Presidential Perspective - August 10, 2023

August 10, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

If you are new to the Baylor Family, I send an email each Thursday providing an update on newsworthy happenings and significant accomplishments across the University. Be sure to check your email around 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursdays as we spotlight the incredible work of our faculty, staff and students and share important information with you.

For our students, I hope you will stop by Allbritton House – the President’s home – on the first day of class, Aug. 21, to visit with the First Gent and me. We’ll be handing out FREE Helados La Azteca Popsicles in our driveway beginning at 3 p.m. as we try to beat the heat!

A few updates from campus …

  • SUMMER COMMENCEMENT: This will be my first Commencement since double knee replacement surgery earlier this summer, and I am ready to stand on the Ferrell Center stage and celebrate the more than 600 newly minted Baylor graduates this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony also includes a large number of doctoral hoodings, which is a sign of a healthy, comprehensive university. I expect this number of doctoral graduates to grow along with our continued development as a preeminent Christian R1 university. Congratulations to our new Baylor Alumni!

  • INDY AND BELLE: I know many of you have been eagerly awaiting your chance to meet our new American black bear cubs, Judge Indy and Judge Belle. I am excited to share with you that the cubs are now in an acclimation period for our AZA-accredited Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat, during which they will sporadically be out on exhibit in the public-facing portion of the facility. Follow the Baylor Bear Habitat on social media for more updates as the cubs get into a more regular routine, and make plans to come to the Habitat on Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon for Meet the Cubs. There will be festivities, giveaways and exclusive merchandise available for purchase as we officially meet Indy and Belle and welcome them into our Baylor Family!

  • MCNAIR SCHOLARS: I’m so proud of our McNair Scholars Program for hosting the fifth annual McNair Research Conference last week in conjunction with the Baylor Graduate School. More than 200 McNair Scholars, along with Baylor and MCC undergrads, had the opportunity to present their research on a national scale, interact with peers and faculty, tour Baylor’s research facilities and meet with 31 top U.S. universities and graduate schools, including our own. The McNair Scholars Program prepares high-achieving first-generation and underrepresented students with the skills and mentorships needed to navigate a successful path to a Ph.D. program. I am impressed with the accomplishments of these scholars and look forward to following their academic careers.

  • THE HOTTER THE HEAT: August in Texas is always hot, but we are experiencing record-breaking temperatures as we get ready for Move2BU and the fall semester start. Hydration is really key for everyone: volunteers, students and family members. We will have more than 2,500 student, faculty and staff volunteers helping new students and their families move belongings into residence halls. Please take note of the well-marked Hydration/Wellness tents located close to the main entrance of our residence halls. These tents are supplied with water, ice, snacks, electrolyte packets and cooling towels. We don’t expect a break in the heat for a while, so it will be important to be mindful of the weather, stay hydrated and find shade whenever possible.

  • FACULTY AND STAFF OPEN HOUSE: You’ve heard us talk a lot about the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center, and I hope you are making plans to see it in person. Next Monday and Tuesday, between 2 and 4 p.m., you are invited to stop by The Hurd for a complimentary Dr Pepper float in the Varsity Coffee and Soda shop (while quantities last) to experience the four columns that connect us to Baylor’s founding in Independence and to browse the unique Baylor-branded items in the Spirit Shop – your faculty/staff discount does apply!

  • NEW FACULTY ORIENTATION: As we welcome students to campus next week, we also extend a Baylor welcome to 123 new faculty members joining us this fall. Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., and I have the opportunity to greet our new faculty at the opening session of New Faculty Orientation Monday at the BRIC. During the two-day gathering, faculty will learn more about Baylor’s commitment to faith and learning, teaching, research opportunities, student success, faculty resources and much more. Make sure to enjoy your first Dr Pepper float, a beloved Baylor tradition!

Stay cool and hydrated!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


This Saturday, 670 students – including 100 doctoral hoodings – will participate in Summer Commencement at the Ferrell Center.