• Baylor’s Cherry Award uniquely rewards great professors

    StephenDavisDid you know that Baylor’s Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching comes with the single largest monetary reward — $200,000 — of any national teaching award?

    Dr. Stephen D. Davis, a biology professor at Pepperdine, was yesterday named the 2008 Cherry Award winner. He will spend this fall teaching in residence at Baylor.

    In line with its long history of having professors who are excellent teachers, Baylor is the only college or university in the country to present a national teaching award to an individual for exceptional teaching. Baylor students in philosophy and music have benefitted in recent years from the tutelage of Cherry Award winners Eleonore Stump and Anton Armstrong (who was profiled in this Baylor Magazine feature).

    Davis spoke highly of the award to the Waco Tribune-Herald, noting that “I view myself, really, as a teacher. … [The award] gives tribute to teaching and, more significantly than that, to the concept of the integration of teaching and research.”

    In addition to the reward Davis will receive, $25,000 will go to his home department at Pepperdine. The other two finalists (Penn State’s Dr. George E. Andrews and Indiana-Bloomington’s Rudy Pozzatti) will each receive $15,000, while their home departments will receive $10,000 each for the development of teaching skills.

    Sic ’em, Dr. Davis, and a posthumous sic ’em to alumnus Robert Foster Cherry for his estate gift which allows Baylor to reward and bring in such professors!