• Fall 2023: Baylor’s #BestFallEver?

    Photo of a baby bear, the Hurd Welcome Center, and a banner welcoming BYU to the Big 12

    It certainly doesn’t feel like Fall in Texas right now, but it will be here soon. In fact, the semester begins on August 21 — less than a month from now! And while there’s always lots to love about a Baylor Fall, this year promises to raise the bar.

    From bear cubs to new facilities to burgeoning rivalries, here are a few reasons why the upcoming semester could make its case for the #BestFallEver at Baylor:

    * Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center opening: The stunning new facility rising alongside campus is the new front door to Baylor — with something for everyone, from prospective students to current Bears to faculty/staff and alumni. Its innovative, 100-foot-tall columns, spirit and coffee shops, meeting rooms and more will offer plenty for Baylor fans to see inside. The building will open with a soft launch in August, followed by a public ribbon-cutting (and a Bailey Zimmerman concert for students) in early September.

    * Meet the Bears! Meet the Bears is an annual tradition heralding the start of the season for Baylor Athletics, but there’s even more to it this year. That’s because we’ll also welcome Judge Indy and Judge Belle to their new campus home on the same day! The black bear cubs will be making their highly anticipated move to campus later this summer, and their Welcome Home party at the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat will take place August 26 — the same day as the official Meet the Bears celebration at McLane Stadium. Make your plans to meet the bear cubs in the morning, and then make your way to McLane Stadium in the afternoon to meet Baylor’s student-athletes and coaches on a day to remember next month.

    * New Big 12 rivalries: The 2023 football season kicks off Sept. 2 at McLane Stadium. It’s an intriguing year for multiple reasons — not the least of is new rivalries with the Big 12’s latest additions in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. Whether it’s a new road trip for Baylor fans (Sept. 30 in Orlando, or Oct. 21 in Cincinnati), or the renewal of a SWC rivalry when Houston comes to McLane on Nov. 4, there’s a certain “new car smell” to the Big 12 this year that Baylor fans will enjoy.

    * Old football rivalries: Baylor opens Big 12 play against UT on Sept. 23 at McLane Stadium, the Bears’ and Longhorns’ last meeting as conference rivals after more than a century together in the Southwest and Big 12 conferences. (OU, a conference rival for more than a quarter-century, is not on this year’s schedule — meaning last year’s 38-35 Baylor win in Norman was the last conference game between the teams.) The Bears’ schedule features a record eight home games, including match-ups against Texas Tech (conference foes since 1956), Iowa State and West Virginia, plus an away game at TCU (one of college football’s 20 most-played rivalries).

    * Traditions Renewed: While new arrivals to campus will grab headlines, there are few things the Baylor Family loves more than returning traditions like Homecoming, Pigskin, the bonfire and parade, Family Weekend, football games, Dr Pepper Hour, Christmas on 5th Street… It’s safe to say the elite foundation set by your average Baylor Fall makes every autumn a special one.

    * Foster Pavilion opens: Construction photos of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion routinely amaze Baylor fans on social media, as Baylor basketball’s stunning new home continues to come together. Okay, so maybe we cheated a little bit on this one — the first home games for Baylor men’s and women’s basketball at the Foster Pavilion will be at the start of the 2023-24 Big 12 season, which very well could be in January — but this long-awaited venue will give the Bears a home court advantage unlike any they’ve had before. Think of the Foster Pavilion tipoff as an exclamation mark to an amazing few months at Baylor!

    Mark your calendars now and make your plans. Go see the Hurd Welcome Center when you’re back in town, visit Indy and Belle every chance you get, make your way into McLane Stadium each home Saturday, get your basketball tickets, and attend your favorite Baylor traditions. It’s going to be an incredible Fall at Baylor.

    Sic ’em, Bears!