Presidential Perspective - February 10, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
What an exciting time for Baylor as we’ve surpassed the $1.1 billion fundraising goal of the Give Light campaign! Nearly 80,000 members of the Baylor Family have given or pledged to the comprehensive campaign, which will have long-lasting impacts across the University. The campaign to date has:
- Helped grow Baylor’s endowment by $474 million;
- Provided more than $408 million to fund and create programs and establish scholarships through expendable funds; and
- Supported the Give Light Capital Fund, which undergirds the campus’s capital priorities and has received $233 million toward its campaign goal of $300 million.
Give Light also has supported Baylor’s recent achievement of R1 status – now one of only 39 private R1 institutions nationwide. The team at BaylorProud reached out to several faculty members and summarized three ways in which R1 status will impact Baylor’s future:
- Gives Baylor an opportunity to show that top-tier research and Christian faith do, in fact, go together;
- Bolsters Baylor’s overall reputation; and
- Helps Baylor with recruiting both faculty and students.
Thank you, faculty and staff, for your dedication to excellence and your commitment to Baylor’s mission. And we appreciate the Baylor Family for your ongoing support of the University and the continuation of the Give Light campaign.
Some updates for this week:
- Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Baugh-Reynolds Campus this month. After nearly a decade of being graciously housed by First Baptist Church Waco, Truett finally opened its doors on the Baylor campus in 2002. Since that time, not only has the Baugh-Reynolds Campus functioned as a home for seminary student classes, but it also has served as a sacred space for the wider campus community, hosting the “Lift Up Your Hearts” services, numerous Christian conferences and lectures, departmental gatherings in the Piper Great Hall, and more. All are welcome to join the campus’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Feb. 22. Also, keep an eye out for the installation of a new 7-foot-7 cross statue on the south corner of the Truett campus. This cross will be the centerpiece of a new prayer garden, established in honor of the campus anniversary.
- Earlier this week, we learned the good news about a $2.7 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for Baylor researchers Sarah Schnitker, Ph.D., and Perry Glanzer, Ph.D., who will lead a team of colleagues at Baylor and at universities and Christian study centers around the country in an examination of virtue formation in higher education moral communities, both secular and faith-based. For this two-year project, the researchers will use survey and interviews methods that stem in part from the Baylor Spirituality and Character Study, a longitudinal study to track the long-term impact of a Baylor education on a person’s faith and character.
- As we continue our recognition of Black History Month, the Mayborn Museum invites you to celebrate stories about Black Americans’ contributions to science, art and museums, both past and present. On social media, Mayborn will spotlight various artifacts and examine Black history as part of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s among other activities. Also, several in-person events have been scheduled for the Mayborn campus. Visit here for more information.
- The fifth installment of our Readers Meet the Authors series will spotlight the scholarly work of Philip Jenkins, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor in the Institute for Studies of Religion – “Climate, Catastrophe and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval.” Interviewing Dr. Jenkins tomorrow from 3:30-5 p.m. will be Kyle Harper, Ph.D., Professor of Classics and Letters and Provost Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma and historian of the ancient world whose work has spanned economic, environmental and social history.
- The People’s Law School, hosted by Baylor Law, will return for its 17th consecutive year this Saturday in an all-virtual format. This free community outreach event has helped thousands of Central Texans learn about their legal rights and responsibilities from Baylor professors, local judges and attorneys and other professionals throughout the years. For more information about this year’s 18 classes and to register, visit www.baylor.edu/law/PLS.
- We are blessed with a spring enrollment of 20,025 students, which includes 14,508 undergraduates and 5,517 students in graduate and professional programs. As we plan for the future, 14,500 is Baylor’s target undergraduate population, while we project the University’s graduate and professional programs will continue to grow.
Block off your calendar this Saturday for a Big 12 basketball doubleheader at the Ferrell Center! Be sure to “Go Gold” as the men face Texas at 11 a.m. Then wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness as the women host West Virginia at 5 p.m. in their annual Play4Kay game.
Sic ’em, Bears!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Streams of confetti filled the College Football Hall of Fame last Thursday as we celebrated reaching Give Light’s $1.1 billion goal with members of the Baylor Family in Atlanta.