Presidential Perspective - April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

We enjoyed a wonderful night with Baylor faculty and staff Monday to say “thank you” to everyone who helped Baylor achieve R1 recognition as a research university. As we celebrate R1, we are really celebrating the entire Baylor Family, because this truly was a team effort. From our faculty, staff and students to research administrators, postdocs and more – everyone did outstanding work, elevating Baylor to the top level of research universities faster than we imagined. A Monday highlight was seeing everyone reunite in person after two challenging years due to the pandemic. We understand R1 is not a finish line, but it is certainly a benchmark to celebrate, and I’m grateful we were able to do that together.

Some updates for this week:

  • As we bring this semester to a close, you are invited to “Lift Up Your Hearts” during a service of prayer and worship at 11 a.m. Friday, May 6, in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary. This spring’s sermon will be brought by the Rev. Dr. Erin Moniz, Baylor’s new associate chaplain and director for Chapel, and we will be blessed by this time to gather and worship together as the Baylor Family. A complimentary luncheon for faculty and staff who attend the service will follow; we ask that you please register online for the luncheon.
  • While students around campus are busy working on final projects for the semester, Matthew Brammer and his Principles of Advertising & Public Relations class developed a creative and impactful project. As a final assignment, students presented a case study on how to help displaced families in Ukraine, and they were so moved by the potential that they began a real campaign to raise funds for Samaritan’s Purse. The Bears Helping Babies project hopes to raise $20,000 to help pay for diapers, blankets, hygiene kits and food for Ukrainian refugees. Please consider donating, as every dollar makes a difference. It is projects like this that make me so proud of our students’ generous hearts and efforts. For more information, click here or contact Matthew_Brammer@baylor.edu.
  • Baylor is excited to partner with Dining Services and Aramark in a program that makes it possible for students with meal plans to donate their unused guest swipes to other students in need. This initiative to address food insecurity among college students is known nationally as Swipe Out Hunger. In support of this effort, five locations at dining halls across campus were set up this week, where hundreds of students have already generously participated in this philanthropic endeavor.
  • The Baylor Master of Public Health online program was recognized as the No. 8 such program nationally in the April 2022 Fortune online program rankings. This is exciting news for the MPH program, placing it in prestigious company and in recognition of the hours of teaching and support the administration and faculty bring to these online students, ensuring that they are not only receiving a world-class education but are also included in the larger Baylor Christian community. Over the past five years, Graduate and Professional Education has experienced tremendous growth and continues to foster and launch quality online programs. Bringing Baylor online has allowed students nationwide to become part of the Baylor Family.
  • Last night marked the opening of “Moon Man Walk,” which is Baylor Theatre’s first main stage production with an all-Black cast. Additionally, the play was written by a Black playwright and directed by a Black director. The six performances of the play, directed by Baylor Theatre and Film lecturer Sam Henderson, continue through Sunday at the Mabee Theater in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center. You will hear more from Henderson in a couple of weeks, as he will be our reader for Commencement.
  • The Ancestral Legacy Mural will be unveiled this Monday from 2-4 p.m. in the lower West Wing hallway of the Sid Richardson Building. The mural is a celebration of the diversity and ancestral legacy around campus, with an emphasis on celebrating and supporting our students of all backgrounds. The mural was painted by Baylor alumnus Cade Kegerreis and local artist Will Suarez, and it joins the list of dynamic murals around Waco.
  • As part of Baylor’s commitment to a caring Christian community, our Adoption Assistance Program helps families going through the adoption and foster care processes. In fall 2021, Baylor was recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as No. 3 among the top 5 U.S. education institutions, and as of April 1, 2022, Baylor has increased the reimbursement amount up to $10,000 (previously $6,000) that an eligible Baylor faculty or staff member may now receive for adoption assistance on eligible adoption expenses. These achievements reflect Baylor’s continued work in supporting and strengthening families.  To learn more about these efforts, please visit the adoption assistance webpage.
  • Last night I was honored to be a part of our Camp Counselor Commissioning Ceremony – the continuation of this wonderful tradition after two years away. We have more than 600 students who will serve as leaders in 40 different camps across the country this summer. As we encouraged and prayed over these students, I was reminded of my own camp counselor experience while a college student and the profound impact that experience had on my life and my own spiritual development. I pray each of our students also will grow as individuals and feel God working in them this summer – and that they will recognize the significant impact they will have on young lives. I am incredibly proud that Baylor continues to prioritize leadership opportunities that not only help shape our students for the future, but also have a positive influence on our world.

That’s it for this week. I cannot believe the semester is almost done!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President


PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Photo of the Week - 28Apr22

A favorite tradition in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, the Teal Cardboard Regatta involves students from Teal Residential College designing, building and racing elaborate cardboard boats at the Baylor Marina. A little duct tape goes a long way!

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