From The Editor

December 9, 2003

The year 2003 will long be remembered at Baylor University. Although we might want to quickly move past it to a new year, perhaps we should pause and reflect. If it is true, as historians tell us, that those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it, then, indeed, we need to try to put the events of last summer into perspective.

In these few months since, can we evaluate how well Baylor and its campus community responded to the unforeseen events of last July and August? As a Christian institution whose leaders had to deal with a barrage of shocking developments, personal sorrow, a sense of betrayal and relentless media inquiries, how did we fare, and what might we have done differently?

Perhaps it is too soon for such insight, but it seems important to try. Carol Flake Chapman's credentials as a national journalist brings objectivity and depth to this important story ("Weathering the storm").

Chapman also examines how other universities have reacted in times of crisis: Texas A&M after the bonfire tragedy, the University of Maryland after the death of basketball player Len Bias and SMU after the NCAA death penalty was incurred.

In addition, we ask Baylor sociologist Larry Felice, who has researched and taught organization response for many years, to provide a sociological perspective on the situation ("Can Baylor heal?").

We also should examine the recent past in a historical context. From its charter in 1845, Baylor has represented a quality education that equips the leaders of the future. In a few weeks, we will host premiere weekends for high school students interested in attending Baylor; in May, we welcome a new class of alumni. Year in and year out, young people dream of coming to Baylor; year in and year out, they walk across the commencement stage with degrees proudly in hand. Despite societal and personal vagaries, the bedrock upon which Baylor is built will endure "to meet the needs of all ages to come."