Presidential Perspective - May 11, 2023

May 11, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

It seems like just yesterday we began the spring semester, yet here we are – at Commencement! Tomorrow and Saturday, we will celebrate more than 4,000 graduates, which is the largest graduating class in Baylor history. The road to this moment for our seniors has included some detours: a pandemic, a devastating freeze, I-35 construction. But as you’ve been hard at work building your degrees, God has been alongside you, building you for the journey ahead.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Some updates for this week:

  • END OF SEMESTER SAFETY: No matter where you are this summer – taking summer classes, starting a new job in a new city, serving on a mission trip, studying abroad or planning a much-needed vacation – the Baylor University Department of Public Safety reminds us that situational awareness is key to safety. Be mindful of where you are, what you’re doing and where you’re going, and make sure you have a personal safety plan. To keep your vehicle or residence safe and secure, BUDPS says remember to Hide Lock Take. HIDE any valuables (put them in the trunk of your vehicle and not left in plain sight). LOCK your vehicle and your residence. TAKE your valuables with you, like a laptop, cellphone, backpack or purse. If you see something that doesn't look or feel right, call 911 or if you are on campus, call the Baylor Police Department at 254-710-2222

  • PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL TRANSITIONS: We’ve been blessed as a University with stable, strong leadership within our President’s Council over the past five years. Our team of talented, experienced administrators has worked tirelessly in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic while also advancing Illuminate and eclipsing many strategic milestones. You may have seen the recent announcements that David Rosselli, vice president of advancement, has accepted a new, exciting opportunity at Belmont University in Nashville, while Chief Business Officer Brett Dalton has made the decision to retire back home in the Clemson, S.C., area. While I am sad to see Dave and Brett leave Baylor, we are deeply grateful for their many contributions to the University and wish them the best in their next adventure. But I also understand that the University is at a natural transition point as we initiate a new strategic planning process for the next five years and beyond. Search committees have been established for both positions as we identify new leaders who understand and value Baylor’s Christian mission and distinct place in higher education.

  • FACULTY HONORS: As we conclude the semester, the honors are rolling in for our faculty for their contributions to teaching, scholarship and the academic community:
    • Piper Professor of 2023 for Texas: Andrea L. Dixon, Ph.D., The Frank M. And Floy Smith Holloway Professor in Marketing and executive director of the Center for Professional Selling
    • 2023 Centennial Professors: Julie deGraffenried, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of history, and Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., associate professor of curriculum and instruction
    • Outstanding Faculty 2022-2023:
      • Teaching (tenured): Patricia Norman, Ph.D., associate professor of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation and associate dean of graduate programs; Jamie Van Eyck, D.M.A., associate professor of voice and director of the division of vocal studies; and David Bridge, Ph.D., associate professor of political science
      • Teaching (tenure-track): Rebecca Poe Hays, Ph.D., assistant professor of Christian Scriptures
      • Teaching (non-tenure track): Joshua K. Strakos, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of management and director of undergraduate studies; Luci Ramos Hoppe, M.S.W., senior lecturer of social work; and David A. Smith, Ph.D., senior lecturer of history
      • Scholarship (tenured): Douglas E. Smith, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering; Kimlyn J. Bender, Ph.D., professor of Christian Theology; and Zhenrong Zhang, Ph.D., professor of physics
      • Scholarship (tenure-track): Tomas Cerny, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science
      • Significant Contributions to the Academic Community: Stephen Gardner, Ph.D., The Herman Brown Professor of Economics and director of the McBride Center for International Business

  • HISTORIC PRESERVATION AWARD: Since 1970, Baylor’s Institute for Oral History has recorded and preserved the oral histories of individuals who helped create the fabric of history and whose lives were shaped by the people, places, events and ideas of their day. More than 200 of the Institute’s projects are widely available to the public, making it one of the most important Texas history collections in the world. For their incredible dedication to preserving oral history, the Institute has received the highest honor in Texas in the field of historic preservation – the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, presented by the Texas Historical Commission. Well-deserved honor!

I look forward to celebrating the Class of 2023 tomorrow and Saturday!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 11May23

As the sun sets over the Baylor horizon, we pray abundant blessings on our graduating Class of 2023. Let your lights shine!