Presidential Perspective - May 19, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
This is my first official Presidential Perspective of the summer. While the foot traffic on campus is a little lighter this week, the University is still quite active with the minimester underway and students in the Law School and graduate and professional programs continuing their academic work.
As I mentioned last week, the Baylor Board of Regents is meeting on campus this week. We will provide a summary to you following the meeting late tomorrow.
Some updates for this week:
- Our hearts are so heavy at the death and violence in our nation and world. On Tuesday, our Baylor community gathered together in Elliston Chapel to pray and remember by name the victims of the hateful attacks at a supermarket in a mostly African American community in Buffalo, New York, and at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., where the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church worships. One of those victims at the church was Dr. John Cheng, B.A. '91, who sacrificed his life as he tackled the gunman, saving the lives of dozens of congregants. We remain in prayer for his family and all those who knew and loved him - including so many of our Baylor Family. If you were unable to attend the prayer service in person, it is available to view on the Baylor Facebook page.
- As we celebrated Commencement last weekend, it was incredibly exciting to think about the opportunities ahead for our graduates, many of whom already have their next step planned. Our Career Center has done outstanding work, with more than half of the graduating class already having jobs or graduate school acceptance before they ever walked across the stage. That accomplishment represents a lot of hard work by our students and career team, and the payoff comes in celebrating where they're headed - many of our graduates shared their next steps with us after their Commencement ceremony.
- After the COVID disruptions of the past two summers, it's wonderful to see more than 70 faculty leading more than 500 students on study abroad programs this summer with departures starting this week for Argentina, Germany, Italy and 21 other destinations. The programs include Baylor's first faculty-led course in New Zealand, the continuation of a research-oriented archaeology dig in Italy and nursing programs in England and Africa. In addition, Baylor Missions is back this summer with more than 120 students, faculty and staff integrating faith, service and learning on nearly a dozen mission trips in the United States and globally.
- We're so proud of our third-ranked men's tennis team, which continues its run toward a national title at 3 p.m. today in the national quarterfinals in Champaign, Ill. The Bears earned that spot after a thrilling come-from-behind win over Stanford last Friday in front of an incredible Baylor crowd at the Hurd Tennis Center. Now, they'll play sixth-ranked Tennessee, with the winner earning one of the final four spots Friday. Best of luck and Sic 'em to Coach Michael Woodson and our men's tennis team!
- We love having families and groups come to campus to spend time at the Mayborn Museum, and this summer, there's a new exhibit that you don't see every day - DC Super Heroes: Discover Your Superpowers. The traveling exhibit opens this Saturday, and visitors will work as a team to fight crime with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in an immersive experience within the museum. If you're intrigued, the museum urges you to grab your capes and get your tickets now (there's even a costume party on opening day). DC Super Heroes is one of many great exhibits and collections at the Mayborn open throughout the summer.
- I'm always glad to hear good news on I-35 construction! In early June, we should see one of the final traffic shifts of the project as the northbound I-35 mainlanes from 17th Street to Forrest Street (north of McLane Stadium) move over to the newly paved northbound mainlanes. Over the summer, 4th/5th Streets and 11th/12th Streets should be reopened, with the entire project set for completion in early 2023.
Stay cool and hydrated - the Texas Summer is already upon us in mid-May!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The Baylor Board of Regents will get a sneak peek this afternoon of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, which is currently under construction at the corner of I-35 North and University Parks Drive. The project continues on schedule, with a full opening anticipated in time for the Fall 2023 semester.