Presidential Perspective - February 1, 2024

February 1, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Our North American Black Bear mascots Indy and Belle celebrated their first birthdays last weekend, and today, it’s Baylor University’s turn! Happy Birthday to Baylor, which celebrates turning 179 years old today as the oldest continuously operating university in Texas. We are grateful that our University continues to flourish in our Central Texas hometown of Waco while remaining steadfastly committed to our foundation of Christian commitment and academic excellence.

Some updates from campus:

  • BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Today begins the monthlong celebration of Black History Month at Baylor and in the greater Waco community as together we embrace history and enrich our knowledge of African Americans’ achievements and central role in U.S. history while encouraging the celebration of the diversity within the Baylor Family. Make plans to participate in an incredible collection of Black History Month events and opportunities at Baylor and throughout the community all month long.
  • HATFIELD PRIZE: The Center for Public Justice has awarded its prestigious 2024 Hatfield Prize to a Baylor student/faculty team to conduct a semester-long research project on social policies that impact vulnerable children, families and communities, and explore the impact of these policies locally. As Hatfield Prize recipients, senior mechanical engineering major Jackson Boone and political science lecturer Colby Humphrey, Ph.D., will focus their research on workforce development efforts in Waco through a Christian faith lens while contributing to policies that promote flourishing communities. The Hatfield Prize honors the legacy of the late Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, who was known for integrating his Christian faith and his public policy commitments. Congratulations to Jackson and Dr. Humphrey for this impressive recognition.
  • CIVIC ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY: During last week’s Baylor Conversation Series panel discussion on civil discourse, politics and faith (now available for on-demand viewing), we mentioned our intent is to offer a range of programs and activities to support civic engagement from now through the general election in November. One opportunity will be on Monday, Feb 5. For anyone who has not registered to vote, there will be a table inside the SUB lobby from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You must register by Monday if you want to participate in Texas’ primary on Tuesday, March 5. And remember, Baylor students, faculty and staff can now cast their ballots on campus at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center.
  • ON-DEMAND VIEWING: With so many programs and events to start the semester, it is almost impossible to attend everything. But don’t worry if you had to miss something, because several are available now, on demand. During the Spring Faculty meeting on Jan. 23, we celebrated many faculty members, offered an update on my Presidential goals, highlighted key events on the spring calendar and gave an overview of services related to faculty well-being. On Jan. 24, Vice Provost for Research Kevin Chambliss, Ph.D., was the special guest on Baylor 101, discussing our journey to Research 1 status and what comes next in our research commitment. I hope you will take time to watch these informative and important recordings.
  • SPRING STORM SEASON AHEAD: The spring storm season in Texas is approaching, and it’s time for all of us to be prepared, including ensuring that our multi-tiered Baylor Alert emergency notification system is ready when needed. Baylor Alert is used to quickly notify all faculty, staff and students about emergency situations, including severe weather such as tornado watches or warnings. Tomorrow at 10 a.m., Baylor will join City of Waco and McLennan County partners for our regular “First Friday” testing of tornado sirens. At the same time, Baylor will conduct a required test of the Baylor Alert system. It’s possible that cloudy skies and a chance of rain tomorrow could postpone the siren test until March 1, but the University will still test the rest of the Baylor Alert emergency notification system.
  • MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Three important dates for the Fall 2024 semester have been set, now that Baylor’s 2024 Big 12 football schedule has been announced:
    • Baylor Family Weekend, Sept. 13-14, 2024 (Baylor vs. Air Force)
    • Baylor Fall Break, Oct. 11, 2024 (no game)
    • Baylor Homecoming, Oct. 25-26, 2024 (Baylor vs. Oklahoma State)

Let’s Pack the Pavilion tonight at 7:30 p.m. for No. 13 Baylor women’s basketball as the Bears face No. 12 Texas for the final time in the regular season as a Big 12 opponent!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


A big Happy Birthday to cubs Indy and Belle, as well as to our dear Lady who turned 22 yesterday!