• Meet Baylor’s new Board of Regents leadership

    Portrait photos of William 'Bill' E. Mearse and Melissa Purdy Mines

    As Baylor’s Board of Regents holds its regular summer meeting this week, seven new Regents are taking their seats at the table to start new terms. They’ll be led by a new Board Chair, William “Bill” E. Mearse (BBA ’78, MBA ’79), and a new Vice Chair, Melissa Purdy Mines (BA ’90).

    Mearse (pictured above left) is no stranger to serving in Baylor leadership, having served as a BU Regent since 2019 as well as on the board of advocates for Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science and as a trustee for the Baylor College of Medicine. (He also has served as deacon chair at Houston’s Second Baptist Church.) Mearse retired from Accenture as resources group operating officer and senior managing director of the Houston office in November 2013 after more than 33 years.

    Mines (pictured above right) serves as global campaign lead for enterprise visualization and virtualization solutions at NVIDIA, a worldwide leader in artificial intelligence. The permanent class president for Baylor’s Class of 1990, Mines went on to hold leadership positions at companies such as 3M and Cisco before joining NVIDIA; she also is on the governing board at First Baptist Church of Austin.

    Mearse and Mines are tasked with guiding Baylor’s Board of Regents, which serves as the university’s official governing body. Voting regents are selected via election by the Regents, with up to 25% elected through a process with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Slots are also reserved for two Baylor Faculty Regents, two Baylor Student Regents, three Alumni-Elected Regents, plus Regents who come to the Board through the Baylor “B” Association and Bear Foundation. The university’s by-laws require all Regents to be active Christians, including 75% who must be active members of a Baptist church. At least half of the Board must be Texas residents, as well.

    New Regents joining the Board this year include David R. Brooks (BBA ’80, MBA ’81), CEO of Independent Bank Group; Angelique Banket Cunningham (BBA ’00), athletic director and track & field coach at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy (Baylor “B” Association Regent); Xavier Dawes, a sophomore engineering major (Student Regent); Martha Delehanty, Chief People Officer at Commvault; Carey P. Hendrickson (BBA ’85), CFO of U.S. Physical Therapy Inc. (BGCT-appointed Regent); Dr. Lesley McAllister, professor of piano (Faculty Regent); and Dr. Stephen C. Wells (BA ’90, MDiv ’97, DMin ’03), pastor of Houston’s South Main Baptist Church (Alumni-Elected Regent).

    With the new members in place, 91% of this year’s Board — 30 of 33 — are either Baylor alumni, professors or current students (including nine who have earned multiple degrees from BU). Several are also current or former 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!