Honoring some familiar Baylor faces retiring this year
Every spring, the Baylor Family bids happy retirement to professors and staff who have dedicated their professional lives to the university and its students. It’s always a bittersweet mix — sadness in seeing them go, happiness for a well-deserved next step — but we wish them all well in the next phase of their lives.
Here, we honor some of the longest-serving and most recognizable professors who are retiring this year — men and women whose faces will be missed, but whose impact will not be forgotten:
Robert Darden (BSED ’76) will leave multiple legacies from his 24 years at Baylor. One will be the generation of journalism and English students he’s taught at his alma mater; that legacy is backed up by his litany of honors, including being named a Master Teacher in 2020. Another is his writing; Darden has authored more than two dozen books. But perhaps the longest lasting will be Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Preservation Project, which has rescued, preserved and made available countless Black gospel recordings since Darden’s passion became reality in 2008.
Cindy Fry came to Baylor after stints at NASA and in the U.S. Navy, and she has taught computer science at BU since 1994. She served as assistant dean of the School of Engineering & Computer Science from 2007-13, and spent five years living right alongside students as a Faculty-in-Residence (2006-11). [Bonus: The story of how she made the Baylor Family literal, adopting a BU student, is incredible.]
Dr. Stephen Gardner joined the Hankamer School of Business faculty in 1978, most recently serving as the Herman Brown Professor of Economics. He has been honored by Baylor for his teaching and service three times over the years and is the author of three books. From 1995-2022, he also led Baylor’s McBride Center for International Business, which coordinates Hankamer’s study abroad programs, international internship opportunities, and more.
If you look up “servant-leader” in the dictionary, you’ll find Dr. David Garland’s photo. A U.S. Navy veteran, Garland is equally at home in the classroom (teaching at Baylor’s Truett Seminary since 1997) and in the pulpit (having served more than a dozen churches as interim pastor). He’s also stepped up to lead as needed — almost a decade as Truett’s dean (2007-14), two years as Baylor’s interim provost (2014-15), and two separate stints as the university’s interim president (2008-10 and 2016-17). For his service, Garland was honored with Baylor’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 2017.
Dr. Bill Poucher is concluding his 40th year teaching computer science at Baylor. (Just think about how much computers have changed in that time — from the Commodore 64 to the iPhone and beyond!) Since 1989, he has also served as executive director of the International Collegiate Programming Contest, making Baylor a sort of headquarters for the annual worldwide competition.
This year’s longest tenured retiree, Dr. David Uber is retiring after 47 years of teaching French at Baylor. Uber came to Baylor in 1976, and over the last half-century has taught French at all levels, from introductory classes to Honors College colloquia. From 1982-2004, he led Baylor’s Division of French and Italian, and has also led study abroad trips to France, Japan and South Korea. (His wife, Sonia Kim Uber, is also retiring this year after 27 years teaching Korean at Baylor.)
These aren’t the only Baylor faculty retiring this semester… Others with 25+ years of experience at Baylor include: Dr. Charles Stanley (accounting & business law, 40); Dr. Janet Bagby (PhD ’02) (educational psychology, 32); Sally Lynn Askins (theatre, 30); Dr. Sandy Bennett (professional education, 28); Greg White (JD ’82) (law, 28); Mary Goolsby (BSED ’85) (libraries, 27); Dr. Brad Owens (BA ’82) (journalism, 25); Dr. Terry York (Truett, 25); Dr. Dorothy Leidner (information systems, 25); and Dr. Gina Green (information systems, 25).
(Also: Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Dr. Randall Waller, who was slated to retire this spring after 34 years teaching information systems, but who passed away in March.)
Sic ’em, Baylor retirees!