Presidential Perspective - March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

The Baylor campus is a busy place during the spring semester, buzzing with students and visitors who come together for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the occasion is a lecture, a social gathering or a musical or theatrical performance. Sometimes the reason people gather here is an athletics event.

This Sunday, the reason will be the most important one of all — Jesus Christ.

The goal behind FM72, which runs from Sunday through Wednesday, is to stir a passion for Jesus in the Baylor Family and throughout our hometown of Waco, bringing revival and renewal.

Organized by Baylor students inspired by the power of prayer and supported by local church congregations, FM72 will enable college students and others in our community to join in Jesus’ name for 72 hours of prayer on Fountain Mall, located in the heart of our campus. In addition, each night will feature a gathering at 8 p.m. at McLane Stadium to worship, pray and hear from God’s Word.

I am overjoyed to see our students boldly stepping out to encourage this generation of men and women to know the transformative power of the gospel!

Some updates for this week:

  • Incredible research opportunities aren’t limited to faculty, grad students or postdocs here at Baylor. Our undergraduate students participate in high-level research with faculty throughout campus, and next week is an exciting time to celebrate that. URSA Scholars Week begins this Monday and runs through April 1. This week is held annually by Baylor Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) to encourage undergrad research, celebrate student creativity and provide opportunities to show their work. Students from across campus will present posters and platform presentations about their research, with special recognition for the most outstanding projects. We will also honor faculty who demonstrate excellence in mentoring (with a $1,000 cash prize).
  • Baylor Libraries received some significant national recognition this week – the 2022 Innovation in Instruction Award from the American Library Association’s Library Instruction Round Table – for demonstrating innovation in support of information literacy and instruction. The Libraries’ syllabi miner project – a large-scale automated curriculum mapping project developed by Amy James, Joshua Been and Beth Farwell –used text-data mining to find information literacy-related terms and phrases within syllabi. The project not only provides new opportunities to support faculty through information literacy instruction, but its impact has expanded beyond campus as an open-source tool accessible to other university libraries throughout the country.
  • Bravo to School of Music master’s candidate Cezary Karwowski, who brought a historic honor home to Baylor – the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Performance Award – for his captivating solo piano performance repertoire at the MTNA national finals. As a student of Dr. Bradley Bolen, Cezary made history as the first Baylor student to advance to the MTNA national competition by winning the Texas MTNA and South Central Division rounds. An international student from Poland, Cezary also won Baylor’s Concerto Competition and was one of the winners of the Semper Pro Musica Solo Competition, earning him the honor of performing in Weill Recital Hall at New York City’s celebrated Carnegie Hall on May 26.
  • Last week’s campus conversation about the unfolding situation in Ukraine and its consequences – from the perspective of Baylor faculty from multiple disciplines – was standing-room-only and certainly compelling and very meaningful. My appreciation to Dr. Steve Gardner, co-director of the McBride Center for International Business in the Hankamer School of Business, for organizing this important discussion and for the participation of faculty members Dr. Serhiy Kudelia (political regimes, regime change), Dr. Julie deGraffenried (modern Russia, Soviet Union), Dr. Sara Dolan (trauma, mental health) and Dr. Peter Campbell (international security, international relations). If you were not able to attend, the thought-provoking conversation is available online here. Our prayers continue to go out to the people of Ukraine as they deal with the ongoing devastation of their homeland.
  • I recently had an opportunity to hop on the dotEDU podcast produced by the American Council on Education to discuss the future of intercollegiate athletics. In the episode, we talk about how the NCAA is working to change with the times, the organization’s recent shift on issues such as name, image and likeness (NIL), and how the recently adopted NCAA constitution will affect student-athletes moving forward. Given the importance of athletics to the Baylor experience, I thought you may want to take a listen.

What an exciting part of the spring semester as we look toward Diadeloso (April 5) and Easter (April 17)!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 24Mar22

This week marked the launch of the spring Dr Pepper Hour Tour, as we will take this cherished Baylor tradition to 32 high schools across Texas and Colorado over the next eight weeks.