Presidential Perspective - March 31, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
Dia is back! After two years without this annual spring celebration, I can't wait to enjoy a day of fun on campus with you this Tuesday, April 5. Diadeloso, or "Day of the Bear," is a time to slow down from the busyness of the semester, connect with friends and colleagues and enjoy being together as a Baylor community - students, faculty and staff. Next week is the 90th anniversary of this wonderful tradition, and our Student Activities Council has brought together some all-time favorite events and a few activities that connect back to the early days of the celebration. And we'll welcome Apollo LTD to campus for our evening concert at 6:30 p.m. Their brand of high-energy music will provide the perfect end to what I know will be a great day.
Some updates for this week:
- In April, Baylor will again join universities and communities around the country to increase public awareness and prevention education about sexual assault and interpersonal violence during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The month's events on our campus will feature national speakers Brittany Pieper and Maggie Nichols, as well as other awareness opportunities that highlight what each of us can do to foster a safe and healthy campus, including preventing sexual violence, supporting those who experience it and treating all members of campus community with dignity and respect. A list of upcoming SAAM activities is available here.
- Baylor's research has long impacted the Waco area. Many of our professors partner with local agencies to examine programs and practices to better serve our neighbors. Now that Baylor has achieved R1 status, we're excited to further grow those partnerships. Sara Dolan, Ph.D., professor of psychology, associate dean of research in the Graduate School and Faculty Regent, is nationally recognized as a "Citizen Psychologist" for her work and research with veterans and communities dealing with trauma. She explains that as an R1 university, We have more credibility to seek and win federal funding for research grants, and that's going to provide more opportunities to have a greater impact in the community. There's a cachet with R1, and I think that will help our community partners to get their own funding as well when they're able to say that they're associated with Baylor." We're incredibly grateful for the ways our faculty serve the Waco community, and we're excited to see that grow even further as an R1 university.
- On May 11, 1953, the City of Waco experienced the deadliest tornado in Texas since 1900, as a powerful twister ripped through downtown, killing 114 people and injuring 597 others. It struck at the end of the workday, and sadly many were unaware of the approaching severe storm. This is why Baylor joins the City and McLennan County to test our emergency sirens on the first Friday of each month through July. We experienced our own severe weather event on March 21, and I want to thank everyone for heeding the warnings from our multi-tiered Baylor Alert emergency notification system and following safety procedures.
- Tomorrow there will be a general interest meeting for the Latinx Faculty & Staff Association, Baylor's second Employee Resource Group joining the Black Faculty & Staff Association. The focus of the new group is to provide support, professional development, mentoring and networking opportunities to Latinx faculty and staff. All individuals who are committed to furthering this mission are welcome to join the Association. The initial meeting will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Penland Crossroads Conference Room. Email LFSA@baylor.edu for more information.
- Baylor is blessed to host the 33rd Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, which has brought scholars from across the country to Waco under the theme of "Protest, Resistance and Transformation: Agents of Change Past and Present." The meeting began yesterday with an undergraduate conference and will continue through Saturday with a goal of encouraging excellence in the theory and practice of history from the perspective of historic Christianity.
A reminder that Saturday is the spring semester edition of Steppin' Out. Thank you, students, for serving and loving our Waco community!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The Baylor campus was stirred by the Holy Spirit this week as we gathered and prayed for revival and renewal as part of FM72, held in partnership with local churches and Campus Ministries.