Presidential Perspective - April 8, 2021
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
What an exciting week this has been for the Baylor Family! Congratulations to men’s basketball coach Scott Drew, his staff and our student-athletes for winning the national championship over Gonzaga Monday night in Indianapolis. It was a dominating win on the court as we all saw, but I was even more impressed with our team and how they represented Baylor so well under the national spotlight.
Baylor became only the second Texas-based school EVER to win a men’s basketball national championship and the first since 1966 (Texas Western, now UTEP). And here’s a good note for you: There are only five schools that have won national championships in both men’s and women’s basketball – Stanford, North Carolina, UConn, Maryland and, now, Baylor. Sic ’em, Bears!
Some updates for the week:
- Just like our Bears took care of business in Indianapolis, we highly encourage you to “Take the Shot. Win the Game. Help Baylor Dominate COVID-19!” by getting vaccinated against the virus. This will help us protect our campus community and accelerate toward a return to more normal campus operations and activities in the fall, while also providing other benefits such as exemption from testing and quarantine. You can find more information at www.baylor.edu/vaccine.
- It’s also extremely important to complete your required weekly COVID-19 testing over the final weeks of the semester. Your diligence in testing has helped keep our campus safe, healthy and open with more events and activities as the semester has progressed. And keep following our health protocols, such as wearing your facemask, especially indoors around others.
- Baylor is again joining in national recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I encourage you to participate in the opportunities available for students, faculty and staff to join in the effort to increase public awareness and prevention of sexual assault and interpersonal violence. We have all been called to Set the Standard at Baylor by fostering a safe and healthy campus community. As part of the month’s events, there is a showing of the short film Escalation tonight. You can find more details on SAAM events throughout the month here or via the University calendar.
- Tomorrow at 11 a.m., the Baylor in Washington Program will host an important, timely conversation, “Does Civility Still Matter?” I hope you will RSVP for this all-star lineup of experts, which includes Dr. Cornel West of Harvard University, who if you recall, visited our campus a few years ago to speak to us on civil discourse. This panel will explore when civility is appropriate, what it entails and the way religious traditions shape our practice of civility.
- Get ready for one of Baylor’s special traditions, our Steppin’ Out Day of Service this Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Volunteers can serve online or help Shepherd’s Heart “fill the truck” with food donations at our on-campus drive-thru site at McLane Stadium. Service hours will be awarded for every five food items donated. The full list of options with details and registration information is located here.
- Last month’s release of the Commission on Historic Campus Representations report has sparked many important conversations throughout the Baylor Family. As we consider the report’s recommendations, I hope you will take a moment to learn more about the heart behind the Commission’s work. On a recent episode of Baylor Connections, I shared how the Commission approached their charge and how our faith guided their work. We believe that all truth is God’s truth, which means that we can inquire of that truth even when aspects of our past are painful. And we can learn from it to build an even stronger community. Further, our Campus Experience Project Team will share more about future steps stemming from the Commission report in the weeks ahead.
- Next Thursday, April 15, is a special day, and not because it’s the traditional “Tax Day.” First, it’s the First Gent’s Birthday! Second, you can join your faculty and staff colleagues at the Spring Forum, a virtual gathering about all things related to your wellbeing. You’ll hear from an array of campus experts on important and timely subjects ranging from managing stress in your work and personal life, the importance of creating a personal Wellbeing Action Plan, growing your professional wellbeing through development opportunities and learning how to tap into the dozens of resources Baylor provides to support you in achieving your goals. We’ll also showcase our 2020 Staff Award winners during this session as we celebrate their work and accomplishments. Be sure to register today.
I think my voice is finally coming back after cheering so much in Indianapolis!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.