• Baylor recognizes trio of Bears for combined 135 years of service

    Ken Starr, Tommye Lou Davis, Jerry Milner & Tom Kelly

    “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” – Colossians 3:23

    Faculty and staff at Baylor University really take this verse to heart. At the 2015 Service Recognition Ceremony last month, the university recognized three Bears in particular who have dedicated the majority of their lives – nearly 50 years each – to Baylor.


    Tommye Lou Davis, BA ’66, MS ’68, has held countless responsibilities at Baylor: Latin professor, associate dean, acting department chair, Kappa Kappa Gamma advisor, and now her current dual roles as Vice President for Constituent Engagement and Chief of Staff to the President.

    Throughout her 45 years at Baylor (which doesn’t include her time as a student here), Davis has witnessed exponential growth at the university – and not just in size. “Since I began teaching, campus has doubled, student body size has doubled, and academic capacity has doubled,” she says. “When I first started teaching, the campus was from 8th Street to 5th Street. … What a beautiful campus we have. It’s the beauty of the place aesthetically as well as the beautiful spirit that you find at Baylor that is unique.”


    Jerry Milner’s first day of work at Baylor was Oct. 8, 1969, inside the Marrs McLean and Sid Richardson buildings – which were at that time considered the larger buildings on campus. Later, “they moved me over to the new science building, which is huge,” he laughs. “I’ve been there since they opened it, and I still get lost in there!”

    Milner is the Baylor Sciences Building‘s go-to repairman for electronic equipment, primarily those used for experiments in the BSB. “If someone in the science department has a major repair, then I drop everything and do that,” he says. “That keeps their teaching labs and experimental labs operating.”


    Dr. Tom Kelly, MA ’64, has been a professor in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business since the fall of 1969. Today, he also serves as director of the Baylor Center for Business and Economic Research and graduate program director for the Department of Economics. “In the Baylor Economics Department, Tom is a ‘utility player’ who can teach any course, a graduate director who cares deeply for our students, and a wonderful colleague who is always ready to help,” says Dr. Steve Gardner, who has taught alongside Kelly in the business school since 1978.

    When Kelly is asked what made him stay so long at Baylor, he doesn’t hesitate. “Every day when you go to work, you enjoy it; you look forward to going to work,” he says. “I don’t know too many people out there that really have that attitude, that feeling of ‘This is where I want to be.’ That’s why when people come to Baylor, they stay.”

    Sic ’em, longtime Bears!