpiece of this celebration was the central role our student body has played in the Baylor story over many generations. As we pivoted from in-person classes to online instruction in March due to COVID-19, our faculty and staff rallied valiantly to preserve the integrity and excellence of our academic mission, while also ensuring that our students continue to experience Baylor's caring community – even remotely.
These efforts included the creation of a program called Bear Care Coaches, in which more than 330 faculty and staff volunteered to provide thousands of students with extra support as they navigated the end of the spring semester during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our faculty and administrators also joined together to create our new Summer of Discovery program – an innovative collection of discounted course bundles this summer that will help undergraduate students advance toward their academic goals and possibly earn their degrees sooner than initially planned.
Maintaining strong connections across the Baylor Family is of vital importance as we move forward. Beginning today, we are honoring our graduating students with a distinctive Senior Week, in which we will host several virtual events and recognitions. These will conclude with a Presidential Afternoon with Student Body President Sloane Simpson and me on Saturday, May 16, at 2 p.m. CT – an occasion I am looking forward to with great eagerness! In addition, we have created a special gift for all of our spring graduates to commemorate not only the past semester, but the indelible mark the Class of 2020 has left on Baylor.
Due to the diligence of our faculty, the dedication of our staff and the support of many alumni, parents and friends of Baylor, providing a transformational education remains an institutional strength despite the upheaval and uncertainty of this spring. Our vision of becoming a top research university, built on our historic Christian mission, remains even more relevant today.
As we proceed through the summer and approach a return to in-person classes for the fall semester, we will continue to adapt and strive for excellence in all we do. I hope each of you will continue lifting up Baylor in your prayers, and I will continue praying for your well-being and success. As a loving and thriving community of students and parents, you are at the heart of the Baylor Family.
Thank you for your love for Baylor University, and have a great summer!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.