A Season of Transition

For many people experiencing change in their lives, the verses found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 provide welcome wisdom and the promise of God’s enduring presence throughout the varying circumstances we may encounter over the years.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven,” we read at the beginning of this well-known passage of scripture. “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”

During the more than six years I have been privileged to serve as Baylor University’s president, I have seen many seasons in the life of our beloved institution. In recent years, we have celebrated such unprecedented accomplishments as achieving Research 1 status, surpassing our goal of raising $1.1 billion in support of the strategic plan Baylor adopted in 2018 and establishing more than 40 new endowed faculty positions. Most recently, we announced a $2 million gift to establish the Scott & Susan Orr Family Endowed Chair in Medical Humanities & Christian Faith to support teaching, mentorship and innovative research in the medical humanities program within the College of Arts & Sciences.

As has been the case ever since the University’s founding, the Baylor Family’s gifts of time, talent and treasure have been invaluable to our growth.

While reflecting on past successes — and joyfully celebrating the collaborative work that made them possible — we also are prayerfully envisioning the future of Baylor University.

In short, we are now moving through a season of transition.

Building on our successes in recent years, we are developing a new strategic plan that will further strengthen Baylor’s unique place in higher education. During the fall, we held more than 90 listening sessions and collected hundreds of surveys to allow members of the Baylor Family to speak into the priorities of this strategic plan, which I will present for affirmation by the Board of Regents this May.

In concert with this effort, we will launch a new fundraising campaign to support the strategic plan’s goals.

Identifying and articulating our aspirations requires energy and boldness while maintaining a faithfulness to institutional values and the qualities of a Baylor education that have united generations of students. In this regard, our Christian identity and mission will continue to reside at the center of Baylor’s heart and soul.

Baylor University’s mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community has enabled us to occupy a distinct place in the world of American higher education.

Our new strategic plan will build upon this firm foundation through an ongoing focus on four pillars that have shaped the University throughout its history — a Christian commitment that permeates our educational environment and campus life; a transformational undergraduate education; research, scholarship and graduate education that  impact the future; and athletics programs, arts, music and theater performances that are of the highest acclaim.

I remain grateful for your support of Baylor University and am eager to work shoulder to shoulder with you as we respond to God’s call to serve his Kingdom.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Baylor University