Baylor Alumni
Baylor Alumni
Sep 8 2014
BAA Board of Directors Votes to Submit Final Settlement Offer to Baylor University

BAA Board of Directors Votes to Submit Final Settlement Offer to Baylor University

The Baylor Alumni Association issued the following press release today, following its Sept. 6 Board of Directors meeting:

In Last Ditch Effort to Avoid Protracted Litigation
BAA Board of Directors Votes to Submit Final Settlement Offer to Baylor University

WACO, Texas (Sept. 8, 2014) – The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) Board of Directors on Saturday, Sept 6, voted to submit a final settlement offer to the Baylor Board of Regents in a last-ditch effort to avoid protracted litigation with the university.

“We thought we had a framework that would work for both parties but the university has been reluctant to move forward,” BAA President Keith Starr said. “So we’ve decided to offer one final streamlined proposal.”
Details of the settlement offer remain confidential at this time pending a response by the Baylor Board of Regents.

“The BAA believes it is important for the entire Board of Regents to have an opportunity to proceed in a deliberative manner with regard to our settlement proposal with no outside influence,” Starr said. “We believe that is what is in the best interests of the entire Baylor family.”

The university sued the BAA on June 6, seeking to stop the 155-year-old alumni association from using its trademarks and from offering certain services to alumni. The university created an Office of Alumni Services and began publishing the Baylor Magazine in 2002, and has since restricted the alumni association’s access to member names, on-campus events, long-standing recognition programs, and university services, including its call center for membership drives.

“We believe that the Baylor Board of Regents does not have the right to unilaterally terminate long-standing, formal agreements that make the BAA the officially recognized alumni association on campus, and that the Regents’ effort to do so wrongfully undermines the association’s ability to function,” Starr said. “We have made every effort to find a way to resolve our differences, but if pressed, we intend to prevail if the case goes to trial.”

Starr said both parties spent much of the summer seeking to find a framework that will work for both parties.

“We are all gratified that Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr was an active participant in this summer’s meetings and that he appeared to support a settlement,” Starr said.

“The vote (Saturday) indicates that we want to settle without further pain,” Starr added. “We want to move toward a brighter future for all of us — united as the Baylor family.”

For more information about the ongoing issues between the BAA and Baylor University, please read the Spring 2014 issue of The Baylor Line, a BAA publication.


Jan 25 2014
Update from BAA Board of Directors Meeting

Update from BAA Board of Directors Meeting

The Baylor Alumni Association board of directors met on January 25 in Waco, and Alumni were invited to voice their opinions about the future of the organization. During the meeting, directors discussed current issues facing the association. Click here to view the correspondence shared with the directors as reference materials for parts of the discussion. At the meeting, the board of directors unanimously approved the following recommendation from the  Executive Committee concerning the next steps for the BAA:

The appointment of a committee by the president to prepare proposed amendments to the constitution and bylaws to reflect the continued support of Baylor University through the publication of the Baylor Line, existing endowment funds, any other endowment funds that may be created by the Baylor Alumni Association in the future and other such support as the committee may deem appropriate.

Thank you again for your continued support. Please click  here to review the statement issued after the meeting.

George Cowden III

2013-14 President

Board of Directors

Baylor Alumni Association


Oct 18 2013
BAA Pregame Homecoming Reception on Saturday

BAA Pregame Homecoming Reception on Saturday

BAA-seal

The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) will host a pregame Homecoming reception at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday for all alumni. The reception will be held under the BAA tent located at the corner of Dutton Avenue and Thirtieth Street, behind the George’s Restaurant tailgate area adjacent to Floyd Casey Stadium.

In lieu of the traditional Friday afternoon meeting and open house, the pregame reception will be an opportunity for alumni to meet and talk with BAA board members about next steps for the alumni association. The BAA will offer light refreshments at the reception.

“We thank our donors, alumni, and their families and friends for their strong support over the years at our Homecoming events,” said Chad Wooten, Chief Operating Officer of the BAA. “We look forward to communicating with Baylor alumni and rooting for the Bears during what is sure to be another exciting Homecoming game.”


Oct 8 2013
Survey shows members divided on direction of the BAA

Survey shows members divided on direction of the BAA

According to a survey e-mailed last week by the Baylor Alumni Association, members’ opinions vary as to the future direction of the organization.

Microsoft Word - BAA survey results, commentsThe informal survey identified three primary options for the BAA in the wake of the disapproval of the Transition Agreement on September 7. Sent to member e-mail addresses listed in the BAA database, the e-mail generated nearly 1,900 responses and 809 written comments.

The option receiving the most votes, 50.49 percent, read, “Seek to make organizational changes (dissolve and/or reestablish) to try to maintain control of the BAA’s endowment—possibly becoming a foundation that primarily provides scholarships to Baylor students from alumni families. The scope of the organization would be limited compared to the BAA’s historic role. Endowment earnings could fund scholarships, or if the BAA dissolves, funds could be dispersed to an existing nonprofit Christian organization providing or supporting higher education.”

The option garnering 30.14 percent of the vote read: “Seek to defend the BAA’s legal agreements and try to maintain the ‘Baylor’ name and the BAA’s historic role. This would likely lead to a lawsuit against Baylor University and could require significant expenditures from the BAA’s endowment.”

The third option, which received 19.37 percent of the vote, read: “Change the ‘Baylor Alumni Association’ name and seek to maintain the BAA’s previous roles (alumni relations and communications) while operating wholly outside of Baylor. This would mean starting from scratch and ‘re-branding’ the BAA—creating new publications, programs, websites, and social media outlets.”

The alumni association’s Board of Directors met in Waco on Saturday, October 5 for its regular fall meeting, and will continue to meet through the fall to decide on the organization’s next steps. —Lisa Asher


Sep 7 2013
Transition Agreement fails to garner super majority

Transition Agreement fails to garner super majority

The members of the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) voted today not to approve the Transition Agreement between the BAA and Baylor University with a vote of 830 in favor of the agreement and 668 voting “no,” representing a “yes” vote of 55 percent. A two-thirds approval of members present was required to pass the measure.

The Baylor Alumni Association has released the following statement from Board of Directors president Collin Cox ’97:

    “The vote today by the membership of the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) not to approve the Transition Agreement between the BAA and Baylor University means uncertain times ahead for the BAA. We are disappointed that the compromise represented by the Transition Agreement did not garner sufficient votes to be implemented. This may mean the loss of permission to use the Baylor name. But we respect our members’ decision.

    Despite the outcome, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the selfless service of so many loyal members of the Baylor family. We also are grateful that almost 1,500 voters came to express their opinions. The BAA board of directors will be meeting in the coming days to determine what options are available to us.”


Sep 6 2013
Bears Backing Bears—Baylor alumni help Holly Tucker shoot for the stars

Bears Backing Bears—Baylor alumni help Holly Tucker shoot for the stars

By Julie Copenhaver
Photos by Taylor Lord

Waco Hall was oddly dark for a Thursday afternoon, but off in the faint distance a flutter of alumni activity creaked across the stage. A lone spotlight illuminated dozens of cables, cameras, and tripods, and a tattered American flag hung from the rafters. This was Holly Tucker’s promotional photo shoot.

In a world of fifteen-second YouTube fame and here-today, gone-tomorrow reality TV shows, capitalizing on talent and fame can be a challenge. But one of the greatest assets Tucker has in her corner, besides her incredible voice, is the determination and passion of Baylor alumni Jenne Blackburn, Anthony Carrillo, Taylor Lord, and Lindley Atkinson.

Last spring, Baylor Bears everywhere fell in love with Baylor sophomore Holly Tucker as she stepped out onto the national stage of “The Voice,” the highly rated NBC singing competition. Fans watched her belt out more than seven songs as she made it through eight out of ten rounds on Season 4. But even after a grueling schedule, the adventure of a lifetime, newfound fame, and an army of fans, Tucker knows that the real work begins back in Waco.

Jenne Blackburn ’09, a social media and branding consultant, immediately recognized Tucker’s marketing potential. “I saw Holly on ‘The Voice’ and followed her on Twitter, and said to myself, ‘Her current brand does not represent the young country star that she is,’” Blackburn said. Owner of Branding and Consulting by Jenne, Blackburn has a talent for helping people achieve success and understands the difficulty of juggling a person’s natural talent with packaging and promotion. “Each person is incredible and unique,” said Blackburn. “Individual brand and voice is so important in this digital age. The objective was to help convey what makes Holly different and unique to a national audience.”

Tucker was a seasoned performer before her appearance on “The Voice,” playing the saxophone in the Baylor band, singing at Waco festivals and celebrations, and even collaborating on her first full-length country album with Chris Wommack in 2007. But the fame associated with a national TV show skyrocketed Tucker to the next level.

“The Tuckers understood the importance of promoting Holly’s talents and success from ‘The Voice,’” said Blackburn. For a burgeoning musician, it can be difficult to meet the heavy demands of Hollywood and Nashville, so the Tuckers hired Blackburn to create a website for the rising star. “Holly had been wanting desperately to remodel her website for close to two years,” said Johnny Tucker, Holly’s father. “Jenne saw the website and realized that she and Anthony could be the catalyst for improvement.”

Blackburn was thrilled at the chance to help a fellow Bear reach for the stars. “I felt this was an opportunity to help Holly explore the next level. Her future is Nashville, so let’s get her ready with the resources that are available,” Blackburn explained.

Blackburn and industry partner Anthony Carrillo ’09 started conceptualizing ideas for Tucker’s new site. In addition to incorporating basic functionality and fan engagement, Blackburn and Carrillo wanted the site to mirror Tucker’s passion and drive. “We wanted to tell her story—a behind-the-scenes look at Holly before she goes on to great things,” said Blackburn.

In July, Blackburn organized a full photo and video shoot in Waco for Tucker’s promotional package. With two Baylor Bears already on board, Blackburn saw the opportunity to utilize the talents of former classmates Taylor Lord ’10 and Lindley Atkinson ’10. “I love using creative juices and bringing our friends alongside,” said Blackburn. Lord, a wedding photographer based out of Austin, and Atkinson, a Texas cinematographer and owner of Unwritten Pictures, were the perfect blend of green-and-gold creativity.

“It’s all about helping other Bears,” said Lord. “We want to make sure Holly feels like she has a really good start.” As lead photographer for the promotional shoot, Lord meticulously fine-tuned props, lighting, and backdrops, capturing images and moments unique to Tucker’s personality. “We’re trying to tell a story: Holly waiting in the wings before it happens,” said Lord. “She’s going to be a huge success.”

To accompany dozens of photos, a behind-the-scenes video was filmed to capture the energy and excitement of Holly’s new beginning. “We’re Bears backing Bears,” said Atkinson, lead cinematographer for the project. “Holly is one of the many talented young Bears who has a bright future ahead of her and is getting started in her pursuit early. It’s great getting to work with Baylor alumni who are excellent in their professional fields at such an early age.”

Throughout the long summer day in July, the Baylor alumni crew, accompanied by a handful of interns, shot stills and video in Waco Hall, the concrete alleys of downtown Waco, and the fields in McLennan County. With each location, magic moments were captured as Tucker’s project transcended shutter sounds and memory cards. “Being out there with the horses and running around with the flag and my guitar — I really came into my confidence,” said Holly Tucker. “I felt like a real, true music star.”

Now, armed with valuable promotional materials to go hand-in-hand with her incredible talent, Tucker recently published her new website and brand. Striking photos and a captivatingly exclusive video lure fans in for a sublime look at this Waco superstar. “For so long, I had a website that really didn’t look professional and made me self-conscious about it,” Holly said. “The whole experience with the promotion of the website really helped me to look at myself as more of a professional and come into my own.”

To see Holly Tucker’s new website: HollyTucker.com.
Find out more about Jenne Blackburn, Taylor Lord, and Lindley Atkinson.


Sep 6 2013
Baylor Board of Regents unanimously approve new BLC License Agreement

Baylor Board of Regents unanimously approve new BLC License Agreement

The Baylor Board of Regents unanimously approved the new License Agreement for the Baylor Line Corporation (BLC) in a special meeting today (Friday). The BLC will be created if the Transition Agreement receives a two-thirds approval in tomorrow’s September 7 vote by the members of the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA). BAA members must vote in person at the meeting in Waco Hall.

“This is a welcome development,” BAA board president Collin Cox ’97 said of the license approval by the regents. “I believe it is another very positive step forward as we turn the page and enter a new chapter of cooperative alumni relations with the university.”

The BLC License Agreement provides editorial independence and access to university news sources for the Baylor Line magazine. All BAA memberships will be converted to subscriptions in the new BLC, and life members will have a lifetime subscription.

The BLC will be an independently chartered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose function will be to publish the Baylor Line magazine and accompanying online news.

The BLC will be created only if BAA members present vote in favor by a two-thirds vote to approve the Transition Agreement. A special called meeting of the BAA membership will be Saturday, September 7, at 11 a.m. in Waco Hall for the purpose of voting on the Transition Agreement, which would dissolve the BAA and create a the Baylor Line Corporation, among other provisions.

BAA members must be present to vote, according to provisions in the BAA bylaws.

The voting begins at 11:30 a.m., preceded by a discussion forum and period of debate. Members can read the Transition Agreement documents online here: Transition Agreement documents.

For the latest Transition news, “like” the BAA on Facebook and follow the BAA on Twitter @BaylorAlumAssoc.

Schedule for Saturday, September 7:

  • 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Member verification / In front of Waco Hall
  • 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Discussion Forum / Waco Hall
  • 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Voting Meeting Debate portion / Waco Hall
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.* Polls Open / Waco Hall Lobby

*Members may “drop in” to vote during this time without attending other events. Everyone who is in the member verification line by 1:30 p.m. will be
allowed to vote, if eligible.


Sep 5 2013
BAA board votes “yes” after reviewing new license for Baylor Line

BAA board votes “yes” after reviewing new license for Baylor Line

In a meeting Tuesday, members of the Baylor Alumni Association board of directors voted 28-7 to support the proposed Transition Agreement, which is up for a member vote on Saturday, September 7.

Before the vote, board members received a copy of the license agreement between the university and the Baylor Line Corporation (BLC), which will be created if the Transition Agreement is approved by two-thirds of BAA members who vote in person on Saturday.

The BLC license agreement, available ONLINE HERE with supporting documents, has now been signed by Baylor Board of Regents chair Richard Willis and Baylor president Ken Starr, pending approval of the full Baylor Board of Regents at a Friday meeting.

BAA board president Collin Cox ’97 pointed out several strengths of the new agreement for the Baylor Line:

  • The magazine will be published by a fully independent 501(c)3 nonprofit entity, the Baylor Line Corporation, chartered under Texas state law—not chartered by Baylor University.
  • The agreement provides for editorial independence—more independence than the Line currently enjoys.
  • The agreement allows Line staff members the same access to university news sources as enjoyed by other university publications.

Cox also said the new license agreement is based on principles of academic freedom, a concept which is mentioned throughout.

The BLC license agreement was developed with input from a Journalism Advisory Group (JAG) of Baylor graduates and supporters with decades of experience in newspapers and magazines. The group, convened by BAA board member Ella Wall Prichard ’63, worked with Mike Bourland ’66, JD ’69, attorney for the BAA, to make recommendations for the BLC license agreement to ensure editorial independence and access to Baylor officials.

At the time of the BAA board’s vote on Tuesday, there were thirty-nine eligible voters on the conference call, and thirty-five voted. Thirteen members were absent. Eighty percent of those who cast a vote supported the agreement.

A special called meeting of the BAA membership will be Saturday, September 7, at 11 a.m. in Waco Hall for the purpose of voting on the approval of the Transition Agreement, which would dissolve the BAA and create a new entity, the Baylor Line Corporation, among other provisions.

BAA members must be present to vote, according to provisions in the BAA bylaws. The voting begins at 11:30 a.m., preceded by a discussion forum and period of debate. Members can read the Transition Agreement documents, along with news and editorials, at BaylorAlumniAssociation.com/TransitionAgreement.

For the latest Transition news, “like” the BAA on Facebook and follow the BAA on Twitter @BaylorAlumAssoc.

Schedule for Saturday, September 7:
8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.              Member Verification / In front of Waco Hall
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.     Discussion Forum / Waco Hall
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.           Voting Meeting: Debate Portion / Waco Hall
*11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.     Polls Open / Waco Hall Lobby
*Members may “drop in” to vote during this time without attending other events. Everyone who is in the member verification line by 1:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote, if eligible.


Sep 5 2013
Press Release from BAA Leadership

Press Release from BAA Leadership

New contract offers access, accountability and cooperation
BAA Board votes to secure future for The Baylor Line; accedes other alumni activities to university; Saturday vote scheduled for membership

(Waco, September 5, 2013) — Preparations are underway for a vote Saturday that could end a ten-year battle that has been waged between Baylor University and the Baylor Alumni Association. A positive vote would assure, for 10 years and a renewable term, the continuance of The Baylor Line, BAA’s acclaimed magazine publication that has been the organization’s primary communications vehicle to its 17,000 members. Under the pact, BAA would accede all other traditional alumni association activities such as networking events, seminars, awards and conferences to the Baylor Alumni Network.

Since the early 2000s, the relationship between the university and the 17,000 member association has been described as tense, and some would say hostile. Negotiations have been ongoing for months to re-establish a relationship that safeguards an independent alumni voice through the BAA magazine, The Baylor Line.

“I hope that our membership can shelve emotions about how this dispute started and the resulting consequences to our organization,” said Collin Cox, president of BAA. “There is one undeniable truth in this debate: We are stronger together than we are separate.”

The vote Saturday will ask members to approve the so-called Transition Agreement and the Trademark License Agreement. These documents:
•    Create a new, independent Baylor Line Corporation that will continue to publish what has been BAA’s signature publication and its primary outreach to alumni
•    Establish an autonomous governing body for the magazine
•    Assure the rights to use university trademarks for The Baylor Line
•    Establish the right of the publication’s reporters and editors to have access to faculty, administrators and other university executives.  The accessibility will be equivalent to the rights of others representing university publications
•    Ensure that the newly-formed Baylor Line Corporation will have office space for its headquarters on campus

Most of the negotiations this summer focused on activities, oversight and ethical guidelines for The Baylor Line. BAA Board Member Ella Prichard of Corpus Christi organized a panel of Baylor graduates with distinguished journalism careers. The Journalism Advisory Group (JAG) provided key recommendations, best practices research on university publications as well as new updated media ethical and editorial guidelines.

The accord with the university includes publishing principles from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), for alumni publications and communications.  It also outlines Editorial and Ethical Guidelines for The Baylor Line.  Such tenets are imperatives for news and publishing organizations.

Cox said current BAA members are expected to be granted subscriptions to Baylor Line Corporation publications, including The Baylor Line. In addition, BAA will conduct donor surveys to determine the future use of BAA funds. He also noted that thousands of hours have been contributed during the negotiations and documentation of the License Agreement and the Transition Agreement.

“We have worked relentlessly to provide security for The Baylor Line and its campus voice,” said Cox. “With a ‘yes’ vote, it will remain a fiercely independent platform.”

Cox urged Baylor alumni to attend Saturday’s meeting and to review the documents at:   http://www.baylorline.com/blog/2013/07/10/transition-legal-documents

The membership meeting will be held Saturday, September 7, at Waco Hall.  Registration and membership verification, including presentation of photo identification, begins at 8:00 AM.  Only current voting BAA members can cast ballots, and they must be present at Waco Hall to vote. Details on the vote can be found at: http://www.baylorline.com/blog/2013/07/07/voting-information


Sep 3 2013
Baylor Alumni Association posts membership list online

Baylor Alumni Association posts membership list online

The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) has posted the membership list online so that people can check membership status before the vote on Saturday, September 7. Members of the BAA will vote on Saturday at an 11 a.m. meeting in Waco Hall on the proposed Transition Agreement with the university.

Only current BAA members can vote, and members must be present to vote. All members will be verified on Saturday by presenting a photo ID.

The published membership list includes first name, middle initial, last name, and city of residence. If you are unsure about your status after viewing the list, please e-mail Tessa@BaylorAlumniAssociation.com or Beth@BaylorAlumniAssociation.com or call 1-254-710-1121 or 1-888-710-1859.

For more information about voting eligibility, check out the Voting Information page on the Transition Agreement website.

All BAA memberships—both annual and life—include spouses, whether spouses are Baylor graduates or not. If you are planning to attend and vote on Saturday and your spouse is not on the published list, please e-mail your spouse’s name to Tessa or Beth by noon on Thursday, September 5, if possible. Spouses can also be verified on Saturday with proper ID.

“The membership list is frozen for voting purposes, but we’d like to clear up any clerical discrepancies before Saturday,” said Beth Wooten, the BAA’s assistant vice president of membership and marketing. “If we can answer any questions in advance of the meeting, it will help things move more smoothly on Saturday.”

Members can also read the official Transition Agreement documents, along with news and editorials on the website.

For the latest Transition news, “like” the BAA on Facebook and follow the BAA on Twitter @BaylorAlumAssoc.

Schedule for Saturday, September 7:

  • 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.                  Member verification / In front of Waco Hall
  • 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.        Discussion Forum / Waco Hall
  • 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.              Voting Meeting Debate portion / Waco Hall
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.*        Polls Open / Waco Hall Lobby

*Members may “drop in” to vote during this time without attending other events.

Everyone who is in the member verification line by 1:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote, if eligible.


Recognized as the official alumni organization of Baylor University, the Baylor Alumni Association is an independent legal entity, separate and apart from Baylor University.
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