Presidential Perspective - April 20, 2023
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
I hope you had a chance to see the news about an exciting addition to our Spring Commencement roster – our very own Lady is graduating! Our beloved American black bear is joining the ranks of graduates this May – take heart in the fact that it only took her 21 years – as she prepares to move off campus into her permanent, private living quarters in a newly constructed auxiliary facility by midsummer. Her graduation party is May 2, so save the date to come by the Bear Habitat. Baylor seniors in the Class of 2023 should plan to sign their names on Lady’s graduation banner, which will hang in the Habitat throughout Commencement weekend.
While we are sad that Lady will no longer be on campus, we are thankful for her dedicated team of Baylor Bear Habitat caregivers, staff and veterinary personnel who will continue to give her uninterrupted, world-class care and attention as she continues to age into her golden years as our favorite bear.
You may have also seen in Lady’s graduation announcement that we are thrilled to continue the proud and important mission of the Baylor Bear Habitat in its next chapter as we now look to welcoming new bear cubs into the Baylor Family. We will have more to share in the near future as we continue to evaluate our next steps. But for now, I hope you will join me in celebrating Lady’s graduation!
Some campus updates for this week:
- GREEN & GOLD WEEKEND: Green and Gold Weekend is here, filled with family-friendly events that begin tomorrow through Sunday, highlighted by Baylor Football’s spring Green and Gold Game at noon Saturday at McLane Stadium. Make sure you check the Baylor Athletics website for the full schedule of events.
In addition, two Baylor institutions – BRH Choir and Air Force ROTC – will be celebrating their 75th anniversaries on Saturday. Current and former BRH members will gather from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Truett Seminary for an all-year reunion, and yes, they definitely will make time for singing as they lift up their voices with some of the choir’s favorite songs from various eras. Baylor’s AFROTC Detachment 810 is one of the first such programs in the nation, formed only 10 months after the creation of the Air Force as a separate military branch. The First Gent and I look forward to joining alumni from all decades, along with former commanders, staff members and present-day seniors for a special celebration on Saturday night.
- WE HAVE SPIRIT, YES, WE DO: The Baylor Spirit Squads returned from the College Classic National Competition in Orlando, Fla., sporting some of their own championship hardware. Our mascots, Bruiser and Marigold, won the mascot title for the third year in a row, while the Songleaders Dance team brought home runner-up honors in the team performance and Spirit Showdown competitions. Just like our 19 varsity sports, our Spirit Squads are committed to the pursuit of excellence and, of course, generating excitement and passion for Baylor.
- LIFT UP YOUR HEARTS: As we enter the final weeks of the spring semester, we “Lift Up Our Hearts” at a Faculty-Staff Chapel service Friday, May 5, at 11 a.m. in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary. It’s a great privilege to gather as a Baylor Family for prayer and worship led by members of the Baylor community – including a faculty and staff choir – and I will share a special message as our semester comes to a close. A complimentary luncheon for faculty and staff will follow in the Piper Great Hall. Registration is available here.
- FACULTY HONORS: Springtime is awards season! Congratulations are in order for Richard Rankin Russell, Ph.D., professor of English and graduate program director, who was honored as the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year for making a superlative contribution to the learning environment through teaching, research and service; and Thomas D. McGrath, Ph.D., senior lecturer of chemistry and undergraduate program director, who was selected by this year’s Senior Class as the Collins Outstanding Professor.
- FACULTY RETIREMENT RECEPTION: A reminder that the Office of the Provost, Faculty Senate and the Baylor Chapter of the American Association of University Professors will host a University Faculty Retirement Reception today from 3-5 p.m. in Cashion 506. Remarks will be at 3:15 p.m.
- SEAL OF APPROVAL: College students around the country face unique challenges as they navigate university life and academic rigor. I’m grateful for our professional staff at the Baylor University Counseling Center, who provide our students with access to comprehensive, high-quality mental healthcare services and support. BUCC’s steadfast commitment to fostering wholeness in every student has been recognized by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services, the premier leader in setting the benchmark for the full range of professional counseling services on college and university campuses worldwide.
I’m looking forward to a Green and Gold Weekend!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
New billboards throughout the Waco area are celebrating the wonderful partnership we have with the city and surrounding communities.