Another 2,000 graduates joined the ever-growing family of Baylor alumni over the weekend, as the Class of 2011 received their diplomas during commencement ceremonies at the Ferrell Center. (Click here for a slideshow of the weekend.)
Among the graduates was Allyson Ray, a name that just might ring a bell way back in the memory of some Central Texans. Ray made headlines back in 1989 when she became the smallest baby in Texas ever to survive; born at just 14 ounces and only 10 inches long, Ray wasn’t expected to survive. Instead, she thrived, testing at above average levels by age two, reading on a seventh grade level by second grade, and skipping third grade entirely. (See stories from KCEN [below] and KWTX.)
Ray took the SAT in eighth grade and earned state recognition for her score. After excelling in her high school’s international baccalaureate program, she graduated from Greer High School in Greer, S.C., as salutatorian. Four years later, she earned her University Scholar degree from Baylor with a focus in biochemistry; when printed, her 82-page honors thesis on polymerase chain reaction actually weighed more than Ray herself did at birth. She plans to move on to graduate school to earn an advanced degree in forensic science.
Of course, that’s just one of the many stories behind the faces who walked the stage Friday and Saturday, Each of Baylor’s newest alumni has their own story of accomplishment along the road that led to Baylor; we’ll just have to wait to see the stories they write as alumni.
Sic ’em, Allyson and the Baylor class of 2011!