Presidential Perspective - August 3, 2023

August 3, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

I’m looking forward to jumping on a Facebook Live this evening to visit with incoming freshmen and their families as we prepare for the start of the fall semester Aug. 21. I anticipate that we’ll also have some prospective students and parents online given the application process for #BU28 opened on Tuesday. My No. 1 piece of advice – start hydrating now. It’s hot here in Waco!

You can join the Facebook Live by visiting the official Baylor Facebook page at 7 p.m.

A few updates from campus …

  • EXPANDING BAPTIST ROOTS: Last week the Baylor Board of Regents approved an agreement with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) to convey a parcel of land adjacent to campus to Texas Baptists for construction of a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) center. Baylor will donate the land at the intersection of South Fourth Street and Daughtrey Avenue on the southeast side of the campus to the BGCT as a building site while fundraising continues.

  • SAFETY AND SECURITY: I want to extend my appreciation to our outstanding Baylor University Department of Public Safety for leading this week’s joint active threat training exercise in partnership with 19 local, state and federal law enforcement partners and emergency responders. BUDPS spent more than eight months planning this simulated training for multiple organizations to work collaboratively in an active threat incident and further strengthen local emergency services coordination. In addition, police chiefs and emergency managers from seven Big 12 universities attended the exercise, where they were able to observe firsthand Baylor’s commitment to safety and security and ongoing leadership in this space.

  • NASA PROJECT: Ben Rose, Ph.D., who joined the Baylor Physics department just this week after three years at Duke, will help lead an $11 million NASA project to prepare its next flagship project – the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope – for launch in 2027. Dr. Rose is one of four leaders on a project infrastructure team, which brings together more than 50 researchers from over a dozen universities to prepare the infrastructure needed to collect massive amounts of data from Space. The Roman telescope provides a field of view 100 times larger than the Hubble telescope and captures data approximately 1,000 times faster! We’re thrilled for this opportunity and to have Dr. Rose as a member of the Baylor Family.

  • ALL ABOUT THE HURD: It’s been an exciting summer as our extraordinary new “front door” to the University – the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center – has opened. You are welcome to explore the Hurd – and the new Spirit Shop – for yourself, but please note that we still have some finishing touches to complete. You will be amazed, though! Speaking of the Hurd Center, I hope you will join us for a special, two-part webinar series that explores the building’s remarkable design and construction featuring our partners Vaughn Construction and Populous Architectural Design. Our first webinar with Vaughn Construction is set for Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 3 p.m., with the Populous team joining us for our second Hurd Center webinar on Thursday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m. We will post the links on each of those webpages so you can join in on the discussion or view it later on demand.

  • COMPOSTING PROJECT: From spring through summer, Baylor’s Penland Crossroads dining hall has participated in a pilot project with Texas-based Moonshot Compost to divert food waste from the local landfill and instead have it turned into compost. According to Penland’s Moonshot dashboard, more than 14 tons of food waste have been diverted and transformed into nutrient-rich soil. The project is on track to expand in the fall to include the new Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, which will collect used Peet’s Coffee grounds for the compost project.

18 days and counting …

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


The spectacular Mark & Paula Hurd Center glows Baylor green in the nighttime summer sky.