Presidential Perspective - February 9, 2023

February 9, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

In December during two Commencement ceremonies, we conferred nearly 1,300 degrees on newly minted Baylor graduates who now are flinging their green and gold afar as Baylor Alumni. Fast forward to this spring, and we have a total of 19,848 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the University. Among this number are more than 5,000 seniors! Finish strong, Bears, and I’ll see you soon as you walk across the stage at Commencement. May will be here before you know it!

Some updates for this week:

  • LONGTIME DEAN RETURNS TO FACULTY: Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben, J.D. ’77, announced yesterday that he has decided to transition from his long and distinguished service as Dean and return to the faculty July 1. Dean Toben has served on the Baylor Law faculty since 1983 and as Dean since 1991. In fact, he is the longest-serving leader among the Deans of the 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools. He has led Baylor Law through an era of tremendous change, while lending a significant voice to the national conversation in legal education. Because of his leadership, Baylor Law School is poised to continue as one of the nation’s premier teaching law schools for future practitioners for generations to come. We are deeply grateful to Dean Toben for his faithful and remarkable stewardship of Baylor Law.

  • MONUMENT INSPIRATION: After the Board of Regents approved a framework to tackle many of the recommendations from the Commission on Historic Campus Representations’ comprehensive report, I am thrilled to see the progress we’ve made in developing a “Monument to the Unknown Enslaved” on Founders Mall. The architectural renderings for the Monument were included in last week’s edition of Ad Unitatem, which also noted planned updates around the Judge Baylor statue. The Monument is inspired by the limestone used at Baylor’s original campus in Independence, and it will have three different ways – an Outer Ring, Inner Ring and Resonance Garden – for the Baylor Family to learn, understand and reflect on the University’s complete history.

  • RACISM IN THE WHITE CHURCH CONFERENCE: On Feb. 16-18, Baylor’s Truett Seminary will host the second in a three-year sequence of programs on confronting racism in the White church and seeking God’s justice. Led by faith and culture scholar Greg Garrett, Ph.D., professor of English, and Truett Seminary Dean Todd D. Still, Ph.D., “It’s Time to Wake Up” will feature nationally known keynote speakers Esau McCaulley, Beth Moore and Jemar Tisby, as well as film screenings, workshops, enlightening conversations, prayer and homilies led by a host of Baylor faculty and staff. In-person registration is $29, but Baylor faculty, staff, students and spouses can attend for free. There’s also a free virtual option. The program is funded by the Eula Mae & John Baugh Foundation and Truett Seminary.

  • DEAN’S LIST: More than 5,100 Baylor students have been named to the Fall 2022 Dean’s Academic Honor List, which recognizes undergraduates for their stellar academic work each semester. Students who receive Dean’s List recognition earned a minimum semester grade-point average of 3.70 with no grade lower than a “C” while enrolled in at least 12 graded semester hours. Congratulations to our Dean’s List honorees!

  • FOUNDERS MEDAL: Earlier today, William E. (Ed) Crenshaw, B.B.A. ’73, of Lakeland, Fla., was named this year’s recipient of the Baylor Founders Medal, one of the University’s highest honors for those whose support and service have impacted the future of Baylor in historically significant ways. As the retired CEO and current Chair of the Board for Publix Super Markets Inc., Mr. Crenshaw has been such an inspiration for our students, with his exemplary career and legacy as a Christian business leader inspiring Baylor Bears who follow in his footsteps. He and his wife, Denise, have been incredibly generous in their support of Student Foundation and scholarships, as well as the priorities and growth of Baylor’s academic enterprise, particularly in the Hankamer School of Business. Please join me in congratulating Mr. Crenshaw on this well-deserved recognition.

I am enroute to Tampa, Florida, for a special Give Light event tomorrow night during which we will celebrate Ed Crenshaw as our guest of honor. I look forward to a special evening visiting with Baylor Bears from the Sunshine State!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 9Feb23

Before the rain hit this week, we were able to get a photo of the tremendous progress being made on the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center under construction at the intersection of I-35 and University Parks Drive. We are looking forward to the grand opening celebration this fall on Sept. 8!