Thousands of members of the Baylor family came together Friday to celebrate the inauguration of Judge Ken Starr as Baylor’s 14th president. The ceremony capped a week of events that began with Wednesday’s Student Dinner with the President and also included a panel discussion as well as two breakout sessions examining “The Role of the Supreme Court in American Society.” (See photos from the week’s events here.)
The inauguration ceremony began with performances by the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and combined choirs and continued with the reading of Micah 6:8 (“act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God”) by Starr’s daughter, Carolyn Starr Doolittle and the inaugural address by Yale law professor Stephen Carter before Starr was officially installed as president of Baylor University. (Read a full recap of the ceremony and Starr’s inaugural response here, or watch the video online at baylor.edu/inauguration.)
Earlier in the day, Starr served as moderator for the panel discussion on the Supreme Court featuring guests Wallace Jefferson, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court; Thomas R. Phillips, BA ’71, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court; Jennifer Elrod, BA ’88, federal judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; and Stuart Taylor, Newsweek contributing editor. Over lunch, Baylor law professors David Guinn, JD ’63, BA ’97, and Brian Serr led one breakout session on “Packing Heat and the Second Amendment” while Baylor law professor Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez led another session on “Immigration in America — Who’s Really in Charge?”
Among the crowd of about 5,000 in the Ferrell Center for Starr’s installation were several descendants of former Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks, as well as Mary McCall (widow of President Abner McCall) and Joy Reynolds (widow of President Herbert Reynolds). Waco Mayor Jim Bush, U.S. Congressman Chet Edwards, Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett, State Senator Jeff Wentworth, and State Representatives Doc Anderson and Diane Patrick joined Jefferson, Phillips and Elrod in the audience, as well. Several local high schools also brought their students to BU’s campus for the day to join Baylor students and others from the community for the day’s events.
Sic ’em, President Starr!