Presidential Perspective - April 13, 2023
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
Greetings from a warm Washington, D.C., as I am beginning my first meetings today as the new chair of the American Council on Education. This is an important role not only for me, but for Baylor – as a Christian research university – to have a seat at the table as part of one of the nation’s most influential higher education organizations. Earlier in the week, I also had an opportunity to fling a little green and gold in the nation’s capital during a visit with our Baylor in Washington faculty, staff and several Baylor alumni.
Some campus updates for this week:
- HIGHEST FACULTY HONOR: Congratulations to Mikeal Parsons, Ph.D., professor and The Macon Chair in Religion, on his designation as Baylor’s inaugural University Distinguished Professor, the highest honor bestowed on our faculty. As a University Distinguished Professor, Dr. Parsons is recognized globally for outstanding scholarship in his discipline as one of the most revered New Testament scholars. He also shines brightly in another important aspect of this honor – his inspirational mentorship of both his students and faculty colleagues.
- GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH: Today, the leading journal Science published its cover story on groundbreaking NSF-funded research led by Baylor geologists and an international team of researchers that documents the earliest evidence of C4 grasses in prehistoric Africa and their influence on animal development. Dan Peppe, Ph.D., associate professor of geosciences, was lead author on one of the papers, and his decade-long research that includes the contributions of fellow Baylor faculty, graduate and undergraduate students could change the palaeoecological timeline by 10 million years.
- APPRECIATION FOR COMMUNITY LEADERS: Have you thanked your student Community Leader lately? This is the perfect week to do so, as it’s Community Leader Appreciation Week! I join our students and Campus Living & Learning staff in expressing our deepest appreciation for Community Leaders (known as “CLs”), who serve a valuable role in our residence halls. Our on-campus residential experience is an important component of our students’ personal growth, faith development and academic success. Thank you, CLs, for your transformational role in building relationally driven communities and supporting our students.
- GREEN AND GOLD WEEKEND: The annual Green and Gold football game is scheduled for noon next Saturday, April 22, marking the end of spring practice and providing a glimpse of our 2023 Bears. With eight home games, it will be a fun season! In addition, there are a multitude of other athletics events and alumni gatherings throughout the weekend. Things will kick off with Lunch with a Legend next Friday featuring Baylor and NFL great Mike Singletary. We’ll welcome back to campus Heritage Club members (alumni who graduated 50 years ago or more) and host the Baylor Black Alumni Alliance Annual Meeting. Baylor Alumni also is hosting a BBQ cookoff at McLane Stadium where you can vote for your favorite tailgate dish. For a look at other events, visit the Baylor Athletics website.
Here’s to a great rest of the week!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Spring blooms across campus remind me of one of my favorite Baylor history notes. Our University was founded in 1845, before Texas was even a state!