Presidential Perspective - January 19, 2023
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
We’ve been welcomed back to Waco for the spring semester by spring-like weather, free-flowing I-35 traffic and food-delivery robots traversing campus. I hope all are signs for a fun, transformational semester!
Some campus updates for this week:
- We are in the homestretch of TxDOT completing I-35 construction, but as we begin the semester, please note that the area by campus remains an active construction zone, particularly at 4th/5th streets. You will notice that crews are working this week to bring traffic signals online at these very busy intersections. Please be extremely cautious and alert when driving, walking or biking in this area. Once the traffic signals are fully operational at 4th/5th, they will flash red for a few days before the permanent signal timing is established, which will help drivers adapt and begin paying attention to the signals rather than stop signs. Over the next few months, crews will be completing remaining projects from MLK Boulevard to 17th Street, including traffic signals at 11th/12th streets, pavement and sidewalk work, lane markings for crosswalks and stop bars at intersections, and more.
- Last month, one of Waco’s popular restaurants, Tru Jamaica, had to close its doors after a devastating electrical fire. Until they can rebuild, other doors throughout the Waco community have opened for the restaurant to continue to operate, including here on the Baylor campus. Through a partnership with Baylor Dining, we are so happy to have owner Aniceto Charles Jr. serving his authentic Jamaican cuisine Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tru Jamaica food truck on Fifth Street by Rosenbalm Fountain. Aniceto says he and his family are “prayerfully and boldly walking into a new future,” and as Waco community partners, Baylor is here to support them on their journey to rebuild.
- As we begin a new year, we also reflect on 2022, a very different year for Baylor as we achieved Research 1 status from the Carnegie Classification as a preeminent Christian research university. So how did being “R1” impact our Graduate School? Dean Larry Lyon describes it this way: “A graduate school at an R1 university is different than graduate schools at other universities; a graduate school at a Christian R1 university is more different still.” I was impressed to read about the School’s remarkable progress last year and plans for the future in its 2022 Annual Report. All of us, in one way or another, are stakeholders in graduate education at Baylor, and I invite you to explore the new developments at your R1 Graduate School.
- An incredibly helpful resource for students is available now with the opening of the new One Stop office location on the third floor of the SUB. One Stop is a comprehensive “concierge-like” resource – now found in the heart of campus – where incoming and current undergraduate and graduate students can get one-on-one support regarding important financial and enrollment matters such as scholarships, billing, financial aid, loans and so much more. I encourage students to make an appointment, stop by the new office for a walk-in visit or schedule a virtual office visit at onestop.web.baylor.edu.
- Next Tuesday’s Dr Pepper Hour will be truly a unique one as we partner with the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco to celebrate the 70th anniversary of one of Baylor’s most cherished traditions (as well as our favorite hometown Dr Pepper!). The Museum will join us on campus in its historic Dr Pepper trailer, which will be parked outside the Bill Daniel Student Center. You can get your Dr Pepper floats and other surprises from 3 to 4 p.m. either outside on 5th Street or inside Barfield Drawing Room on the second floor of the SUB. This is one Dr Pepper Hour you won’t want to miss!
Here's to a great semester together!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
I enjoyed sipping on Pop’s Lemonade and visiting with so many students on Monday for the first day of the spring semester!