Presidential Perspective - December 9, 2021

December 9, 2021

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

It’s hard to believe the fall semester has drawn to a close. God has blessed Baylor in so many ways as we’ve managed the COVID-19 pandemic, from a Big 12 Football Championship and top-10 basketball, football and volleyball teams to beautiful music and theatrical performances, as well as significant progress toward R1 status and our $1.1 billion Give Light goal – all while holding firm to and advancing our Christian mission.

Thank you for a such wonderful fall semester! As the First Gent and I passed out breakfast tacos to students yesterday at Moody Memorial Library, we were asked about tips for preparing for finals, which officially begin on Saturday. Our Center for Academic Success and Engagement in the Foster Success Center offers a helpful guide as you study for finals:

  1. Plan your time. Check each course syllabus for Final Exam date and time. Organize all of your materials needed to prepare for final exams.
  2. Schedule your study time, while also blocking out time for work, meals, sleeping, etc. Study for 45-50 minutes then take a short break.
  3. The night before the exam, organize your study materials, charge your laptop, set your alarm(s) and get a full night of sleep!
  4. On the day of your exam, eat a light breakfast and drink water, bring your laptop (if needed) and any chargers, then relax and take deep breaths to reduce anxiety as you begin your exam.

My prayers are with you! After finals wrap up, I look forward to seeing our fall graduates at Commencement next Saturday, and everyone else in January for the start of the spring semester.

Some updates for this week:

  • A reminder that we will commemorate the end of the fall semester with a special service – Lift Up Your Hearts – featuring prayer and worship tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary.
  • As we anticipate the glorious season of Christmas, our School of Music will offer musical gifts to the Baylor Family by presenting “12 Days of Christmas.” Starting Dec. 13 through Dec. 24, visit or to enjoy pre-recorded daily vignettes of Christmas music performed by our gifted Baylor students leading up to the Emmy-nominated and Telly Award-winning A Baylor Christmas 2018 (remastered). Simply click the “play” button on the embedded video playlist and enjoy our musical gifts to you.
  • We shared some exciting news today about a $1.5 million gift from the Deerbrook Charitable Trust and Harris and Anne Clark of Dallas that establishes the first endowed faculty position in our Louise Herrington School of Nursing. The Harris and Anne Clark FastBacc Endowed Professorship – which will be held by Clinical Associate Professor Beth Hultquist, Ph.D. – will support the accelerated post-baccalaureate FastBacc BSN program. Increasing faculty endowment support among Baylor’s 12 colleges and schools is a priority of our Give Light campaign. Since its start, 33 endowed faculty positions, including the Clark Professorship, have been created to recruit and retain gifted faculty to teach, mentor and advance the research priorities of the University.
  • On Tuesday our country remembered the “day that will live in infamy” – the horrific Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor that ushered in the United States’ entry into World War II. I encourage you to read the BaylorProud post on Baylor’s T. Michael Parrish, Ph.D., The Linden G. Bowers Professor of American History, who has become the nation’s expert on Waco native Doris Miller. As most Wacoans know, Miller was one of the first American heroes of World War II and a civil rights icon whose heroism at Pearl Harbor helped desegregate the U.S. military — all before his tragic death at age 24.

I will send a final Presidential Perspective to everyone next week to conclude 2021. Don’t forget to #GeauxGold for the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 9Dec21

It was definitely a game of inches as Baylor safety Jairon McVea, a former walk-on, made a touchdown-saving tackle at the goal line and helped preserve the Bears’ 21-16 Big 12 Championship win over Oklahoma State.

Photo: Andy Hancock, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association