Counting down to the new year with a look back at Baylor’s 2019
Another year gone?!
As the world counts down the final moments of 2019, join us as we look back on the past year with a countdown of our own:
10: The number of balloons in the nation’s biggest homecoming parade.
Homecoming 2019 was everything you remember and then some. This year, the nation’s largest and best collegiate homecoming parade featured more than 150 entries, including 11 student-built floats and 10 balloons — including a giant Bear, an enormous Dr Pepper float, and the new interlocking BU balloon pictured above. (By the way — the dates for Homecoming 2020 are set!)
9: How many years in a row Baylor has been named a great college to work for.
Not only has Baylor been recognized yet again among the nation’s best colleges to work for, but the survey once again ranked BU as one of the best of the best. In the latest results, Baylor was one of just 10 large four-year universities to earn elite Honor Roll status, earning that honor for the second straight year and the eighth time since the survey began in 2008. (And in case you’re looking for a new job in 2020…)
8: Baylor’s national ranking for first-year experiences.
In this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings, Baylor ranked No. 8 in the nation for student first-year experiences — tops in both the Big 12 and in Texas, and making BU the largest private university in the top 20. That should come as no surprise to anyone who’s experienced Baylor Orientation, Line Camp, Move2BU, Welcome Week, and/or our first-year communities!
7: The number of sacred spaces on campus.
Baylor’s deep dedication to its Christian mission is written all over campus — both literally and figuratively. Literally, as there are Scripture messages engraved on sidewalks and buildings all over campus. Figuratively, as campus expansion over the last two decades has purposefully included many “sacred spaces” for both individual and corporate worship and prayer.
6: How many national titles Baylor trumpeters have won in the last 9 years.
Every year, the National Trumpet Competition brings in the top young trumpet players from around the country. This year, it was the Baylor Gold team that claimed first in the small ensemble division at the competition in Kentucky, upholding Baylor’s name as the best in the nation. Additionally, the Baylor Green team took third place in the large ensemble division.
5: How many decades Baylor’s been giving out the Founders Medal.
Established in September 1969, for 50 years the Founders Medal has been presented to those whose lives have been a testament to their love for the university. Like the founders before them, they have given their service, time and talent in support of Baylor’s mission. This year, the recipient is a bit unique: The City of Waco, so honored for its decades of partnership and support.
4: The number of capital projects Baylor is fundraising for through Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor.
The campaign undergirds Illuminate, the university’s academic strategic plan, and will impact every aspect of campus life, from academics and athletics to student life and global engagement. Baylor is currently fundraising for a renovation of Tidwell Bible Building, a new basketball fieldhouse, an expanded Memorial & Alexander Halls, and a new football operations center.
3: How many years in a row a Baylor grad has been named the Texas student-teacher of the year.
Lauren Hornbeak (BSED ’19) did her student teaching at Waco’s Midway High School, where both her mentor teacher (Amy Smith, BSED ’99) and intern supervisor (Gerald Brewer, BS ’71, MSED ’78) were also Baylor graduates. That was only fitting for Hornbeak, who is a sixth-generation Baylor Bear and can trace her line back to an ancestor who graduated in 1873 at Independence. Both of her parents are Baylor graduates, and her grandfather, Billy Jack Hollis, BBA ’60, is in the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame. She says Baylor will always be her home.
2: The number of national championships BU student-athletes won this year.
In April, Baylor women’s basketball won the NCAA national championship for the third time in program history — a claim only UConn and Tennessee can beat. Not long after, Baylor acrobatics and tumbling won its fifth consecutive national title (!!), the team’s fourth undefeated season in the last five years.
1: One brand, one look, one united Baylor Family.
In April, the entire university officially came together under one set of colors, one bear, and one primary logo — the iconic interlocking BU. Baylor Athletics rolled out the new mark, along with a new bear logo, new athletic wordmark, and a host of new uniform looks during Green & Gold Weekend 2019, and President Livingstone announced that the BU would now represent the entire university.
Sic ’em and happy New Year, Bears!