The Baylor Alumni Association has distributed more than $212,000 to 55 deserving Baylor legacy students since the Fall Semester of 2011, including $27,000+ to 42 students this year. In this segment in a continuing series, we bring you Amy Stone’s story — in part to remind you how terrific — and appreciative — our current crops of Bears are, in part to rekindle some memories and bring a smile to your face, and in part to encourage you to contribute to this important program. Your donation will help us continue to offer this program — hopefully with larger amounts. If you’d like to donate, please click here.
Amy Stone’s Family Weekend 2013: Dad Randy, Sister Corrie, Mom Marnie ’88, and Amy ’16.
I always tell people my mom brainwashed me into going to Baylor. The home screens on our computers were always Baylor athletics, even before RG3, which I believe proves we’re real Baylor fans. She only gave me green and gold bath towels growing up, and every time I got college recruitment letters, she always put the Baylor letters on top. My Baylor legacy roots run deep — my Granddad, my dad’s sister, his brother-in-law and other family members all attended Baylor. My grandmother attended Baylor and my great grandmother was even a dorm mom for Memorial. My dad opted to go the musician route and attend guitar school in California, so naturally, he had to to marry a Baylor student (my mom, Marnie ’88) so he could still be a part of the family.
Baylor has been a blessing in my life. I have grown and matured in ways I never would’ve imagined. I remember being so nervous just to ask the Penland food server if I could have a second helping of mashed potatoes my freshman year. This fall, my junior year, a guy stopped me on the way to class the first week of school and said, “Excuse me, I was wondering if you could tell me where Draper is?” To which I responded, “it’s right there, hon” and pointed. I look back to the timid me I was before college and smaile because I know that Baylor has been essential to both my educational and personal growth — how I view life and people and have joy and passion.
From religion class, I have learned the background to my faith and been able to firmly ground my faith in Jesus Christ. From singing in Baylor’s Heavenly Voices, I have worshipped with the students around me and hopefully blessed others in the process. I have stepped out of my comfort zone when my nutritional education class required I go meet with a senior citizen one-on-one to address his nutritional needs. I have de-stressed by going to the SLC and shooting baskets and playing in pickup games when the boys are so kind as to let me. I have played and laughed and been a part of the community of Waco in attending Jubilee theater productions and the local farmer’s market. I feel like Waco is where I belong when I walk into U-Swirl to get froyo and see a group of women from Church UnderTheBridge happy to interrupt their Bible study for a moment to say “hi” and ask me how I’ve been since they saw me last Sunday. I feel excited when I walk into an athletic event and feel the energy of the fans and students rallying around our team. I have loved the volunteer opportunities Baylor has provided, from packing lunches to Steppin’ Out to getting to provide a potluck meal for the Christian Women’s Job Corps to leading devotionals at the My Brother’s Keeper homeless shelter.
Baylor means so much to me. It means friends who surprise me with sticky notes on the front door of my apartment. It means working in the Baylor Business School as a receptionist and getting to decorate the birthday bulletin board for the faculty each month. It means riding the cute trolley to the Baylor Social Work and taking their escalator up to my Human Behavior and Social Environment class every Tuesday and Thursday because those are some fun rides, people. Baylor means I make way too many bear-related puns like “I’m bear-y happy to see you” and “Isn’t the new stadium “Oso” nice?”
Amy Stone ’16 (right with best friends Caleigh Cole ’16 and Karissa Martin ’16 at the opening of the new stadium.
But most important, Baylor means family. A family that includes my Baylor legacy and that includes my Granddad who took many a class in Hankamer. Family includes my freshman roommate and a hall mate who are now my very best friends who have filled my life with so many giggles and baking projects. Family includes my Spanish study group, sweet Dr. Weems, a caring Dr. Myers, and the Pi Phis next door. Family not only includes my parents, who are so supportive of me going to Baylor and are paying my way, but my sister who I get to brainwash when she comes to sibling weekend. Even my dog from home loves to come to Waco and sniff every sidewalk on campus. And that, to me, is priceless. Thank you, alumni, thank you for doing all you do, and giving all you give, and being positive influences that are allowing students like me to make Baylor my family. I am bear-y grateful.
Amy Stone ’16
Editor’s Note: Don’t forget. If you’d like to support the BAA’s Legacy Scholarship program you can click here.
The Baylor Alumni Association has distributed more than $212,000 to 55 deserving Baylor legacy students since the Fall Semester of 2011, including $27,000+ to 42 students this semester. In the first of what will be a continuing series, we’ll bring you their stories — in part to remind you how terrific our current crop of Bears are and in part to encourage you to contribute to this important program. If you’d like to donate, please click here.
Micah Marroquin (second from left in back row) and members of his family — all Baylor legacies — gather on Fifth Street for the 2013 Homecoming Parade:
(Back row): Joshua Rollins ’14, Micah ’17, Ben Faus (’12), Hannah Lindstrom Faus ’12, Trey Rollins ’12
(Front row): Marili Lindstrom ’83, Caroline Lindstrom ’15, Mollie Lindstrom ’10, Brittany Rollins ’16, Kim Rollins ’87. (Marili and Kim are the mothers of six of these legacies).
I was particularly pleased when you sent out your email looking for feedback regarding how the Baylor Alumni Association has helped students attend Baylor. I was happy because this will give me the opportunity to share how this scholarship has blessed my experience at Baylor, and in many ways made it possible in the first place.
I am a third-generation Baylor student with my late grandfather being the first one in my family to attend Baylor University. With my grandfather paving the way for her, my mom was able to attend Baylor University where she met my dad who was also a Baylor student. In addition to this, I’ve had two aunts and an uncle attend and graduate from this great university. Currently I am attending with two cousins here now, while four more have graduated within the last four years. Last year, as I spent my first year at Baylor, my three cousins and I had every grade accounted for as we ranged from freshman to senior. In fact, at the end of the school year, each of us was awarded a place on the Dean’s List for our spring semester grades.
Baylor has been a part of the family for as long as I can remember, but the reality of attending this school would most likely not be possible without aids and grants such as the generous contributions from the Alumni Association. Though my parents are both native Texans, they moved out of the state shortly after they graduated as my dad was attending seminary in California. Being from California, my decision to attend Baylor was a difficult one because I knew I would not be receiving the Cal Grant, which offers $3,000 to students attending college within the state of California. Even with my mom getting a second job to help pay for my tuition, the reality of me joining my cousins and adding to the legacy within my family of attending was not looking promising until the Alumni Association offered its scholarship to me. Since then, and along with numerous other blessings and miracles along the way, I am proud to say that I am well into my second year as a Baylor student and I am loving it more each and every day.
I try and give back to the University as much as I can because I know that if it were not for the grace of God and the amazing generosity of people and associations such as this one I would not even be here to experience any of it. For this very reason, I appliled and was accepted as a Line Camp leader this past summer as well as a leader for Freshman Class Council. I want to genuinely thank you for listening to my story and for being a part of it as this scholarship has helped allow me to put my own piece of the legacy within Baylor University. Every Homecoming, all of the aunts and uncles, cousins and fiancees come back to the school they used to call home as we stake out our annual spot on Fifth Street for the parade. Last year, I got to be a part of that tradition for the first time, and I hope to continue to be a part of it for years to come.
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.
We wanted to let you know the unfortunate news that working-level discussions with Baylor University to settle the lawsuit that the university filed against your alumni association have broken down.
“The Baylor Alumni Association and Baylor University spent the better part of the past month trying to resolve our legal dispute, said BAA President Keith Starr. “Unfortunately, it does not appear that our efforts are going to be successful at this time.”
The BAA has tried for several years to reach an agreement with the university that would enable the Association to preserve our name; the title of our Baylor Line magazine; and keep our commitment to thousands of Baylor alumni.
However, the university has chosen to continue its efforts to marginalize the Association, up to and including filing a lawsuit against its own officially recognized alumni association.
Despite its reluctance to be dragged into litigation, Starr said the BAA had no choice but to assert its legal rights and move forward in defense of the lawsuit, and has filed its answer and counterclaim in McLennan County District Court as required by Texas law.
The countersuit asserts that the university does not have the right to unilaterally terminate its longstanding agreements with the BAA, and that the Regents’ efforts to do so wrongfully undermines the Association’s ability to function.
Starr said Baylor Regents, through their attorneys, gave the Alumni Association until Sept. 6 to approve their latest settlement offer, the terms of which remain confidential.
Regrettably, the Regents rejected the BAA’s appeal for more time to adopt a set of revised bylaws — a process that requires approval by the BAA Board of Directors and adoption by two-thirds of its members. Before any vote on amendments can take place. they must be included in a meeting notice published in the Baylor Line magazine.
“At the end of the day, our efforts at peace failed, and the timetable insisted on by the Regents was unworkable,” Starr said. “Now we must reluctantly but resolutely defend the claims made against us and prosecute our counterclaims.”
Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) President Keith Starr today issued the following statement in response to a lawsuit filed against the Association by Baylor University:
“We are disappointed that Baylor University has elected to file a lawsuit against the Baylor Alumni Association.
“We have tried for several years now to reach an agreement with the University that enables us to preserve our name; the title of our magazine, The Baylor Line; and keeps our commitment to thousands of Baylor alumni. However, the University has rejected our attempts at peace for over a decade and has chosen to continue its efforts to marginalize the BAA, up to and including suing its officially recognized alumni association.
“The BAA now will defend its legal rights, present its counterclaims, and oppose Baylor University’s relentless effort to silence the Association, which has served as an independent yet supportive voice of Baylor alumni for more than 150 years.”
The Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) today announced the election of 10 members to its Board of Directors. Keith Starr (’83) was elected to a one-year term as president of the alumni association.
“On behalf of the BAA, I am pleased to welcome these new and returning members to the board who will guide the organization as we chart our future course,” Starr said. “As an independent voice for Baylor University’s alumni, the BAA’s commitment is, and always has been, the advancement of Baylor University. Our ideals can only be achieved through the collective efforts of leaders like these who are committed to realizing the BAA’s mission and goals.”
In addition to Starr, the BAA’s newly elected officers are:
- James Nelson, III (’04) — Treasurer
- Emily George Tinsley (’61) — Secretary
Newly elected board members:
- Sharon McDonald Barnes (’78, ’80)
- Babs Baugh (’64)
- Matt Miller (’57)
- Jim Nelson (’68, JD ’75)
- Stan Schlueter (’69)
- Stacy Sharp (’76)
- L. Wayne Tucker (’85, MBA ’86)
A full list of board members can be found here.
Directors on the BAA board serve three-year terms, and are elected by the membership. These terms are effective as of June 1, 2014.
In other business, the board of directors recommended, and the members approved, a thoughtful, deliberative, and inclusive process to chart the future course of the BAA.
Among the options under consideration:
- Adopt the awarding of financial assistance to Baylor students as the primary function of the organization.
- Adopt communications with members as the primary function of the organization; or
- Adopt both communication with members and awarding of financial assistance to Baylor students as the primary functions of the organization.
According to Starr, the BAA has worked diligently in the last few months to improve transparency with all members and has amended the association’s bylaws to give members the flexibility to vote electronically on certain BAA matters, in addition to BAA’s longstanding practice of in-person voting at meetings.
“We plan to have an open, inclusive dialogue over the summer about the options outlined today, which will prepare the membership to decide this fall on the future course of the BAA,” Starr said. “The BAA remains committed to an open, transparent dialogue about constructive, mutually beneficial results for our members and the University. We believe that such dialogue is the best course to pursue in determining the BAA’s future and its continued commitment to Baylor alumni.”
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
Board of Directors
Baylor Alumni Association
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.”
According to a survey e-mailed last week by the Baylor Alumni Association, members’ opinions vary as to the future direction of the organization.
The 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
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.”
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