Presidential Perspective - April 25, 2024

April 25, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

The histories of Baylor University and Texas Baptists have been intertwined since our founding in 1845. Last week we started another chapter in our relationship as Julio Guarneri, Ph.D., executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, joined me for a special signing ceremony deeding land at the intersection of Daughtrey Avenue and 4th Street to the BGCT for a new Baptist Student Ministries building.

The Lord has truly been at work at Baylor during the spring semester, from the Collegiate Day of Prayer that was broadcast worldwide from Waco Hall to the life-changing experiences provided by FM72 right in the heart of campus and so much more. My prayer is that we will continue to be open to the work of the Holy Spirit through the end of the semester, into the summer and into the fall semester.

Some updates for this week:

  • ANOTHER CHURCHILL HONOR: Last week I shared the great news about our fourth consecutive Churchill Scholar in only four years as a nominating institution. We have another Churchill honor to announce: Andrew Hogue, Ph.D., associate dean for engaged learning, has received the 2024 Churchill Adviser Award from the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States. The award recognizes Dr. Hogue’s work (4 for 4!) in helping four Baylor students successfully apply for the Churchill, which provides funding for a year of master’s study in STEM fields at Churchill College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Congratulations to Dr. Hogue and the Office of Engaged Learning staff for walking alongside our students as they maximize their academic experiences beyond the classroom with top scholarships, fellowships, internships and research.
  • FULBRIGHT HISTORY: For the past two years Baylor has been recognized as a Fulbright Top Producing Institution, and it’s safe to say we will have that honor for three years in a row. Today we join with the Office of Engaged Learning in celebration of a record 16 Baylor students and recent alumni who have been selected for highly competitive Fulbright U.S. Student Grants. The Fulbright is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, and its grants allow recipients to pursue graduate study, conduct research or teach English abroad. Please take a moment and read about these remarkable Baylor Bears who will impact our world as leaders, scholars and public servants.
  • PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR: Congratulations to Stephen Sloan, Ph.D., professor of history, who has been honored as this year’s Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year for his significant contributions to the learning environment at Baylor through teaching, research and creative activity and service. A gifted teacher, Dr. Sloan also is a noted public historian who directs our Institute for Oral History and serves as executive director of the national Oral History Association, headquartered at Baylor. We are deeply appreciative of how Dr. Sloan has created extraordinary learning opportunities for Baylor students and members of our local community through his dedicated stewardship of the oral history field among history scholars worldwide. 
  • THANKS FOR COACHE INPUT: I want to offer a huge “thank you” to our faculty. Over the past few months, we asked you to participate in the COACHE Faculty Satisfaction Survey. The results of this survey will help us make Baylor an even better place for you to invest your academic careers. You responded to our call, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Our response rate was 73.2%! This is higher than the response we saw in 2020, when Baylor first administered the survey, and much higher than this year’s national average of 48%. Next fall we will begin learning from the results of the survey and identifying areas campuswide that we can improve together.
  • MAKE YOUR SUMMER PLANS: For many Baylor Bears, summer is a great time to catch up or even get ahead on your degree plan to make room for internships, study abroad or even a minor or certification. Baylor’s Summer of Discovery courses are available across multiple summer sessions, and you may choose to attend as many of the summer sessions as you’d like. And don’t forget summer courses are discounted from regular tuition! Classes are available in-person and online so you can continue to advance toward your academic goals from wherever you are this summer.
  • HONORING MUSIC DEAN: Tomorrow we will honor longtime School of Music Dean Gary Mortenson, D.M.A, with a retirement reception from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Baylor Club. In addition to his role as Dean, Dr. Mortenson served as Interim Provost for Administration from April 2018 through May 2019. In 2020, he co-chaired the Commission on Historic Campus Representations. You can RSVP for the reception here.

And be sure to drop by Allbritton House on the last day of class – next Thursday, May 2, at 1 p.m. – for FREE GELATO from Gelu!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


What a blessing it was to participate in the commissioning of so many Baylor students who will be working at camps over the summer. These are life-changing experiences not only for the campers, but for our students as well. And who knows, maybe some of those campers will one day become Baylor Bears!