Presidential Perspective - October 7, 2021
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
Next week is Homecoming 2021! We have a fun student tradition to kick off Homecoming Week called “Dinner with the Livingstones,” and I want to invite all students to join the First Gent and me at Allbritton House on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Yes, it might sound a little crazy to invite 20,000 students over for a free meal from a local food truck, but we always have a great time getting to know our students and pausing for a moment to celebrate our Baylor experience. We’ll also enjoy an exclusive concert by Apollo LTD, the amazing band that provides the music to this year’s University commercial. Their single and our commercial soundtrack – “Sunday Morning Feeling” – topped the Billboard charts this week! This will be a special night, and First Pup BU can’t wait to see you there.
Be sure to plan your Homecoming calendar for next week in advance, as we have so many exciting opportunities for both current students and alumni.
Some updates for this week:
- Baylor received an “A” for its rigorous core curriculum – the foundation of a Baylor degree – in the “What Will They Learn?” report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Only 24 universities nationally and only two in Texas earned the top grade for their core curriculum, which at Baylor helps our students become informed and productive citizens of a democracy and servant leaders of faith communities. Along with our No. 4 ranking in Student Engagement in the 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings and a No. 15 listing for our students’ First-Year Experiences in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, this has been a semester of great news nationally for Baylor inside and outside the classroom.
- October is Christian Higher Education Month, and Baylor joins the more than 180 members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities in shining a light on the impact we are collectively making for God’s Kingdom. Baylor is certainly taking a leadership role nationally as we pursue Research 1 status and ensure that a Christian institution has a “seat at the table” among top colleges and universities.
- This time of year can be particularly stressful as we all begin to feel the weight of the fall semester. Tomorrow, the Baylor Counseling Center will host its annual Mental Health Awareness Day. From noon to 2 p.m., I hope you will stop by the front of the Bill Daniel Student Center to participate in an interactive display of mental health advocacy, get a mental health ally sticker and learn more about Baylor’s mental health resources. Students, if you or anyone you know is hurting, please reach out to the Baylor Counseling Center for assistance at 254-710-2467. And Faculty and Staff, I encourage you to take advantage of the many helpful resources found in the Employee Assistance Program.
- Saturday, Oct. 23 is Baylor Family Movie Night for all Faculty and Staff. With the football team having the weekend off, we’ll gather together at McLane Stadium as we share a time of food, fun and fellowship, as well as movie-watching on the football field and a special gift for employees. Faculty and Staff, please register in advance for this special event beginning at 5 p.m. (movie starts at 7:15 p.m.), as we extend our appreciation for all that you do for our great University. More details will be emailed next week.
- Baylor was recognized this week by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption at No. 3 among the top five U.S. education institutions that offer the best overall adoption benefits for Staff and Faculty and on the Foundation’s foster care benefits list for offering paid parental leave to foster parents. These parental leave and adoption assistance benefits not only align with our Christian mission, but they reflect our deep commitment to supporting and strengthening families by providing our Faculty and Staff with a supportive work environment that helps their families flourish.
I am so thankful that we can fully experience all of Baylor’s special and meaningful fall traditions this year. I am looking forward to seeing the campus full of green and gold over the next couple of weeks as we celebrate Homecoming and host many other events, as well as continue in the fall sports season with our football, volleyball, soccer and cross country teams.
Don’t forget to wear green and gold tomorrow for Spirit Friday, and we’ll see you at McLane Stadium on Saturday!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.