Presidential Perspective - September 29, 2022

September 29, 2022

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Did you know that Baylor’s iconic green and gold can be traced as far back as 1897? As legend has it, a member of the student committee selected to choose the official colors for the University was traveling to a debate tournament by train. Looking out the window, she was struck by the beautiful green fields covered with thousands of spring dandelions. Adopted by the student body, “green and gold” would go on to define the school’s athletics teams, usher in the nation’s first Homecoming and become immortalized in our school song.

Today, the University’s signature colors of Baylor Green (signifying academic growth, renewal and hope) and University Gold (symbolizing excellence, courage and compassion) remain at the core of the Baylor Brand.

This Saturday, we will celebrate our University Gold and GO GOLD for the Big 12 football home opener against Oklahoma State. I encourage everyone to be bold and wear gold to support our Bears!

Some additional information of interest:

  • Jeremy Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP), was in Washington, D.C., yesterday representing Baylor at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, the first conference of its kind in more than 50 years with a stated goal to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases in the United States by 2030. In preparation for the conference, BCHP hosted a partner-led convening in July and submitted commitments to the White House to expand BCHP’s Hunger Free Community Coalitions in Texas from 29 to all 254 counties. BCHP has demonstrated the importance of the public and private sector working together to address hunger, nutrition and health on local, state, national and global levels, and it was an honor for Baylor to have a seat at the table at this historic conference.

  • The Baylor Graduate School hosted Baptist academics from around the world at Christ Church at Oxford University for the 2022 Baptist Scholars International Roundtable. Co-directed by social work professor Laine Scales, Ph.D., and Baylor graduate João Chaves, M.T.S. ’12, Ph.D. ’17, of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, BSIR provides a forum for generations of Baptist scholars to exchange ideas while preserving and sustaining both academic and faith communities. This year’s selected essays on how Baptist perspectives on higher education inform and shape the life of the academy and the life of the church will be published in a special issue of Perspectives on Religion Studies. In addition, a forthcoming volume from Baylor University Press, Baptists and the Kingdom of God, will feature essays from the 2019 and 2021 BSIR meetings.

  • So many of us rely on smartphones to follow social media, but does the endless scrolling fulfill our need for meaning and purpose? A recent study found the opposite as Baylor sociologist Christopher M. Pieper, Ph.D., and Campbell University professor Justin J. Nelson, M.A. ’16, Ph.D. ’19, sought to understand the complex relationship between meaning-seeking and digital devices, specifically as it relates to social media use. Their research, published in Sociological Perspectives, reveals the sociological connection between feelings of disappointment that smartphone users experience when they expect their devices and social media to help them find meaning in relationships, work, faith and in all areas of social life.

  • With flu season fast approaching and COVID-19 still around, Baylor Health Services will host mobile flu vaccination clinics for students, faculty and staff on Oct. 4, 11 and 28 and Nov. 4 and 11, at various campus locations. (See the hours and location schedule here.) In addition, Health Services will give the new Moderna bivalent booster at extended COVID-19 vaccination clinic tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 30) from 1 to 4 p.m. in the first-floor lounge of the McLane Student Life Center. Appointments for both vaccinations can be made in advance through the Health Portal on the Health Center website. Because of a limited supply of the Moderna booster, walk-in appointments will be available only for the flu clinic on a first-come first-served basis.

  • Baylor Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night next Saturday, Oct. 8, will be a free fun-filled evening of fellowship, food and our gratitude for faculty, staff and their families at Touchdown Alley and McLane Stadium. Beginning at 5 p.m., we will gather for a free meal provided by our amazing local food trucks, as well as a host of fun activities. At 7:15 p.m., we will head into McLane Stadium to watch Encanto on the big screen, culminating a wonderful evening on the Brazos. Faculty and staff, please register by Oct. 5 for this special event. We can’t wait to celebrate you and your families!

  • If you were unable to virtually attend the inaugural Baylor 101 session yesterday, we have it archived for your viewing and future reference. This first Baylor 101 focused on the Baylor benefits experience, including some valuable information about the upcoming administrative transition of the Baylor Health Plan to UMR/UnitedHealthcare. Thank you to the Human Resources team for a great kickoff to this new initiative. Next up in October for Baylor 101 will be a look at Baylor’s endowment.

Sic ’em, Bears!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 29Sep22

Raise your hand – or should I say, Bear Claw – if you are excited about going GOLD for this Saturday’s football game against Oklahoma State at McLane Stadium.