Presidential Perspective - March 16, 2023

March 16, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

It’s March Madness time at Baylor University! Did you know that Baylor is among only 26 universities that have BOTH their men’s and women’s basketball teams competing in the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships? That is some pretty select company.

As former Division 1 basketball student-athletes (and big fans of Baylor Athletics), the First Gent and I will be among the green-and-gold fans cheering on our Bears. Tomorrow I will be flying to Storrs, Conn., while watching MBB take on UC Santa Barbara at 12:30 p.m. CDT. On Saturday, I’ll be in the stands in Storrs at 4:30 p.m. CDT as WBB tips off in the first round vs. Alabama. Here’s hoping for two Baylor victories! If that’s the case, I’ll hop on a plane to Denver in time for a second-round MBB game on Sunday. Sic ’em, Bears!

Some campus updates for this week:

  • We are so excited for the return of FM72, which since 2019 has really become part of the annual rhythm at Baylor. Hosted this Sunday through Wednesday by our Office of Spiritual Life in partnership with multiple campus ministries and local churches, FM72 unites students on our campus and from other colleges and universities for 72 hours of continuous prayer and nightly worship at 8 p.m. on Fountain Mall in the heart of campus. We pray that FM72 will once again stir the hearts of countless students to passionately seek God together and experience the delightful surprise of the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • Earlier today we announced a $1.5 million gift from anonymous alumni establishing The Luther Sweet Endowed Chair in Disabilities in the School of Education to support innovative research and teaching focused on the flourishing of children and youth with disabilities. This endowed chair, held by Erik W. Carter, Ph.D., who joined Baylor from Vanderbilt, supports the Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics and Health initiatives within Illuminate and qualifies for matching support through Give Light’s Illuminate Chair Matching Program. We celebrate this Baylor family who has chosen to magnify their gift through our matching program, which allows Baylor to accelerate interdisciplinary scholarship across the University and beyond in the area of faith and disability.

  • I extend a Baylor welcome to Eduardo Contreras Jr., Ed.D., who will join us from the University of Portland on July 1 as vice provost for global engagement. Dr. Contreras will serve on Provost Nancy Brickhouse’s leadership team and as the University’s senior international officer, where he will oversee the Center for Global Engagement, including Study Abroad, the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, Global Baylor, the Global Scholars Program and the Global Gateway Program. A nationally visible leader in global education with a commitment to Baylor’s Christian mission, Dr. Contreras will lead us forward in our next stage of global engagement.

  • It’s hard to believe that construction of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center is almost complete, and I know that many of you are anxious to get a peek inside! You can do that during a special Baylor 101 for faculty and staff held via Zoom webinar on Wednesday, March 22, from 1 to 2 p.m. We look forward to sharing updates on construction progress, details on the building and how the center will serve as a “front door” to Baylor, as well as provide that amazing “sneak peek” inside this incredible new facility. Look for a Zoom link in your inbox next week. If you’re not able to watch live, this Baylor 101, as well as previous sessions on Baylor benefits, the endowment and the Baylor Board of Regents, are recorded and archived online.

  • Spring is such a busy time on our campus, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the activities around Baylor. Baylor News Digest is a go-to resource for a weekly spotlight of major events and happenings around campus. It’s delivered via email every Wednesday – be sure to check it out.

Have a great week!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 9Mar23

U.S. News recently recognized Baylor as No. 10 in the nation for First-Year Experience for providing students with a supportive environment to maximize their success. On Tuesday, I had a wonderful time celebrating success with first-year students who earned a fall semester GPA of 3.7 or higher at the Celebration of First Year Excellence reception. Keep up the great work!