Meet Baylor’s new class of Regents
As Baylor’s Board of Regents holds its regular summer meeting this week, eight new Regents are taking their seats at the table to start new terms: three serving at-large, one (re-)elected by alumni, two appointed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, one new Faculty Regent, and one new Student Regent:
- Jay Brown (BBA ’95), at-large Regent, is the president and CEO of Crown Castle International Corp., an S&P 500 company that provides telecommunications infrastructure to companies such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. He has also served on the board for Living Water, a Houston-based nonprofit providing water solutions for millions of people.
- Dr. Tyler Cooper (BBA ’94), BGCT-appointed Regent, is president and CEO of Cooper Aerobics and Cooper Clinic. After Baylor (where he earned all-SWC honors in track and cross country), he earned a master’s from Harvard and his M.D. from UT Health San Antonio; since 2006, he’s overseen Cooper Aerobics’ eight health and wellness companies.
- Diane Dillard (BA ’76, JD ’79), BGCT-appointed Regent, is a board-certified commercial real estate attorney. Before becoming a solo practitioner, she founded Houston’s first women-owned law firm. In 2015, she became the first woman to receive the Distinguished Real Estate Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award from the State Bar of Texas.
- Michael Heiskell (BA ’72, JD ’74), at-large Regent, is a founding partner of Johnson, Vaughn & Heiskell. A member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Hall of Fame, he previously served as assistant DA for Galveston County and as assistant U.S. attorney.
- Katie Jo Baumgardner Luningham (BA ’11), alumni-elected Regent for a second term, is currently an attorney practicing civil litigation & appellate law, representing institutions of higher education and defending clients in privacy & data security litigation. She previously specialized in higher ed litigation & regulatory compliance at Husch Blackwell.
- Ally Perkins, student Regent, is a junior political science major minoring in poverty studies and social justice. She has served as deputy director of communications for Baylor Student Government, is a member of the Chi Omega sorority, and runs her own nonprofit photography business. She plans to attend law school upon graduation.
- Dr. Brian Raines, faculty Regent, has taught math at Baylor since 2002. He also serves as associate dean for research and strategic planning in the College of Arts & Sciences and was previously chair of the Faculty Senate. As a research mathematician, he works on problems related to chaotic systems.
- Judge Don Willett (BBA ’88), at-large Regent, serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before joining the federal judiciary, he served a dozen years on the Supreme Court of Texas. In his pre-judge career, he served as legal counsel to a Texas attorney general, a Texas governor, a U.S. attorney general, and the president of the United States.
Including the new Regents listed above, 42% of the Board is now female (up from 21% five years ago), and 15% are from diverse populations (up from 3% five years ago).
In all, 94% of this year’s Regents — 31 of 33 — are either Baylor alumni, professors or current students (including nine who have earned multiple degrees from the university). Six are also current Baylor parents. Given the unique Baylor experience — a truly transformational education built on the foundation of our Christian faith — it’s good to see so many Bears answer the call to serve their alma mater.
Sic ’em, Baylor Regents!