Presidential Perspective - June 29, 2023

June 29, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

I am back on campus following double-knee replacement surgery earlier this month - without a scooter, walker, crutches or a cane, thanks to an incredible medical team and your ongoing prayers. After rehab each morning, I’ve been able to venture to Pat Neff Hall and resume a somewhat regular summer office schedule. The fall will be here before we know it, and I will be ready!

Some news for this week …

  • BELLE AND INDY UPDATE: As you may know, we have two American black bear cubs joining the Baylor Family on campus this fall, with Judge Belle and Judge Indy still getting acclimated to their new homes here in Waco. The Baylor Bear Habitat caregivers are happy to report that Indy and Belle are thriving and are greatly improving their climbing and fine motor skills. Some favorite activities include wrestling with each other and lots of water time in the pools to cool down in this oppressive Texas heat. Since they were introduced in May, the cubs have grown about 10 pounds heavier and a few inches taller. Indy celebrated her five-month birthday on June 24 and today marks Belle’s five-month milestone. Construction and “cub-proofing” continues at the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat, with Indy and Belle expected to make their campus debut in August. In the meantime, be sure and stop by to see Judge Lady – she’s at about the halfway mark on her summer fur reveal for those following along with the Fur Tracker updates posted on the Baylor Bear Habitat’s Instagram. That’s also a good place to keep up with Belle and Indy, including their climbing skills!

  • FACES OF GIVE LIGHT: We are extremely thankful for the 94,000-plus donors and members of the Baylor Family who have contributed to the Give Light campaign over the past several years. This week we recognized the many “Faces of the Give Light Campaign,” particularly those who have made significant investments toward the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, as we look forward to its opening in the weeks ahead. Take a few moments to read about these selfless members of the Baylor Family and learn more about this awe-inspiring building.

  • BAYLOR MAGAZINE DROP: The Summer 2023 issue of Baylor Magazine is now online and will reach your mailbox in the coming week. This issue includes an introduction to the four new cities joining the expanded Big 12 Conference footprint, an inside look at the dedication of the new statues of Rev. Robert Gilbert and Mrs. Barbara Walker placed in front of the Tidwell Bible Building and the cultural institutions that make Baylor’s campus a hub for fine arts. Then the Fall issue will come a little earlier than it has in previous years as we position the magazine to help kick off the 2023-24 school year. It will reach homes in the first weeks of September and will include more on the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, your guide to Homecoming and much more. 

  • SPRING DEAN’S LIST: Congratulations to the more than 5,000 students who have been named to the Spring 2023 Dean’s Academic Honor List. The Dean’s List recognizes Baylor undergraduates for their outstanding academic work during each semester. Those honored 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. Keep up the great work, Bears!

  • APEX LEOPARD SEALS: Sarah Kienle, Ph.D. assistant professor of biology, and Emily Sperou, a biology doctoral student, have just published their latest findings on leopard seals, the mysterious apex predator of Antarctica. Large and In Charge examines how cortisol varies between male and female leopard seals. As the least-studied apex predator, this groundbreaking study provides a strong foundation for assessing leopard seals’ physiology, which is fundamental for understanding their vulnerability to climate change.

As we celebrate July 4th with barbecue, family and fireworks on Tuesday, let’s not forget those who have served – and continue to serve – in our nation’s military forces as they protect and further the freedoms we hold so dear.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 29Jun23

The University for Young People celebrated its 40th anniversary this summer with approximately 200 students participating in 44 enrichment and accelerated courses. Gifted and talented students in grades 1–12 spent the first two weeks of June working with instructors in three-hour courses each day, including Investigate the Aquatic Environment, Sculpture, Unleash Your Inner Inventor: Innovating With STEM, Legos Competition, Creative Writing, and Mock Trial.