Sept. 23, 2011
To the loyal, dedicated and active Baylor Nation,
Yesterday, the Presidents of the Big 12 institutions came together to re-commit themselves to our heartland Conference. This important decision to stabilize and strengthen the Big 12 recognizes the needs of student-athletes and their families, and pays tribute to the historic Conference rivalries so valued by our alumni and the citizens of our states.
Baylor's Director of Athletics Ian McCaw, our coaches and our outstanding student-athletes have built an athletics program that can compete effectively in any conference in the nation. I am deeply appreciative of the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of our great University who answered the call to "Rise Up" in recent weeks on behalf of Baylor and Big 12 football.
The support of the mighty Baylor Nation was helpful in bringing this matter to closure. We still have work to do before we realize the future we envision for Baylor athletics.
Please continue to visit www.baylor.edu/nation to follow our progress and to learn more about what you might do to help us seize this important moment as we seek to strengthen our nationally ranked athletics program.
Baylor has been making national headlines in our academic work as well as in our athletics program. If you turned to your favorite media source this week, you likely read or heard reports of the most recent release of the Baylor Religion Survey. Like its predecessors in 2006 and 2008, this year's study is garnering media attention across the globe. At last check, the survey had been reported in more than 50 stories by leading media organizations, such as USA Today, CNN, NPR, The Washington Post, Christianity Today, Tampa Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and many more. Conducted by Dr. Kevin Dougherty, Dr. Paul Froese, Dr. Carson Mencken, Dr. Mitchell Neubert, Dr. Jerry Park and Andrew Whitehead, the research is calling attention to the scientific study of the impact of religion in American life, while, at the same time, shining a bright light on Baylor University.
Our congratulations go to our esteemed faculty members, who have contributed this significant new knowledge to the study of religion, and to our media communications team, who effectively promoted the study to a worldwide audience.
Let me close by calling your attention to a wonderful story in this week's Sports Illustrated magazine on our extraordinarily gifted quarterback, Robert Griffin III. In the story, it is said of Robert, "He runs. He throws. He sings. He volunteers for charities. He makes the honor roll." What a wonderful tribute to a talented student-athlete, but also to those who serve him as his teachers, coaches and mentors.
Robert is a great quarterback, but he is also another Baylor student who is being challenged by dedicated faculty and caring staff to pursue service and excellence in every area of his life. For Robert, the fruit of this great care is helping him to prosper as a servant leader both on the football field and away from it.
Sic'em, Baylor Nation!