Presidential Perspective - April 4, 2024

April 4, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

This Monday is a BIG DAY – not just for Baylor, but for the greater Waco community and beyond – as we experience the total solar eclipse. This will be the last total solar eclipse of the century visible in Texas. I am very excited to experience this astronomical phenomenon with all of you (with protective eclipse glasses, of course!), and I am deeply proud of the many faculty, staff and students who have been working toward this event through educational and research opportunities and the bright light shining on Baylor and Waco. Once the moon eclipses the sun, we will have 4 minutes and 13 seconds of darkness during the middle of the day, a 360-degree sunset and the ability to see the corona of the sun.

Since Waco is one of the best places in the United States to experience the eclipse, we anticipate 100,000-plus visitors to the area. It’s a good idea to be prepared for increased traffic by filling up your vehicle’s gas tank, knowing your “local” travel routes around campus and the city, and “packing your patience” as we experience a memorable event together. Your patience may also be needed with the weather, but clouds, rain or shine, the eclipse will be a wonder.

Not to be “eclipsed,” we also will celebrate one of Baylor’s most beloved traditions –Diadeloso – on Monday. Students attending Dia can participate in all of the events, including the traditional noon meal and the Eclipse Watch on Fountain Mall with physics lecturer Jared Fier, Ph.D., guiding us through the total solar eclipse from 1:15-1:45 p.m.

Be sure to check out the Diadeloso and the Solar Eclipse FAQ for any questions you may have. Please remember: The Tuesday following Diadeloso is an Instructional Monday – which means on April 9, students will attend the classes they would have attended on Monday, April 8.

Some updates for this week:

  • GRAD STUDENT WEEK: This week is Graduate Student Appreciation Week, and I join faculty across campus in expressing our gratitude to the nearly 5,500 graduate students who advance the University’s mission as they pursue their own distinct calling here at Baylor. This includes both graduate students studying on campus who also serve Baylor students and professors in research and teaching, and our growing online and professional student body who fling their green and gold afar across the nation. Baylor’s growth as a Christian research university would not be possible without your tireless efforts and inclusion as part of the Baylor Family.
  • SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH: Throughout April, Baylor will again join universities and communities around the country to increase public awareness and prevention education about sexual assault and interpersonal violence during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office invites students, faculty and staff to participate in this month’s events as well as join the University’s commitment to fostering a safe and healthy campus, preventing acts of sexual violence and treating all members of the campus community with dignity and respect.
  • SUMMER OF DISCOVERY: The semester is certainly flying by, and it’s time for students to begin registering for the summer and fall semesters. I hope you will consider summer classes through our Summer of Discovery Baylor offers both in-person and online classes during summer to give you the flexibility to get back on track or get ahead toward graduation from wherever you plan to be this summer. Summer classes also can help you make room in your schedule to complete an internship or study abroad program. Summer courses are taught by our amazing faculty, and the best part is that the cost is discounted from regular tuition.
  • OFF TO A RECORD PACE: This is such an exciting time of year as Baylor students – supported unwaveringly by their faculty mentors – learn they have been selected for some of the most prestigious and highly competitive fellowships and awards at the national and international level. The honors are beginning to roll in – and at a record pace! Congratulations to our record number of recipients of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship for the study of languages and cultures essential to America's engagement with the world, and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, the preeminent undergraduate scholarship for students to pursue research careers in STEM fields.

    Baylor’s CLS recipients for this year are:

    • Josh Browder, senior University Scholar/International Studies major, who will study Japanese in Okayama, Japan;
    • Taylor Chung, senior Political Science and Arabic and Middle East Studies major, who will study Arabic in Meknes, Morocco;
    • Emma Wrona, senior University Scholar/International Studies major, who will study Turkish in Ankara, Turkey; and
    • Josiah Zeigler, senior Arabic and Middle East Studies and Political Science major, who will study Arabic in Amman, Jordan.

    Baylor’s three Goldwater Scholars are:

    • Sarah Beno, junior biology major, Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology;
    • Allie North, senior Science Research Fellow, Ph.D. in Planetary Geoscience or Geophysics; and
    • William Smith, senior Science Research Fellow, Ph.D. in Applied Physics.

    Safe to say, this is only the beginning of a record-setting year for students attaining these major fellowships and awards.

  • FINAL SPRING BAYLOR 101: Our informative Baylor 101 webinar series continues next week as we introduce the University's new facilities and dining service providers to the campus community ahead of the June 1 effective date. Guests will be Pat Carley, associate vice president for facilities and operations, and Peter Granick, associate vice president of business services and chief procurement officer, who will discuss the vendor selection process, transition strategies and expectations for the best-in-class service, while taking some time to answer your questions. I hope you can tune in to this special one-hour Zoom webinar at 3:30 p.m. CT Wednesday, April 10. Check your email next week for the Zoom link, and remember that all Baylor 101 webinars are available on demand for later viewing.
  • POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: As a Christian research university, we have an institutional commitment and obligation to operating with the highest levels of integrity and in accordance with all University policies, procedures and applicable laws. Each faculty, staff member and student employee is required to be aware of and comply with these, as well as with any additional policies issued by their assigned department, school or division. Compliance with applicable policies is a condition of employment at Baylor. Here’s a direct link to Baylor policies that you should bookmark: And, when in doubt, always ask your supervisor for guidance.

I’m a little sad this week as basketball season has ended for our Bears, but I am proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff for representing the University so well during postseason play. Note that Baylor is the only school in the nation to have won at least one NCAA Tournament game in both men’s and women’s basketball in each of the past five seasons. Sic ’em!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


The Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center turned into a federal courtroom earlier this week so that 137 people from 46 countries could become naturalized U.S. citizens.