Presidential Perspective - December 2, 2021

December 2, 2021

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Christmas is always a special time at Baylor, and I cannot wait for Christmas on 5th this evening from 5-10 p.m. It's one of my favorite Baylor traditions. I've even heard there's a forecast of snow tonight! Be sure to check out the full schedule of activities to get everyone in the Christmas spirit as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

This is also an exciting week for our Baylor football and volleyball teams. As you probably already know, our ninth-ranked Bears face No. 5 Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Football Championship Game on Saturday at 11 a.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. And our national fifth-seeded volleyball team hosts the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament beginning tonight at 7 p.m. against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the Ferrell Center.

What a great time to fling our green and gold!

Some updates for this week:

  • We will commemorate the end of the fall semester with a special service of prayer and worship on Friday, Dec. 10, beginning at 11 a.m. in the Piper Great Hall at Truett Seminary. With a theme of "Lift Up Your Hearts," various members of the Baylor Family will lead in worship. More information can be found here.

  • As we head into finals and look ahead to Christmas break, remember that all students now have access to free 24/7 care for their physical and mental wellbeing, even when they're off campus. Students who are feeling under the weather or struggling with mental health concerns can access on-demand telehealth services at no cost from anywhere by visiting In addition to the services provided through Baylor's Counseling Center and Health Services, we've had hundreds of students choose these telehealth options since we began providing them last month. I encourage all students to take advantage of our additional resources to help support your health and wellbeing.
  • What does it mean to have joy in the midst of suffering? For people dealing with loss or hardship over the past year, the holidays can be a challenging time. Angela Gorrell, Ph.D., assistant professor of practical theology at Truett Seminary, experienced just that in her own life while researching joy at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Earlier this year, her book The Gravity of Joy: A Story of Being Lost and Found was released, and she shares more about her experience on this week’s episode of Baylor Connections. You can hear the episode Friday at 11 a.m. on KWBU-FM (103.3) or find it online and on iTunes starting Friday.

  • On Tuesday, I was honored to join Waco community leaders and students in our Philanthropy and the Public Good course as we celebrated the culmination of their fall class – presenting $79,500 in total grants to seven local nonprofit organizations. Since fall 2014, this full-credit class has thoughtfully stewarded and given away nearly $900,000 in real funds for real needs in our community while developing innovative leaders poised for a lifetime of generosity. Funding for the course was provided by the Baylor/Waco Foundation led by the Solid Gold Neighbor Ambassador Council, with additional funding from Aramark and our ongoing partnership with the Philanthropy Lab.
  • Our School of Education leads the way in providing future teachers with deep clinical preparation through innovative partnerships with local schools. The proof is certainly in the list of Clinical Teachers of the Year for the state of Texas. Over the past five years, we've had four Baylor teacher-interns honored with the award for their outstanding instruction and interaction with children during their senior years. Congratulations to our latest Clinical Teacher of the Year in Texas, Alexandra Ronnenberg, B.S.Ed. 21, now a second-grade teacher at Hillcrest Professional Development School in Waco ISD.

After Christmas on 5th tonight, I hope to see all of you either at the Ferrell Center or AT&T Stadium in Arlington over the next few days. And be sure to wear Green and Gold beginning tomorrow for Spirit Friday.

Let's Sic 'Em, Bears!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 2Dec21

Baylor Libraries is home to the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project – the world's largest initiative to identify, acquire, scan, digitize, catalog and make accessible America's fast-vanishing legacy of vinyl from gospel music's "Golden Age." In November, Baylor unveiled the brand new, state-of-the-art Black Gospel Archive and Listening Center in Moody Memorial Library, which now houses the entirety of the music collection.