Presidential Perspective - February 8, 2024

February 8, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Judging by my calendar, the semester is definitely in full gear. I have a feeling that most all of you can relate, but here’s something to look forward to … Spring Break is only 22 days away!

Some updates for this week:

  • RECORD-BREAKING APPLICATIONS: Some great news to share with you today as our Admissions team reports that demand for a Baylor education has skyrocketed this year, and the numbers certainly bear that out. Baylor has received a record-breaking 56,674 applications for the 2024-25 academic year, an increase of nearly 18% over last year. And campus visits that now begin at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center are off the charts, too, with a 39% increase in visits year-over-year by prospective students and their families. This is exciting news for Baylor and for future students nationwide who are attracted to Baylor for our strong academics, historic Christian mission and midsize, and top-tier Division 1 athletics program. Now we’ll begin our focus on securing deposits and matriculating as many of these applicants as possible into Baylor Bears.
  • CLASSICAL MUSIC’S HIDDEN FIGURE: Tomorrow, Michael Clark, D.M.A., lecturer in piano and a passionate advocate for the music of Black composer Florence Price, will make his solo album debut with Waltzes and Character Pieces of Florence Price on Navona Records. As a Black woman in the early 20th century, Price was a “hidden figure” in classical music, facing numerous obstacles – from racism to sexism – in the promotion of her music, only a fraction of which was performed and published during her lifetime. Clark’s album - featuring the first recording of Price’s complete waltzes, along with character pieces – was funded by a ONE-URC grant through the Office of Vice Provost for Research, which provides resources for fine arts and other humanities faculty to complete significant projects.
  • GOSPEL ON PBS: In summer 2022, filmmaker and Finding Your Roots host Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. visited Baylor as part of his upcoming PBS series GOSPEL, which shares the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song. While at Baylor, Dr. Gates toured Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Preservation Program and Archive in Moody Library and interviewed Black gospel music and preaching experts Bob Darden and Truett Seminary professor Jared Alcantara, Ph.D. GOSPEL airs at 8 p.m. Feb. 12-13 on PBS, and we are honored by the opportunity to highlight Baylor’s commitment to the research and preservation of Black sacred materials. (And make plans to hear Dr. Gates give the Beall-Russell Lecture in the Humanities at Baylor on March 21.)
  • ASH WEDNESDAY: Next Wednesday, Feb. 14, is Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent – which begins a season of repentance, fasting and awaiting Christ's Resurrection. Baylor’s Office of Spiritual Life will hold services on Ash Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. and noon in Elliston Chapel for anyone in the Baylor community. If you are unable to attend a service, you can stop by Elliston Chapel and the Bobo Spiritual Life Center from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to receive ashes.
  • PEOPLE’S LAW SCHOOL: Baylor Law will host its annual People's Law School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. This is a unique community event that makes the law “user-friendly” through courses focusing on legal rights. The courses are free and taught by volunteer attorneys and legal experts, who address topics such as tax law, family law, wills and estate planning, insurance law, veterans affairs and more. The People’s Law School is a great opportunity to learn fundamentals of the law that can assist in your personal and business life or simply satisfy your curiosity about the law and how it works. The full course schedule, as well as the link to register, is available on Baylor Law website.

Here’s to a great rest of the week!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


On Monday, the Career Center and Baylor Alumni joined forces to host a networking event at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. Be sure to keep engaged with the Career Center, which has a host of events throughout the spring semester.