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March 19, 2019


Lady Bears claim No. 1 overall seed for third time in program history

Posted in Athletics, Honors

Infographic: Lady Bears named No. 1 seed

Big 12 regular season champs.
Big 12 tournament champs.
The unanimous No. 1 team in the country.
The nation's No. 1 overall seed entering the NCAA tournament.

The Lady Bears followed that path all the way to the national championship in 2012. Now, they'll put that formula to the test again in 2019.

Monday night, head coach Kim Mulkey's squad was named the No. 1 overall seed for the 2019 NCAA tournament -- the third time the Lady Bears have earned that honor.

[LINKS: Tournament Central || Get tickets || Full NCAA bracket || ESPN experts each put Baylor in Final Four]

Baylor will kick the tournament off by hosting first- and second-round action in the Ferrell Center -- the eighth time in nine years the Lady Bears have earned that honor. Baylor will play Southland Conference tournament champion Abilene Christian on Saturday at approximately 4:30 on ESPN2; the winner of that game will face the winner of Cal and North Carolina on Monday (time TBA).

Abilene Christian is making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. The Wildcats finished fourth in the Southland Conference during the regular season, but swept through the conference tournament to earn the league's automatic bid. ACU is led by a pair of second-team all-Southland performers in juniors Dominique Golightly (13.8 points, 5.8 rebounds per game) and Breanna Wright (14.0 points, 4.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds per game).

Mulkey's team enters the tournament at 31-1, having swept the Big 12 regular season and tournament titles for the eighth time in nine seasons. This year's team is led by All-American senior center Kalani Brown, a semifinalist for the Citizen Naismith Trophy given to the national player of the year, and junior Lauren Cox, one of four finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award.

Ready for March Madness? Tickets are on sale now, as is Lady Bear Big 12 Champion gear from the Baylor Bookstore.

Sic 'em, Lady Bears!

Men's basketball headed to NCAA tournament for 5th time in 6 years

Posted in Athletics, Honors

Men's basketball tournament info graphic

There's no questioning the fact that Scott Drew is the most successful coach in Baylor men's basketball history. In his 16 seasons leading the Bears, he's won more games (and a higher percentage of his games) than any coach in program history, reached the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight twice, and produced nine NBA players.

But this year might be his best coaching job yet. Even before the injuries started to mount, the Bears were predicted to finish ninth in the Big 12 by league coaches, and at times this spring they started a lineup that featured just one of the five projected starters as Clark and seniors Jake Lindsey, Makai Mason and King McClure all missed significant time.

Despite such obstacles, the Bears battled for first in the Big 12 into the season's final month, and ended up fourth in the league's toughest conference. As a reward, Baylor is back in the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in the last six years. The Bears are headed to Salt Lake City as a No. 9 seed in this year's NCAA championship; they will face Syracuse in the first round on Thursday (approximately 8:57 p.m. CT, TruTV). The winner of that game would likely face No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the next round on Saturday.

[LINKS: Tournament Central || Ticket link for season ticket holders & Bear Foundation members || Tickets via || Full NCAA bracket || How to watch TruTV on cable and online]

Syracuse enters the tournament with a very similar resume to Baylor: 20-13 overall, with a 10-8 record in the ACC, and having lost three of their last four games. The Orange are led by legendary coach Jim Boeheim, now in his 43rd season at Syracuse, and All-ACC guard Tyus Battle, who tops the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game. The Orange lean on their defense for success, ranking among the top 20 nationally in field-goal percentage defense, blocks and steals per game; Syracuse is 41st nationally in points allowed per game, but 255th in points scored per game.

Baylor enters the tournament at 19-13 on the season (10-8 Big 12), led by four all-Big 12 players in Mason, freshman Jared Butler, and sophomores Mario Kegler and Mark Vital. Despite battling a foot injury all season, Mason has led the Bears in points (14.6) and assists (3.3) per game. Butler, Kegler and Vital each came on as the season progressed. Butler averaged 13 points and 3.5 assists per game after joining the starting lineup when Clark went down. Kegler has led the Bears in scoring four of the last six games, averaging 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over that time. Vital averaged 10.2 points, 9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over the last six games (while shooting almost 70% on free throws).

Ready for March Madness? Tickets are on sale now -- see you in Salt Lake!

Sic 'em, Bears!

Give Light projects: Tidwell Bible Building renovation

Posted in Academics, Pro Futuris, Student life, Videos

Practically every Baylor student over the past 60+ years has taken at least one class in Tidwell Bible Building, home today to the university's religion and history departments.

When Baylor announced last fall the launch of "Give Light" -- a $1.1 billion fundraising campaign to support the university's strategic plan, Illuminate -- a top-to-bottom renovation of Tidwell was featured among the campaign's priority capital projects.

What will that entail? For starters, it's about bringing the building up to speed to meet the 21st-century needs of Baylor students. When Tidwell opened in 1954, it served a campus of roughly 6,000 students; today, Baylor has grown to welcome more than 14,000 undergraduates -- and virtually all of those are required to take religion and/or history classes in Tidwell. Updating (and creating flexibility in) classrooms, adding faculty offices, and freeing up additional space in the building will help the facility better serve future generations of Baylor students.

Some of that space will come from a reuse of the current Miller Chapel space. After serving as the primary chapel on campus for decades, today Miller Chapel is seldom used, as many other sacred spaces have sprung up across campus. The existing space will be repurposed -- as you can see in the video below, an ingenious design will incorporate the existing stained glass windows and allow the space to be better utilized for classrooms and other uses -- and a new worship space on the sixth floor will provide a breathtaking view of campus.

Plans call for new office and work spaces on every floor, the creation of 13 new classrooms of varying sizes, plus space for seminar rooms, resource libraries, and other needs. A new elevator will allow better use of Tidwell's fifth and sixth floors, which are currently only accessible via stairways, and new common spaces will offer students places to study and hang out before and after classes.

"The Tidwell Bible Building is an icon here at Baylor University," says Dr. Lee Nordt, dean of Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences. "We're doing this for the faculty and the staff and the students of two very important departments who are at the core of so much of what we do in Arts and Sciences, and so much of what they do on behalf of Baylor. Because every student walks through the hallways at some point, we want it to be an effective facility for cutting-edge teaching. We want there to be space available for students to interact in, and we want our faculty and our graduate students to be in optimal position to teach and to produce great scholarship. When it's completed, Tidwell will be ready to serve many new generations of Baylor students."

The next step, of course, is fundraising. Once fundraising brings in the estimated $20 million needed, plans will be made to take Tidwell offline, with a goal of completing the project within 12-18 months so that students can begin benefitting from the new space.

Want to help make this renovation a reality? Contact the Office of Advancement at 1-800-229-5678, option 4, to discuss opportunities to support construction.

Sic 'em, Bears!

You might also like:
* Baylor launches 'Give Light,' a $1.1 billion fundraising effort to support BU students & programs (Nov. 2018)
* Give Light projects: Hurds' lead gift paves the way for new Baylor welcome center along I-35 (Nov. 2018)

Meet 7 Baylor women who blazed new trails in the sciences

Posted in Academics, Alumni, Extraordinary Stories, History, Research

When Baylor was chartered in 1845, it was one of the first coeducational colleges or universities west of the Mississippi River -- about 10 years before any public institution of higher learning would introduce mixed-gender learning, and a full 75 years before American women were guaranteed the right to vote.

Since that groundbreaking beginning, countless women have come through the halls of Baylor before going on to do amazing things. It began with Mary Gentry Kavanaugh, who in 1855 became the first woman to earn a Baylor degree (just a year after the university's first male graduate). Since then, a host of other Baylor women have played large parts in the university's success.

Here's a look at some Baylor Bears who have made lasting changes in the world of science -- locally, nationally and internationally:

Dr. Harriet "Hallie" Earle, BA 1901, MS 1902, was the first female graduate of Baylor Medical School and the first licensed female physician in Waco.

If her name sounds familiar, you're probably thinking of Earle Hall -- one of two residence halls housing Baylor's Science & Health LLC, named in her honor. Born in 1880 in a log house in McLennan County, she came from a long line of physicians. While enrolled at Baylor, then-President Oscar H. Cooper praised her math skills as exceeding all other students; in fact, her 1902 M.S. degree thesis was included in the cornerstone of the newly erected Carroll Science Building -- then one of the finest science buildings in the southwest. Earle opened her Waco office in 1915, treating both paying and non-paying patients until she retired in 1948. She built a private practice around women, assisted with medical examinations of female Baylor students, and was known as Waco's weather watcher, following in her father's footsteps of keeping records of Central Texas weather.

Allene Rosalind Jeanes, BA '28, is a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her part in developing an artificial blood plasma and xanthan gum.

Jeanes spent most of her career researching dextran, as she and her fellow researchers believed hospitals could use it to replace blood plasma, slowing bleeding and preventing countless deaths. She later developed a process for mass-producing xanthan gum, which keeps substances like oil and vinegar from separating and prevents ice crystals from forming. If you enjoy ice cream, salad dressing, toothpaste, or gluten-free baked goods -- or have ever had to use medicine to slow bleeding -- then you owe a word of thanks to this Baylor alumna.

Dr. Jimmie Holland, BA '48, was among the first to help cancer patients with both their emotional and physical needs.

Holland challenged what she called "the tyranny of positive thinking" regarding cancer. As a doctor at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in the mid 1970s, Holland pioneered the field of psycho-oncology, giving patients the liberty to explore how they felt about fighting for their life against disease. At MSK, she established the first full-time psychiatry service in a major cancer hospital and founded the American Psychosocial Oncology Society -- just two of the incredible achievements for which she is remembered.

Dr. Beverly Griffin, BS '51, broke incredible ground in cancer research.

At Baylor, Griffin majored in chemistry and was a member of Peers, the Burleson and Memorial house councils, the American Chemical Society, and Alpha Chi. After graduating and getting two doctoral degrees from Virginia and Cambridge, she was the first woman appointed to a professorship at a prestigious medical school. She then spent the majority of her career studying the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes a variety of cancers, at a time when no one knew about viral genes that could account for cancerous growth. Eventually, she became known as one of the top virologists in the world.

Dr. Helen Ligon essentially introduced computers to the Baylor campus in the early 1960s and essentially introduced computers to the Baylor campus is the early 1960s and developed Baylor's first Management Information Systems (MIS) courses.

Ligon joined the Baylor faculty in 1958 (back when computers took up an entire room) and served until she passed in 2003 (the same year iTunes and Blu-ray players made their debut). As the first person in computing at Baylor -- and one of the first in the state -- Ligon made many unique contributions to the field of information systems. In 1962, Carl and Thelma Casey gave the Hankamer School of Business an IBM 1620 computer, and Ligon was chosen to learn how to run the computer and then teach students in the computer field. Under her guidance, student workers wrote and ran programs using keypunch cards. For many Bears, Ligon was the one who first introduced them to computers. She was named Baylor's "Most Popular Business Professor" an unprecedented six times, was awarded the Herbert H. Reynolds Award for outstanding dedication and service to Baylor in 1991, and was honored a year later as the namesake of the Helen H. Ligon Professorship in Information Systems.

Dr. Rebekah Ann Naylor, BA '64, spent three decades at Bangalore Baptist Hospital in India as a surgeon, chief of medical staff, administrator, and medical superintendent, until her retirement in 2009. All the while, she exemplified the ideals of the Christian servant.

Named the outstanding premed student of the year, Naylor graduated from Baylor with a degree in chemistry. After getting her M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, she became the first female resident in general surgery at Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas. In 1973, she was appointed by the Foreign (now International) Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention as a missionary to India. Arriving at the new Bangalore Baptist Hospital in early 1974, she launched a missionary career that included busy clinical practice, administrative responsibility, and teaching. She doubled the hospital's number of beds, expanded its services, and in the 1990s organized training program in four allied health disciplines, set up accredited residency training programs for doctors, and initiated a training program for chaplains. Finally, in 1996 she established the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing, which has trained hundreds of nurses in India, most of whom came from a very poor socioeconomic background. To this day, Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing maintains a strong partnership with the Naylor School of Nursing.

Louise Herrington Ornelas, the woman for whom Baylor's nursing school is named, generously supported countless future Baylor nurses throughout her lifetime even though she was never an alumna herself.

In 1999, her $13 million gift to the Baylor School of Nursing led to the school being formally named the Louise Herrington School of Nursing (LHSON). In 2015, another lead gift made possible the purchase of the Baptist General Convention of Texas building in Dallas, which has since become the new academic home for LHSON. Inbetween, she established the Lou Ornelas Endowment for the School of Nursing and the Louise Herrington Endowed Scholarship Fund in Nursing and supported a simulation lab to give Baylor nursing students the most real-world experience possible.

These are just the handful of the countless Baylor women who have made their marks on history; today, Baylor women continue to make huge impacts on the scientific world. For instance, Dr. Lori Baker, BA '93, MA '94, is vice provost for strategic initiatives and a professor of anthropology, and is recognized nationally for her forensic work in identifying the remains of undocumented immigrants. Dr. Mary Lynn Trawick, an associate professor of chemistry, is among Baylor's leading cancer-fighting researchers. And Dr. Lisa Giocomo, BA '02, has a research lab at Stanford University, where she's breaking new ground in understanding the grid cells that create the brain's "GPS."

There's not enough room, even on a blog, to list every notable Baylor woman. But if there's someone you think particularly deserves to be honored, please let us know!

Sic 'em, Bears!

You might also like:
* Baylor unveils memorial to Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes, BU's first black professor (Feb. 2019)
* Baylor faculty & students honored for career contributions and promising new research (Feb. 2019)
* 50 influential Baylor women you should know (March 2018)

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