• Happy 25th birthday, Steppin’ Out!

    Steppin' Out 2010Twenty-five years ago, a group of Baylor students decided that if they could gather some friends together to serve in Waco, they could make a difference.

    Since that initial gathering, Steppin’ Out has grown to involve more than 3,000 students each fall and spring — including some children of those original participants! — who “step out” into the surrounding community as volunteers, working at nearly 80 job sites and led by a steering committee of 15 students who work year round to make the event possible.

    To celebrate Steppin’ Out turning 25, we’ve pulled together a handful of photos and press clippings from the event’s early days. You can also see pictures from this fall’s event on Baylor’s official Facebook page, as well as Baylor Proud’s photo galleries from 2008 and 2009.

    A Baylor student from 1985 would still very much recognize today’s Steppin’ Out, though her or she might marvel at how much it’s grown — from about 500 students working just one day a year at the beginning to the 3,000-plus students today who volunteer each semester. Perhaps the biggest change came just a few years ago, when the day-end celebration moved from Fountain Mall on-campus to Dewey Park in the heart of the city. Hundreds of Baylor students and Waco residents gather for a free barbecue, music and games — a wonderful chance for Baylor and Waco to come together, build relationships and celebrate our university’s hometown.

    That student from 25 years ago might also be surprised at how participation in Steppin’ Out has spurred other service opportunities throughout the year. Steppin’ Out remains Baylor’s largest, most inclusive service event, but these days it seems most every student organization on campus holds some sort of service activity at one time or another. Directly or indirectly, Steppin’ Out continues to help shape Baylor students into the servant leaders described in the university’s mission.

    Sic ’em, Steppin’ Out participants through the years!