Presidential Perspective - September 8, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
I must admit that the First Gent and I are big fans of Baylor Athletics, especially during the week-long build up for a big football game like BYU this Saturday. And watching the Baylor Line run across the McLane Stadium field last weekend only intensified my excitement for this athletics season across all sports. As we all know, sports are integrally woven into the Baylor experience, as they provide opportunities for education, gathering, visibility, giving back and, of course, celebrating.
Baylor’s trip to Provo, Utah, to face future Big 12 member BYU this weekend will also allow us to strengthen our relationship with another significant faith-based university that is both national in scope and impact. While Baylor and BYU may come from different faith backgrounds and viewpoints, the opportunities and challenges we both face as religious institutions in today’s society are quite similar.
I look forward to again visiting with BYU President Kevin Worthen and our academic colleagues there and cheering on our Bears in one of college football’s most picturesque environments late Saturday evening. I might even have to try a Cougar Tail!
Here are several updates for this week:
- Saturday’s football game at BYU will mark the national television debut of Baylor’s institutional commercial for this year. The :30 commercial – shot entirely this summer on the Baylor campus – features scenes of Baylor students enhanced by the soundtrack of Nashville-based Christian duo, Apollo LTD, whose original song “Run” was written specifically for Baylor. The broadcast commercial also extends to a full, three-minute music video by Apollo LTD. As Vice President for Marketing & Communications/CMO Jason Cook likes to say, we want Baylor to stand out in the “sea of sameness.” As such, Baylor is believed to be the first university to produce a music video for a new music release and also have it accompany a national broadcast commercial.
- As we continue to expand our research infrastructure, we see tremendous success from this commitment through faculty-industry collaborations and other funded research that lead to technological discoveries or products that not only solve problems but also have the potential for commercialization. This week, Baylor was listed among the Top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. utility patents in 2021 in a report from the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association. Baylor, the University of Texas and Texas A&M are the only three Texas universities on this list, along with 59 other prestigious U.S. research universities and 38 international institutions. This list highlights the vital role patents play in university research and innovation, with Baylor faculty creating – and patenting – solutions to some of the world’s most meaningful challenges infused with our distinct voice and Christian mission.
- On Sunday we will commemorate the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and remember the countless lives lost in the tragedy and the heroic actions of the nation’s first responders. Among several remembrances, Lynnette Geary, the University's carillonneur, will perform a concert of contemplative music on the McLane Carillon atop Pat Neff Hall on Sunday at 3 p.m. I hope you will join me in prayer for our nation.
- September is an important month in our community as organizations commence campaigns across the Waco area to raise funds in support of our local United Way. The United Way of McLennan County provides grants and other resources to area nonprofits that work to make systemic change for those most in need. I hope our faculty and staff will consider joining me in supporting the United Way campaign again this year. To learn more, visit www.Baylor.edu/hr/unitedway.
- National Hispanic Heritage Month begins next Thursday, Sept. 15, and continues through Oct. 15. We are grateful for the opportunity to embrace the diversity of the Baylor Family as we model Christian hospitality and belonging. Both Multicultural Affairs’ Latinx Coalition for students and the Latinx Faculty & Staff Association (LFSA) provide great opportunities for the Baylor community to get involved, and we’re so thankful for the work they do. Be sure to monitor the Multicultural Affairs website in the days ahead for upcoming events.
- I enjoyed having an opportunity to visit with our staff during the Fall Staff Meeting yesterday, and I look forward to doing the same with faculty today at 3 p.m. Both meetings will be archived on the respective Human Resources and Provost Office websites for those who were unable to attend.
Thank you for being a part of the Baylor Family and for flinging your green and gold afar!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
To say #BU26 was excited to run the Baylor Line at McLane Stadium last Saturday would be an understatement!