Presidential Perspective - January 20, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
What a great start to the 2022 spring semester! I enjoyed greeting so many of you on the first day of class before heading to Indianapolis for the NCAA Convention this week. As our University has experienced tremendous recent success in football, basketball, volleyball and so many other sports, athletics continues to be an important aspect of the overall Baylor experience. This is a time of great change for intercollegiate athletics, and speaking as member of both the NCAA Board of Governors and the NCAA Transformation Committee, we are truly blessed that Baylor, as a Christian university, has a “seat at the table” for these important conversations.
Of course, I am already homesick for missing such an important week back in Waco. I am ready to get back into the middle of campus life!
Some updates for this week:
- Earlier this week we announced the recipients of the 2022 Baylor Alumni Awards, which honor individuals who embody the distinctive mission of the University and their remarkable achievements. This year’s seven-member class includes:
- Alumni of the Year: Thasunda Brown Duckett, MBA ’01;
- Young Alumni of the Year: Alex Le Roux, BS ’15;
- Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service: Rebekah Naylor, BA’64, MD;
- Pro Texana Medal of Service: Susan Peters, BA ’86;
- Medal of Service for Contributions to the Professions: Giancarlo Guerrero, BM ’91, and Christopher Scott, BA ’04; and
- Merrie Beckham Alumni By Choice of the Year: Fran George.
I encourage you to read more about these incredible members of the Baylor Family who represent the University’s more than 150,000 alumni worldwide.
- Did you know we have four core research centers at the Baylor Sciences Building that offer faculty and students access to state-of-the-art equipment and training? Baylor and our faculty have grown these core research centers over the past 15 years as a substantial investment that has aided our path to Research 1 status. They are available for numerous departments to use and include the Molecular Biosciences Center, Mass Spectrometry Center, Center for Microscopy and Imaging, and Center for NMR Spectroscopy. Baylor’s Bernd Zechmann, Ph.D., director of the Center for Microscopy and Imaging and associate research professor, is the guest on this week’s Baylor Connections. If you’re curious about what you’ll find in core research centers and how they help faculty and students bridge disciplines and collaborate with others, you can listen in Friday at 11 a.m. on KWBU-FM or find it that day at baylor.edu/connections.
- On the heels of Baylor achieving R1 status among the nation’s top-tier research institutions, the University continues its perfect record with a second Churchill Scholar in just two years as a nominating institution. Congratulations to Kate Rojales, a senior chemistry major with minors in religion and Great Texts, who is one of only 18 Churchill Scholars for 2022-23. With success as a Goldwater Scholar, published author in world-class journals and a leader within the Martin Research Group, the Honors Residential College and her church, Kate is described as one of the most accomplished student researchers Baylor has produced, with a rare ability not just to do science, but to think well about science. As a Churchill Scholar, she will seek a master’s degree and continue her research expanding the series of metalloenzymes with new transition metal ions next year at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge in the UK.
- On Monday Baylor joined countless others nationwide in honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a Day of Service. Another great way of educating ourselves on what King stood for is to examine his life and writings. Rev. Malcolm Foley, Ph.D., Director of Black Church Studies for Truett Seminary and Special Advisor to the President for Equity and Campus Engagement, shared his helpful list of resources with BaylorProud for those looking to learn more about King's teachings and legacy.
- A quick reminder about the Spring Staff Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m., and the Spring Faculty Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. Both will be held virtually; a link for the meeting will be emailed the day before each event.
Be sure to give a warm Baylor welcome to the more than 2,000 high-caliber prospective students who will be on campus participating in Invitation to Excellence and other scholarship program events over the weekend. Coming off the largest class in University history, interest in Baylor continues to be incredibly strong across the board. Our future is indeed bright!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Rays of sunlight surround Old Main earlier this week as a reminder of Matthew 5:14-16, “to let your light shine before others.”