Presidential Perspective - September 14, 2023

September 14, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

After summer’s record-breaking heat, this week has been a different story. Finally, a break in the temperatures – the coolest since May – and some blessed rainfall! We have a big weekend of outdoor events with Family Weekend and the Baylor-Long Island football game at 11 a.m. Saturday, but always be prepared for the Texas weather, which can change its mind quickly. Have your rain gear handy, and if you’re attending the football game – even though it won’t be 108° like last Saturday – we will have water and cooling stations available on the McLane Stadium concourse. 

Some updates for this week …

  • WELCOME FAMILIES: I cannot wait to greet our students’ families visiting for Family Weekend beginning tomorrow. A full schedule of events will help guests become better acquainted with the University and many of our beloved traditions, as well as what makes our hometown of Waco special. There’s so much to see and do, from our Meet the Faculty lunch to Dr Pepper Hour in the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center, student performances, Vertical Family Worship, the pregame Family Weekend Tailgate Experience – and much more. Be sure to check the Family Weekend website as the wet weather has impacted some of the previously scheduled events. 

  • FIRST HUDDLE AT THE HURD EVENT: The inaugural Friday Night Family Huddle at the Hurd is happening this week – kicking off at 6 p.m. at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. There will be fun for all ages, including inflatables, light refreshments and food trucks. Also, the Baylor Family is welcome to stop by our new “front door” before the football game. The Hurd Welcome Center will be open from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday for everyone coming out to watch the Bears take on Long Island. 

  • GREAT COLLEGE TO WORK FOR: For the 12thtime in 13 years, Baylor has attained the highest recognition possible by the “The Great Colleges to Work For” program – as one of only 42 institutions with elite Honor Roll status as a 2023 Great College to Work For. Baylor is a great place to work because it is where academic excellence is elevated, a Christian commitment is celebrated, research is cultivated and the Baylor Family welcomes each student with open arms. Thank you to all Baylor faculty and staff who shared their thoughts and completed the surveys and for your sustained commitment to our mission of educating men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community. 

  • ADVANCING INNOVATION: As Baylor expands its research infrastructure as a Christian R1 university, it’s critically important that we provide support and resources for Baylor faculty to navigate funding, intellectual property protection, prototyping and more toward a tangible goal — the translation of their research ideas into real-world products with societal impact. Evidence of this successful commitment came this week as Baylor moved up to No. 75 among the Top 100 U.S. Universities Granted Utility Patents in 2022. This list, published by the National Academy of Inventors, highlights and celebrates American innovation and showcases the universities – like Baylor – that play a significant role in advancing the innovation ecosystem within the U.S. and beyond. We are excited to see where our efforts lead us in the future. 

  • FALL STAFF AND FACULTY MEETINGS: The Hurd Welcome Center will play host to the annual Fall Staff and Fall Faculty meetings next week. Monday’s Fall Staff meeting at 3 p.m. will provide an opportunity for staff to explore the features of the Hurd Center, engage with campus partners and see a showcase of employee benefit offerings. On Wednesday at 3 p.m., Provost Nancy Brickhouse and I will join faculty at 3 p.m. at The Hurd for the Fall Faculty Meeting, where we will share University updates and priorities for the semester, celebrate colleagues who were awarded Outstanding Faculty Awards and introduce new academic leadership. Parking is limited, so we encourage you to walk as able. 

  • BAYLOR 101 - STUDENT LIFE: Yesterday afternoon we held our first Baylor 101webinar of the year, focusing on our stellar Division of Student Life with Sharra Hynes, Ph.D., associate vice president and dean of students. In case you missed it, the session is available on demand, and I encourage you to watch it to learn how we use programs and services built around leadership, service and Christian faith for comprehensive student development. And, faculty and staff might hear about a new way they can be involved within the campus community. 

Don’t miss Baylor soccer’s Big 12 season opener vs. Texas tonight at 7 at Betty Lou Mays Field, a Top 20 volleyball match tomorrow night in the Ferrell Center between No. 18 Baylor and No. 19 Ohio State and then more soccer on Sunday at 6 p.m. vs. UTSA. Sic ’em, Bears!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


A $6.5 million TEM (transmission electron microscope) is now installed in the Center for Microscopy and Imaging (CMI) in the Baylor Sciences Building, following a $2 million upgrade over the summer. Part of that $2 million upgrade was obtained through faculty research grants. Bernd Zechmann, Ph.D., serves as the director of CMI.