Letters From Our Readers

August 24, 2004


I read with interest the articles "Bush Backers" (page 9) in the January issue of Baylor Magazine and "Landing a Library" in the winter edition of Baylor Line. I have the following questions: Does the Baylor University administration speak for the entire Baylor family when they make an appeal for the George W. Bush presidential library? In the "Bush Backers" article, Ms. Tommye Lou Davis, special assistant to President Sloan, states: "Central Texas is home to President Bush and we want to make a very strong statement of regional support for the presidential library." I interpret this statement to mean that the administration is, in fact, speaking for the Baylor family.
Has there been a recommendation supporting the library from the Board of Regents? Has the Faculty Senate passed a resolution to pursue the library in the name of Baylor? Have the students had any direct input regarding this decision? Also, I have not seen any article in either publication that solicits comments from the alumni as to their reaction to the proposal.
I fully understand the economic impact to both Baylor and the community that this library would generate, however, in my opinion, the current president is not deserving of this honor from a great university like Baylor. I would be interested to know if there are others who oppose this effort.
Cody A. Garner, BME '60, Denton, Texas

[Editor's note: The Board of Regents passed a resolution of support in January 2001, as did the Faculty Senate in spring 2003. Students are involved in planning committees.]



Being an apprentice pedagogue, it would seem that the page 42 story in the March edition of Baylor Magazine ("Baylor Babble") should have been better published in The Lariat. The information contained therein matters not except within the confines of the audience area that was served by the Baylor radio station KIYS. That page could have addressed a subject that would have had more relevance to the general constituency of Baylor University.
Byron E. White, BA '52, Arlington, Texas



Mr. [Robert] Reid is the best lecturer that I had at Baylor during the five years I went to school there (Table of Contents photo/cutline, page 1).'I graduated with a major in history and did some postgraduate work and had him for several classes.'I don't remember him ever reading from or using note cards.'It was all in his head!'
Glenn Frisby, BA '67, Plano, Texas

Thank you for standing on the Bible's truths.'Not only does the Baylor Lariat editorial (Feb. 27)'violate University policy, it violates God's word. Matt Bass claims he never "told the administration he practiced a homosexual lifestyle" ("Sexual rights controversies on campus," Summer 2004, page 12).'If he isn't a homosexual, then he should state it. What does he have to hide? United 4Change group is the same as many other groups. They are wrong, know it, but will not face the real truth.
Baylor is a Christian university, and if one does not believe in Christian morals,'go elsewhere. I hope the administration will not "cave in" to our ungodly world. God be with each'and every one of you.'
Anna Donnelly Blankenship,'BA '63, Gilbertsville, Pa. 

Baylor Magazine continues to shock me, but in a highly positive manner. I congratulate you and the Office of Public Relations for your ongoing ability to address and not attempt to gloss over the difficult issues facing the University. '
The current sidebar concerning The Lariat and the group United4Change surprised me.'I am pleased to see Baylor students continue to push the administration to evolve and change.
'Last summer, I was equally surprised at the candor in the reporting of the scandal involving the men's basketball team.'It, too, was much appreciated.
When I attended Baylor for graduate school in 1988, one issue the University attempted to "disappear" was pregnancy among unmarried women. At the time, University policies pushed pregnant young women out of the University system and also had the unintended effect of increasing the number of abortions among unmarried young women -- the latter never was discussed. Unfortunately, it took a lawsuit to change the University's policy -- at least I believe it has been changed -- and now unmarried women who are pregnant can remain enrolled in classes. '
Hopefully, a lawsuit will not be necessary for Baylor to evolve its policies on homosexuality, which, in effect, appear aimed at denying gay students access to a quality education. Certainly, the revoking of a scholarship can and does deny access to education while at the same time screams "your kind are not welcome here." The issue is no different than, say, revoking scholarships of students who engage in premarital sex.
I also applaud the magazine for reprinting Roger Olson's OpEd ("Welcoming, not affirming," Summer 2004, page 12). He eloquently presents the issue of homosexuality, Christianity and "gay marriage." The debate certainly will continue.
Troy Moore, (master's work in 1988), New York, NY 

Based upon what I read in the Summer 2004 Baylor Magazine, I have taken both diplomas off of my wall, and frankly I am embarrassed to be identified as a graduate of Baylor University.
It is indeed shameful that the scholarship of student Matt Bass was revoked when the dean became aware that Bass is homosexual.
Professor Roger Olson's article, which was reprinted from the Waco Tribune-Herald, demonstrates a fundamental ignorance between marriage as recognized by civil law and marriage as sacrament. That such a distinction was overlooked by Professor Olson is indeed humorous and clearly reflects the poor quality of his scholarship and analysis. I give it a failing grade.
My expectation is that 15 years from now, Baylor University will look back on its historical treatment of gay students with great embarrassment. Shame, shame on Baylor University.
Kevin D. Case, BA '84, MA '87, Kansas City, Mo.

I am a Baylor alumna and avid Baylor tennis fan.'I recently received your Summer 2004 Baylor Magazine'issue in which I was surprised to'see the'extremely short summary of the tennis team's outstanding accomplishments this season ("Game, set and matchless," page 22).'The'article briefly noted Baylor's first NCAA team title in its history. In addition,'it failed to'note the fact that Baylor took the first NCAA singles title as well.'I think at a time'when'Baylor needs good publicity the most, this issue'reflected'Baylor athletics'very poorly.'It was at its minimum, to say the least.'
I hope that I am'ahead of myself on this one and possibly there will be a better issue in the future. Hopefully, I will see a'more'vivid, enthusiastic article.'Baylor tennis accomplishments this season'are amazing and should be recognized as such.'
There are plenty of other things to note: Dorsch being named Outstanding Player of the Year.'Becker and Dorsch being named All Academic. These are'great attributes for Baylor athletics. 
Sheryl Dunn, BBA '02, Hoboken, N.J.
[Editor's note: We held the Summer issue to include news of the team's title win; individual titles came several days later. See a further update on page 14.]

I enjoyed Greg Garrett's thoughts on simplicity ("Elephants in the garden," Web only, Summer 2004). I'd like to share an experience I had this morning. Saturday will be my son's 8th birthday, and we have included a request of "No gifts, please," on his invitation. Our children get plenty of toys from family. Besides, we wanted birthdays to be a celebration with their friends and not a consumer extravaganza. (Also, it's a very Hobbit-like thing to do). Anyway, a mother called me this morning, distressed about my request. "Is it a birthday party?" she asked. Yes, I said. "Then why are there no gifts?" she asked. I explained. "Then why is it a Spider-Man party?" she asked. I said there would be a Spider-Man piñata. I could almost hear her shaking her head on the other end of the phone. My step is a small one, and I'm sure the piñata I purchased was made in a factory by an underpaid Mexican worker. But there will be a few less toys cluttering up our house. Not an elephant-sized step, but a step at least.
Megan D. Willome, BA '92, Waco, Texas