Prepared for Worldwide Leadership and Service

December 12, 2023

Providing leadership opportunities for students across their years at Baylor is a hallmark of the Baylor experience. With the end of each semester comes the opportunity for students to assess and celebrate all they’ve accomplished. For juniors, the focus may turn to their final year of undergraduate work and what mark they want to leave on campus. For seniors and graduate students wrapping up academic journeys, the persistent question of ‘What’s next?’ looms large.

For these three Baylor students serving in leadership roles across campus, the spring semester brings excitement, reflection and motivation for the next chapter in their story — at Baylor and beyond.

A Servant Leader

Lily Davis

Lily Davis, a political science and religion double major from Aurora, Colorado, dove head first into Baylor’s student government, previously serving as a first-year student senator, public relations chair and senate chaplain. Now in her junior year, Davis serves as the external vice president, one of three student body officer roles.

“I think I’ve gained a really holistic approach to leadership,” Davis said. “I was able to work on my spiritual formation through the chaplaincy, but then also developed tangible skills through my role as the public relations chair.”

While the scope of her leadership responsibilities and roles has increased, Davis credits her faith journey as a grounding presence throughout her time at Baylor.

“It consistently pushes me to be a servant leader,” Davis said. “I’ve been encouraged to radically embed my faith into what I’m doing — it’s not just additive, but rather it informs every decision I make.”

After completing her undergraduate degree, Davis plans to pursue a dual graduate degree — a Juris Doctor and Master of Divinity — with a focus on constitutional law.

She plans to take this spring semester to discern what role she might take on in student government for her senior year while remaining diligent and attentive to her current leadership roles.

A Devoted Caretaker

Gavin Whyte

Gavin Whyte, a senior communications major from Round Rock, Texas, has shared in the joy of welcoming bear cubs to campus, with Judge Indy and Judge Belle rapidly becoming a favorite for students and visitors to campus on a daily basis.

Unlike those visitors, Whyte has a direct hand in feeding Indy and Belle each day, serving in the Baylor Chamber of Commerce as a bear feeder, the second-highest rank on the bear team, making their daily meals and enrichment treats.

“I’ve had a wonderful time helping to motivate and teach other members of the bear team to prepare them for leadership roles in the future,” Whyte said. “Getting to experience firsthand the love the Baylor Family has for Lady and the new excitement for the cubs has been a real joy for me.”

In addition to his role as a bear caregiver, Whyte has also served as the recruitment chair for Chamber and remains heavily involved in preparing the student leaders who will take over as he wraps up his time in Waco.

Whyte plans to move back to the Austin area and begin his professional career in a marketing agency after completing his undergraduate degree in May.

A Heavenly Voice

Forche Bridges

Forche Bridges, B.B.A. ’22, a film and digital media graduate student from Fresno, Texas, has taken full advantage of her time in Waco, stacking accolades that include president of the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir and Zeta Phi Beta, officer positions in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), serving as an upper-level mentor for the Black Student Union and membership of the inaugural cohort of the Trailblazer Scholars.

Despite carrying a lengthy list of responsibilities and a packed schedule, Bridges found peace and solace in a sacred practice — singing gospel music.

“With Heavenly Voices, I always felt that it was a safe space where I could worship and sing gospel music the same way I was raised,” Bridges said. “My leadership obligations continuously challenged me to prioritize God and my faith, even in the midst of busy times.”

Bridges has turned her attention toward graduation in May, finishing her Master of Arts degree and prayerfully pursuing a production job and, “looking forward to taking my talents to whatever city God leads me next.”