Presidential Perspective - September 10, 2020

September 10, 2020

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Let me extend my sincerest appreciation for all of your efforts to date in the prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 on our campus. I encourage you to take a look at Baylor's COVID-19 dashboard and see how our collective efforts have helped "bend the curve." Many of our key indicators, including active cases and positivity rates, have fallen significantly over the past week.

While this is definitely good news -- as evidence our plan is effectively managing the virus -- let's not celebrate too soon and become complacent. Also, we need to lift up in prayer those who are battling the virus. Please continue to practice healthy habits both on- and off-campus and participate in the University's mandatory random testing when notified. A robust testing program allows us to understand the prevalence of COVID-19 on our campus and prevent the "silent spread" of the virus.

Some other news to share this week ...

  • We are in the process of finalizing our official enrollment numbers for the fall semester based on the 12th class day. It appears that we will have some really good news to share with you in the days ahead. As a former basketball player, I can say that Baylor's enrollment success this fall is the result of a "full-court press" by so many offices and individuals across the University. Thank you for helping us grow the Baylor Family and prepare future generations of Christian leaders.
  • Even though we will miss the opening of Baylor Football on Saturday, this weekend is a great time to get out and explore Waco during Baylor's Annual Staycation Weekend. With special offers on popular Waco attractions like the Waco Hippodrome, Dr Pepper Museum, Waco Downtown Farmer's Market, and discounts on food and entertainment through Baylor's Go Gold! Program, students can enjoy time with friends and stay safe by following our Family First guidelines while in the community.
  • Speaking of Waco, Baylor's Office of External Affairs, in partnership with our community partners and many on campus, has developed a Culture Guide to spotlight and support the area's historically underrepresented communities. This printed and digital guide is composed of a diverse collection of stories told by Waco's people and organizations dedicated to showcasing all parts of our community.

  • Earlier today, we announced a gift to Baylor Athletics from Todd, BBA '88, and Susan Behringer of Woodway, Texas, in support of athletic capital priorities through the Give Light Campaign. The gift will be honored with the naming of the Behringer Recruitment Lounge in McLane Stadium, a space used by our coaches and staff year-round to interact with prospective student-athletes of all sports and their families. The Behringer's gift will support Baylor's upcoming Basketball Pavilion and the proposed Football Operations Center and provide significant momentum toward fundraising for these important facilities. Todd and Susan are active members of the Waco community, and their commitment to our hometown and to investing in other ventures that help generate tourism and grow the local economy is a reminder of how the Baylor Family lives our mission every day. We are tremendously grateful to the Behringers for their generous support of Baylor and Waco.
  • For our faculty and staff: If you missed either of the virtual fall meetings last week, archives of both events have been posted online. Provost Brickhouse and I joined several members of the University's leadership team to discuss COVID-19, celebrate the accomplishments of our faculty and staff and answer many of your questions. Here are the links for the Fall Faculty Meeting and the Fall Staff Forum.

Thank you for being a part of the Baylor Family. Only 76 days to the Thanksgiving Break! Remember to wear your facemasks, practice social distancing, wash and sanitize your hands, and monitor your daily symptoms.

Let's #sicCOVID!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President

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