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T H E B AY L O R L I N E | F A L L 2 0 1 9



Photo Courtesy of Baylor Photography | Cover Photo Courtesy of Julie Copenhaver


Executive Vice President Allen Holt allen@baylorlinefoundation.com Editor-in-Chief Craig Cunningham craig@baylorlinefoundation.com Publication Designer Haley Gandy cedargandy.com CFO James McInnis james@baylorlinefoundation.com Chief Advancement Officer Janet Nors janet@baylorlinefoundation.com Marketing Director Shelby Pipken shelby@baylorlinefoundation.com Member Services Kellie Juandiego kellie@baylorlinefoundation.com Social Media Communications Michelle Case michelle@baylorlinefoundation.com For advertising opportunities, email janet@baylorlinefoundation.com Letters and Comments can be sent to baylorline@baylorlinefoundation.com Contact Info The Baylor Line P.O. Box 2089, Waco TX 76703 254.732.0393


Recently I sat down and had a conversation with Sherry Castello, who was the editor of this publication for around thirty years. She passed down some advice that was also given to her. It went something like this: Your readers don’t wake up every day thinking about Baylor. They have their own lives to manage, and Baylor is just part of a much bigger picture for them. They’re managing careers, raising children, fighting sickness, and on and on. I was grateful for the reminder. Unlike most, I am in the unusual position where I am tasked with thinking about Baylor every day. Can I be honest? I, too, would sometimes prefer not to think about Baylor. The petty politics of higher education can be draining. But every time we put a new issue of this magazine together, I’m reminded of the incredible bond that exists between so many people who share the Baylor experience, and my spirit is renewed.

I wonder sometimes if this magazine is alive. Because whenever we begin thinking of the next issue, stories seem to flow to us in bunches, as if the magazine already knows what it is meant to be. This time around, we were presented with one story of courage after another. Courage to track down a mother after 50 years. Courage to lay your life on the line to protect and serve a city. Courage to travel the world with little more than a backpack. Courage to take on human traffickers. For many, that courage was born, or at the very least nurtured, at a small Baptist university in Waco. As Sherry said, the average alumnus may not think about Baylor every day. But whenever you do, I hope you’re proud to be a part of this courageous family. I know I am.

Craig Cunningham ‘08 Editor-in-Chief



“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty.”


The above quote was kept in the office of former Baylor President Herbert H. Reynolds.





Story by

Sherry H enry Kujala (


Fast forward almost 65 years, and Henry was once again soaring through the skies. JAMES W. HENRY (’56) SERVED IN THE As part of the Ageless Aviation Dream Flight AIR FORCE DURING THE KOREAN WAR. project in Wisconsin, James was selected to take a special flight in a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train military aviators in the 1940s. James was one of eight senior residents across Wisconsin selected from 378 applicants to fly over the Milwaukee, Wisconsin region on July 12, 2019. James Henry never became a pilot himself, but has lived his enthusiasm for aviation through his son, David G. Henry (’82, JD’ 85), pilot of his own Cessna 310. One significant father-son aviation experience was a flight in a Ford Tri-Motor with his son, David, as co-pilot. James also once had an opportunity to fly in a B-17 at the Waco Regional Airport. James and his entire family have been immersed in Baylor since the 1950s. His children and grandchildren have all attended Baylor, and have served in faculty, staff and volunteer positions.





We recently sat down with John Morris to discuss how he became a broadcaster, his mentor Frank Fallon, and what keeps him motivated after 32 years in the booth.

Give us just a little bit of background about where you came from and how you got into broadcasting. Well, my parents went to Baylor, and that’s how I knew about Baylor. My dad was a religion major. He graduated in 1958. He then went to Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and I was born a year later in Louisville. So, I grew up in Kentucky. When I graduated high school, or was getting close, I knew about Baylor and came down and visited and just loved it. I ended up coming to school here and never left. I was interested in broadcasting, majored in Radio TV at the time and got a job at Channel 10 before I’d even graduated, then worked at KDBTX for 15 years. In 1987 I started working with Frank Fallon, which was the best learning experience anybody could ever hope for. Then when Frank retired in 1995, I followed him. I’ll never say I replaced Frank Fallon. That’s never going to happen. But, I followed him in this job. So, that’s sort of the short version of how that all happened. Photo Courtesy of The Texas Collection



Frank Fallon was a legend. What did you learn from him? What did you take away from being under his mentorship? Frank was so professional in everything that he did, the way he delivered the broadcast. But then off the air, he was so professional also. That was one thing I learned from him. I learned about preparation from him. He was always so keenly prepared in everything that he did. I learned how important that is.

Do you remember your first time on the air, and what that moment was like for you? The first game in football working with Frank was 1987, the season opener against Louisiana Tech. I was just nervous as could be. This was Mr. Fallon. This was Frank Fallon. The thing I had to get over first was calling him Mr. Fallon on the air. He kept saying, “Call me Frank,” and I just had so much respect for him that I had a hard time getting past that. So, that was the first game. He was doing play by play, obviously, and I was doing color, and I don’t think I was greatly suited to do color analysis. He said, “You’re another set of eyes up here. Just talk about what you see.” He was very nurturing to me back then. But, the first Baylor game I actually did was 1984. Frank was doing Southwest Conference TV games, and if there was a conflict with a Baylor game on Saturday basketball, he would ask me to do the basketball games. So, the first Baylor game professionally, really, that I ever did was December of ‘84. Baylor versus Vanderbilt in the Heart of Texas Coliseum. C.M. Newton was the coach for Vanderbilt and Jim Haller was the coach at Baylor, and so I got to fill in for Frank.

You talked a little bit about learning how to prepare. How do you prepare for a game? It’s different for different sports. For football, you’ve got all week to prepare for one game. So, you’ve got a lot of time to get ready. Of course, there are more players to get to know and learn about, and more stats to digest over the course of the week. But, we get lots of stuff given to us – releases from Baylor, news releases for whoever we’re playing against, and then Big 12 Conference information. I’ll do a spotting board of offense and defense, two or three deep on each side for both Baylor and whoever we’re playing, and then watch some game tape, or previous televised games, and that helps me to get comfortable with the players.

Is it hard for you to believe you’ve been doing this for 32 years, or does it feel like it’s been that long? No, it doesn’t at all. It really doesn’t. When you say that, that seems like a long time. But, I think I just take it game by game. Eight of those years were with Frank. So, eight years doing color, and then 24 years doing play by play following Frank. So, it really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I’ve got a picture on my shelf of the first year Frank and I worked together. Greg Harper was our engineer, and Jerry Clemmons was our producer. I look at that and I think, “Yeah, look at that guy.” That has been awhile.



In those 32 years, is there one call that stands out above the rest? I’d be hard pressed to pick one. There are several that are really top of mind. When we beat A&M in football in 2004, we hadn’t beaten them in 19 years. They were ranked, we were not, and we beat them in overtime at the Floyd Casey Stadium. The call of that game, J.J. Joe and I, it was the worst call ever because we just kind of screamed. But Baylor people, I think, knew something good had happened. Whenever we beat Kansas in basketball, those are just big, big wins. This past year we beat Texas coming from 19 down. That’s a huge win, and the way the team played this year in basketball after all the injuries that they had gone through, that was big. Baseball, we did a regional at Rice one time where we trailed by nine runs and came back to win the game. Games like that stick in my mind as really exciting finishes, and it sure was fun to have a great seat like I had for those.

On the flip side of that, is there a call, or a gaffe that you’ve made over these years where you’re like, “Oh man, that was embarrassing.” Yeah, too many to count, too many to count. But then, you make a mistake, correct it, and then move on. So, I don’t dwell on that. But, there’ve been a bunch of those through the years also.

I’ve always wondered if people hear you talking in public and recognize you by your voice. It does happen, and I take it as a compliment. I mean, that means they’re listening to our games. If I’m sitting at a table and somebody overhears a conversation, you can see them leaning in and listening and say, “I thought that was you.” So, it’s very nice. It is a compliment. Funny thing, one time Frank and I were working together at a track meet, a Baylor Invitational, and we had a break. We walked up to the concession stand to get something, and he and I were just talking at the concession stand, and the guy said, “You guys just keep on talking. It’s like I’m listening to my own personal radio.” So, it was a compliment that somebody would say that.



What do you think is the most rewarding part of your job?

Well, you have a distinct voice, which is a good thing for your profession. Do you ever get people on the opposite side, or even Baylor fans, that give you trouble. Apparently that’s out there, and I don’t pay any attention to it. I just do the best job that I can, and try to serve the Baylor family the best that I can. It is interesting that when football was down for a few years, we got a lot of complaints about our broadcast. I say a lot, but there were some complaints about our broadcast. And then all of a sudden we started winning, and we’re winning Big 12 championships, and people are saying, “Yeah, y’all do a great job. Everything’s great.” And that’s not to say I do a perfect job every time out. I can always do better. I think if you’re in broadcasting, it’s just part of the job that there’s going to be some people that like you and there’s some people that aren’t going to like you or your style. I think that’s just part of it. I know for me growing up as a Baylor fan, it’s almost impossible to separate Baylor sports from your voice. Even hearing you now is like a flood of memories of going to Baylor games as a kid.

I love broadcasting, and I would love broadcasting anywhere. But, to do it for your school, to do it for Baylor, is just special. It really is. Because I’ve been around here a long time, from when I started as a freshman in 1977. I’ve been around Baylor that whole time. So, hopefully I’ve got some perspective through the years of just knowing the Baylor way, the Baylor culture, and knowing the Baylor family and our fans, and hearing from them. Hopefully that pays off in broadcasts. So, if I say, “This is a big win,” or “This is a big series coming up,” there’s a little bit of perspective behind that. I get excited just like Baylor fans do.

What do you think about the football team this year? What are your thoughts about how we’re going to do? I love what Coach Rhule and his staff have done to improve by six wins from his first season to his second season. It’s just a huge jump. No school in the country made a bigger jump than Baylor did last year, and if we improve by six more, we’ll be playing the Big 12 Championship. But, just to see the way he has set the foundation for the program so quickly, and had success so quickly, from one win to seven wins in two years, and now going into year three. I think that we are going to be right there in the top half, maybe top third of the Big 12, and I think the goals are to play for Big 12 championships, and eventually get into the college football playoffs. I like the way our coaches think, and the way they have instilled that in the players. So, I think we’re in for another really, really good year.

Well, in broadcasting I think continuity and longevity mean a lot. I think for people who grow up listening to a person, then they hear them later, it’s a tie to the university. Maybe some people don’t even live in Waco, and they come back and they hear our broadcast and it brings them home, hopefully. So, we’re very aware of that.

This interview first appeared as a podcast. To hear this and other interviews, visit baylorlinefoundation.com/podcast or search for Baylor Line Foundation in the Apple Podcast store.







Outside the Texas Sports Hall of Fame


Starting 2 hours before kickoff


This family-friendly event will have catered food and drinks, entertainment for kids, and big screen TVs to watch other college football games. Catch up with fellow alums before the Bears Sic the Red Raiders.

FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION baylorlinefoundation.com/homecoming



2019 Baylor Legacy Scholarship Recipients Each year, the Baylor Line Foundation gives out over 50 scholarships to students who come from legacy families. We are proud to announce this year’s group of recipients. These students have displayed extraordinary character, ambition, and academic commitment. Join us in congratulating these deserving students:

Emma Aldridge

Kelsey Gasiorowski

Davis Petty

Adam Bailey

Kirby Gasiorowski

Preston Pittard

Haley Beard

Riley Godwin

Hannah Price

Hannah Beard

Camryn Hannas

Jordan Roberts

John Beard

Jessica Hanshaw

Harrison Rogers

Lizzie Beggs

Fisher Hargrove

Cade Ryan

Dylan Boyd

Anna Herrington

Reuben Saage

Ashlyn Brown

Karson Holley

Caitlin Simpson

Chase Brown

John Mayers

Zachary Smith

Anna Bryant

Evan Mayhew

Emily Stellburg

Carson Cabe

Mariel Mayhew

Sarah Swingler

Sutton Cameron

Elizabeth McRae

Kyle Van Hoozer

Christine Michelle Case

Andrew Meador

Grant Caudill

James Henry Mercer

Brooke Chapman

Emily Merrill

Jake Chapman

Miles Morgan

Benjamin Coleman

Caroline Nance

Annie Dugan

Danielle Neelley

Reagan Dupler

Andrew Pearson

Anna Dusek

Emily Person


visit baylorlinefoundation.com/giving to make a gift towards this important program.



Legacy Scholarship Program D ear F riends, We are Haley, Hannah, and John Beard and we are the recipients of the Baylor Line Foundation Scholarship. We feel extremely blessed and are incredibly grateful to receive such impactful awards. We are all sophomores involved in the Business Fellows Program and are studying various subjects on campus. John is on the Pre-med track, Haley is studying Pre-law and Accounting, and Hannah is studying Finance, Economics, and Accounting. Additionally, we are all involved in various campus activities. We are all members of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, John is a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Haley and Hannah are members of Pi Beta Phi, Hannah is a leader within the Freshman Class Council, and Haley is a co-ed cheerleader for our Baylor Bears. Your contribution allows us to be heavily involved academically and extracurricularly on campus so that we may become a part of the Baylor legacy as well. These scholarships are very impactful for our family since, as a triplet set, we all attend college at the same time, placing a substantial financial burden upon our family in a short amount of

time. After being at Baylor for a year, our parents have lost a significant portion of their savings in sending three kids to college and money has become increasingly tighter within my family. After just one year of having three kids at Baylor, our parents do not have enough in their savings alone to send us to college for our sophomore year and will have to take out loans to pay for tuition. In addition to lessening the price of loans, these scholarships would allow us the opportunity to study abroad and gain an enriching cultural education. We are extremely thankful for these scholarships that instrumentally aid our family as our parents attempt to support three kids in private school at the same time. We feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to attend a university where we can be rooted in a supporting community of believers. The love and faith found on Baylor’s campus has inspired us to pursue the passions that the Lord has bestowed upon us. We are proud to be a part of such legacy and we will use our scholarships to further fling our green and gold afar. Sincerely, The Beards




We interview outstanding alumni to hear about their experience at Baylor, their field of work, and what motivates them. Guests have included Walter Abercrombie, Derek Haas, John McClain, Tony Pederson, Sherry Castello, and more. You can find the podcast by searching for ‘Baylor Line Foundation’ in the iTunes store.

HAVE A GUEST YOU WOUL D L I K E US T O I NT E RV I EW? E M A I L US AT craig@baylorlinefoundation.com



WE ASKED. YOU ANSWERED. Are alumni associations still viable?

I think alumni and the Baylor Alumni Association / Baylor Line Foundation can and must remain critically viable and relevant through positively impacting the work of our Alumni-Elected Regents. I believe Baylor is at a significant crossroads – a turning point. Just as the Southern Baptist Convention is facing turmoil, Baylor, too, is facing a crisis and turmoil. The SBC (BGCT) is facing, among many: the issue of ordaining women in ministry, inclusiveness with the LGBTQ community, those seeking gay marriage relationships, communities and people of color, women seeking abortions, sexual abuse by clergy, declining church membership, declining SBC convention membership by Baptist churches, and the issue of growth of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the American Baptist Convention. Why are these crises occurring?   Changes to the strict teachings and ‘rules’ of the past and the desire of many people to individually and personally interpret God’s word in their lives – the priesthood of the believer – are necessitating a re-thinking of long-held beliefs. Paradigms are changing. Baylor is changing – or it should be – in many of the same ways.  The university is currently debating what to do with the Baylor LGBTQ community.  The tribulations of sexual abuse in our Baylor family, and how it has been (or not been) dealt with in the athletics department and university wide, has been an issue not openly or appropriately dealt with for years. Questioning speakers by students from the floor of Chapel has occurred. Change is everywhere.   

The current leadership team of the Baylor Regent body has shown improvement in openness and responding to change. My impression is that President Livingstone is open to new ideas. But, for too many years, the Regents have not been open, communicative, or responsible to the Baylor family at large. They have acted with impunity and arrogance.  They have answered to no one. The Bears for Leadership Reform has actively sought change and redress. Our AlumniElected Regents now have the opportunity to exercise a strong and unified voice to effect change. They have the ability, and I believe responsibility, to be open and inclusive to alumni and the Baylor family. I believe we need to make the role of Alumni-Elected Regents critically important to our role as a member of the Baylor Family. Their role is our ‘in’ to the seat of Baylor power and influence – the Board of Regents. It is through the work of Alumni-Elected Regents that each alum can have an impact on Baylor. We need to encourage and guide our Alumni-Elected Regents to use their role in a positive sense and to the best of their ability on behalf of us all.

Charles F. Massler Baylor, BS 1970 BAYLOR FAMILY




had heard of Dr. Joseph Armstrong and his wife Mary since childhood from my father, who had taken the famous ‘Browning Course’ from the colorful professor, who had made it his life’s work to collect everything important from the English poet and playwright, and bring it to the small Baptist university in a small central Texas town. I knew my grandfather Earl had been involved in helping the Armstrongs get a library building constructed to house the collection of the Browning artifacts on the Baylor campus. After I graduated from high school in Houston in the Spring of 1961, I drove up to Waco to finalize my arrangements to start in the fall as a freshman.


t the request of my grandfather, I paid a call to Dr. Armstrong’s widow, Mary, who had an office in the Browning Library. She was almost 80, and she received me with a big sparkle in her eyes, especially when I told her I was going to work that summer as an assistant tour guide on a 65-day grand European tour. She recounted how she and her late husband had organized, sold, and conducted 34 Grand Tours to Europe and the Middle East in the early 1900s when travel there was somewhat primitive. She explained that all the proceeds went to their fund to purchase memorabilia, manuscripts, and other items which had belonged to the famous poet and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett. I was fascinated by the stories of her many adventures, and she was fascinated that a young 17-year-old would be interested in her, her life, and her achievements. We made a date for that fall to see each other again, when I would be in Waco to start school. And I followed through. Mrs. Armstrong, seeing how much I loved travel, asked me gingerly that September if I would consider coming over to her modest bungalow to help her organize her many storage boxes from her years of international travel. She explained that she was too old to easily move them about. I readily accepted, and I



was eager to tell her of my summer adventures, for which she had been nice enough to supply me with a lot of tips before I had left.


he Saturdays I spent with her were the opportunity of a lifetime. As we opened each crumbling box and she sorted through the yellowing photos, itinerary sheets, traveler lists, and all the other memories, I realized the magnitude of what she and Dr. Armstrong had accomplished. What I remember most from those Saturdays are the photos: the elegantly clad men and women with long dresses and big floppy hats astride mammoth camels, with the pyramids, the Egyptian desert, and the Sphinx in the background; group scenes of jauntily-clad travelers on the decks of transatlantic steamships at sea; and shots of native guides clad in turbans and flowing robes. I was determined to see all of this myself firsthand one day. And, after visiting over 70 countries, I have, thanks in large part to Mrs. Armstrong, who lighted my candle. Armstrong Tours of Distinction were not cheap and their traveler lists came to include people from all over the United States, as word of their scholarly journeys spread. I pondered how, while keeping to a rigorous study, research, and teaching schedule, this couple had managed to pull together and successfully execute these long and meticulously managed guided tours, especially when all arrangements had to be made via mail or telegram! Much later I realized how thrilled Mrs. Armstrong must have been that a young student validated and was inspired many decades later by her monumental achievements. In that musty garage we had a pretty good mutual admiration society going! After several weekends we got things in order in her travel files, and by this time I was swept up in being a freshman at Baylor. My continuing studies took me to Austin, Geneva, and Munich, and then suddenly I was engulfed up in my career. ‘Miss Mary’ and I lost track.


n 1971 I was traveling again in Europe when I got a long-distance call from my family, who had been contacted by Max Armstrong, Mary Armstrong’s son, with whom she had lived her later years in Pennsylvania. Mary Armstrong at age 89 had died. It had been ten years since we had been in touch. In going through his mother’s affairs, Max noticed a sealed envelope propped up on his mom’s desk. He opened it, and found in her handwriting the list of those she had chosen to be the pallbearers at her funeral. My name was on that list.


f all the people she had known and loved in her life, my brief time with her had been more special to her than I had realized. She had shared with me the light from her candle, and by telling you this story, dear reader, I am sharing with you the light from mine.



Baylor Line Foundation Board of Directors Our board of directors is proud to work on behalf of all alumni. Join us at our annual meeting on Friday, October 11th from 3-5pm at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as we discuss the vision moving forward. We will also confirm officers and board members that will become effective January 1, 2020.

O ff ice rs Laura Hallmon President

Wayne Tucker President Elect

Jackie Baugh Moore Immediate Past President

James Nelson Treasurer

Nicole Robinson Secretary

B o a rd M e mbe rs Sharon Barnes Jan Barry Marie Brown Mary Burch Gary Burford Carolyn Cole George Cowen Chase Fickling Bryan Fonville Jonathan Grant David Hudson



Roland Johnson Mac Jones Shelba Jones Karen Jones David Lacy Robert Little Michael Merz Brandon Miller Robert Morales Gwin Morris Doug Myers

Nelson Jim James Nortey Fred Norton Lyndon Olson Amy Pagitt Tony Pederson Daniel Pellegrin Skye Perryman Katy Pritchard Jay Propes J Rice

Stan Schlueter Stacy Sharp Justin Sieker Claire St. Amant Randy Stevens Lindsey Stover Lynn Tatum Emily Tinsley Missy Wells Paul Williams


SUMMARY OF THE RESOLUTION PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO THE CORPORATION’S BYLAWS FOR APPROVAL BY THE MEMBERSHIP AT THE ANNUAL MEETING The Resolution unanimously adopted by the Board of Directors of the Baylor Line Foundation on August 31, 2019, and proposed to the membership for approval (hereafter referred to as the “Resolution”) amends the corporation’s Bylaws as follows: Article II, Section 2 “Qualification of Members” is amended to permit the Board of Directors to delegate the determination of requirements for membership in the corporation to an officer or officers of the corporation, to the Executive Committee or to another committee. Article III, Section 4 “Notice of Meetings” is amended to authorize electronic notification for meetings of members. Article IV, Section 2 “Number, Tenure, and Qualifications” is amended to eliminate the designation of Regional and Key Constituent Directors. These forty Directors are now collectively classified as Representative Directors and their terms are revised to the calendar year, consistent with the corporation’s change of its fiscal year to the calendar year. Article IV, Section 3 is retitled “Geographical Regions Represented” and provides for identification of geographical regions to be represented by Representative Directors. Article IV, Section 4 is retitled “Key Constituents Represented” and provides for identification of key constituent or demographic groups to be represented by Representative Directors. Article V, Section 5 “President-Elect” is amended to remove chairmanship of the standing Development, Finance and Investments Committee from the President-Elect’s duties. Article V, Section 6 “Treasurer” is amended to add chairmanship of the standing Development, Finance and Investments Committee to the Treasurer’s duties. Section 6 is also clarified to provide that the Treasurer shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds, property and securities of the corporation.

Article VI, Section 1 “Executive Committee” is amended to add the procurement of Directors and Officers liability insurance to the Executive Committee’s specific responsibilities. Article VI, Section 2 “Nominating Committee” is amended to replace the terms Regional and Key Constituent Directors with Representative Directors Article VI, Section 3 “Standing Committees” is amended to provide that the Treasurer is to chair the Development, Finance and Investments Committee. Article VI, Section 6 “Chairperson” is amended to include the Nominating Committee among those committees where the President does not appoint its chair, consistent with the current terms of Article VI, Section 2 “Nominating Committee”. Article XI “Fiscal Year” is amended to change the corporation’s fiscal year to the calendar year. Article XVI “Amendments to the Bylaws” is renumbered to Article XVII. A new Article XVI is added, entitled “Indemnification”, and it provides that the Directors and Officers of the corporation are to be indemnified by the corporation to the maximum extent permitted by law.

See you




by Robert F. Darden



herry Boyd Castello’s tenure as editor of The Baylor Line lasted from 1968 to 1990, though she remained for five more years as a senior writer and news editor. It was a remarkable time in the life of Baylor University, of America, of Castello herself. And during that time, The Line expertly, thoroughly and fairly covered the school’s sometimes tumultuous transition from sleepy regional Baptist college to nationally ranked research university. Through it all, Castello calmly chronicled those changes, operating under the guiding tenet, “Because it happened,” which she still believes is the most important responsibility of a good alumni magazine. The best alumni magazines are, she has said, fundamental to keeping alumni connected with their alma mater. And that, in itself, is essential to keeping any university healthy, vital and flourishing. On the occasion of the Baylor Alumni Association’s 160th anniversary and the long-overdue digitization of The Baylor Line by the Riley Digitization Lab at Moody Library, a visit to Castello’s tree-shrouded home in Waco was definitely in order. At Baylor, Sherry Boyd of Mineral Wells originally declared herself an English major, but during her second quarter enrolled in an introductory course in journalism. “I took that course, and I just knew I was a journalism major,” she recalled. “This was it.” Her professor was W.J. Thomas, himself a former journalist. “He was not a particularly outstanding professor,” she said. “It was journalism that grabbed me, not Dr. Thomas. It was like, ‘Oh wow, this is what I want to do!’



n the spring quarter, I was what they called a night editor. Which meant you put the paper to bed over at the old Baylor Press. I was editor during one quarter of my senior year in 1958.”

Also working on The Baylor Lariat during that period was photographer Don Castello, who oversaw the reporting lab. The two dated and eventually married in 1959. Shortly thereafter, Sherry Castello began work on a master’s degree in American Civilization (later American Studies) under Dr. Charles D. Johnson, sociology chair, who had founded the journalism department at Baylor. Sherry also worked in Baylor’s public relations office.

W h e n C astello was a s ke d to take t he reins of Th e Li ne in 19 68, s h e wa s supported a n d e n cou rag ed by t he l e a d e rs h i p of t he Baylor A l u m n i A ssoc iat ion to cre ate h e r own vision of w h at the m ag az ine cou ld be

“Dr. Johnson was, at heart, a journalist,” Castello said. “He directed my thesis, Journalism in the Curriculum of Southern Baptist Colleges and Universities. He really was an encourager of me toward journalism. I received my master’s degree in 1960.” Over the next few years, Don worked as a staff photographer for the Waco Tribune-Herald and Sherry taught part-time at Baylor, teaching classes in the journalism and English departments. But mostly, she said, she “muddled around being a mother.” The couple eventually had four children, Bill (born in 1960), Ken (1962), Laurie (1964) and Charlie (1970). During this period, The Baylor Line was edited by the Baylor legend Enid Markham. Looking back at issues of the magazine from that era, The Line is very newsy – dozens of short, press release-styled items, with an occasional “official” article, often written by President Abner McCall’s aide-de-camp Thomas Turner. The March/April 1968 issue features an update on the famed Keys Quadruplets (class of ’37), and how they became the first young women to perform in the Golden Wave Marching Band (all on saxophone, incidentally). Markham’s strength, Castello said, was in her relationships. “Enid knew everybody and who they were related to. She was very rare, with deep Baylor roots.” Castello had originally been asked by alumni director George Stokes to assume the reins at the Line in 1966. She happily agreed. “Suddenly, George said, ‘Whoops, Enid wants to stay on two more years so she can get her retirement. So, I’ll get back to you in a couple of years.’ That worked out OK for me and I became editor in ‘68. And I would not want to be in any way critical of her because she was great.” When Castello was asked to take the reins of The Line in 1968, she was supported and encouraged by the leadership of the Baylor Alumni Association to create her own vision of what the magazine could be. Castello quickly became friends with Robert “Dusty” Rhodes, editor of the award-winning Brown University alumni magazine. At one point, Rhodes invited Sherry to spend time with the BAM – Brown Alumni Magazine – and his staff. “That was a big step up,” she said. “That was like getting a master’s degree in alumni editing to get to know Dusty and hear their reasoning on their decisions.”



We we re d oing g ood t hing s wit h t he m a ga zi n e ,” s h e rec alled. “We had a g ood res p on s e f ro m people. It went out six


eorge Stokes, then Ray Vickery, were Castello’s first bosses with the grow i n g r i gh t t hen, leaps and bounds, alumni association and The Line grew quickly in size and a n d s o I i n h e r ited T he Baylor Line as t he influence. Almost immediately, u n i ve rs i t y wa s m oving to anot her level. the magazine looked different. In addition to longer features by a wider variety of writers, even the covers changed: a column of Pat Neff Hall flanked by a jet contrail (January/February 1969), a stark, weathered column from Independence with a silver/gray background and the text, “… and these stones shall be for a memorial … forever” from Joshua 4:7 (September/October 1969), a dramatic shot of the new Moody Library, lit up at night, with a ghostly image of the Fifth Street fountain in the foreground, all against a black background (July/August 1969), a close-up of the statue of Judge Baylor’s hand on a law book against a robin’s egg-blue sky (June 1978), a bird silhouetted against a Miller Chapel stained glass window (November 1982). Many of Castello’s covers display a fascination with the “significant details” of Baylor.

ti mes a ye a r to ever ybody. Baylor was

“We were doing good things with the magazine,” she recalled. “We had a good response from people. It went out six times a year to everybody. Baylor was growing right then, leaps and bounds, and so I inherited The Baylor Line as the university was moving to another level. “From the start, we told everything straight – just like you would to a family member. If you had an alumni magazine, these were your people. They needed to know everything as it was.” Baylor’s president at the time was much-beloved Abner McCall. Castello uses words like “folksy” and “egalitarian” to describe McCall, who would deliver a document himself rather than ask for someone to pick it up. The Line, she said, had an excellent working arrangement with McCall. But the late ‘60s were also the era of Vietnam War protests, particularly on college campuses. The protests at Baylor were what Castello called “minor tremors” compared to the massive demonstrations elsewhere. Still, after one such silent protest at Baylor, involving only a dozen people, The Line published a photograph (by her husband Don) of the demonstration, which took place during an ROTC presentation.



Almost immediately after the issue was mailed, Castello received a telephone call from a development officer. “He suggested that people might not contribute to the university if they were aware of such goings on,” Castello said. “He asked me, ‘Why did you run this picture?’ “I told the administrator, ‘I wrote about it and ran it because it happened.’” McCall was succeeded in 1981 by Herbert Reynolds. Castello forged a relationship with Reynolds that lasted until his death in 2007. “I think the unique thing for me, as editor, was having such a good, open relationship with the president,” Castello said. “I had more than a decade of going in every other month and having at least an hour with Dr. Reynolds. I would sit there with my little tape recorder, ask him anything that I wanted to ask him. That was the rule of the game. I could ask him anything and he would give me an answer. Dusty Rhodes once remarked to me that he had never known a president to be so secure and open to questioning.” Looking back through issues of The Line magazines from Castello’s tenure as editor is like experiencing an unexpected reunion with cherished friends – oh! the stories that these issues tell. Sherry fanned the six issues from 1981 out before us as an example. Beginning with the February issue, The Baylor Line featured the transition from McCall to Reynolds in five consecutive issues.


n April, we highlighted McCall’s move to Chancellor,” Castello said. “In June, Kathy Dinsdale wrote what we all knew, that Reynolds was replacing a virtual folk hero – a colorful, strong, and rugged individualist. Kathy observed that Reynolds’ polished desk and efficiently organized office reflected a man of precision. It was an apt assessment of their differences.” Other articles in that year continued in that vein: “20 Questions” (an interview with Reynolds based on questions gathered from alumni and campus personnel); “The First Lady Is Joy” (about Joy Reynolds); a piece by writer/photographer Carol Dickey describing the new president’s first day in office (“And do you remember this?” Castello asked, “A memorable ice cream party down by Waco Creek. First day as the new president and he had an all-campus ice cream party!”); “A Day of Glory” by Betsy Vardaman (recounting the formal inauguration of the university’s tenth president) and “At Home at Albritton House” (the first peek inside new president’s campus home). “Throughout my stay at The Line, that column with Reynolds continued our effort to give alumni a sense of insider status,” Castello said, “with the very tolerant president submitting to whatever questions we thought to be representative of alumni concerns.”

Castello began other popular features as well. To generate more alumni involvement, the magazine invited drawings by the children of alumni. (“Boy! did we ever get them!”) Sherry said she believes that alumni should be able to speak authoritatively about their university, which prompted a series of articles that served as a “refresher course” about the school and “Baylor ABC,” articles

designed to update alumni on the various details of the university, ranging from its history to current enrollment. Another feature which endured for years recounted memories of a favorite professor. Cartoonist Rick Diamond’s “Bobby Baylor” series also enjoyed a long run in the magazine. The popular “Looking Back” column by Kent Keeth was another perennial favorite. “All of this is my philosophy,” Castello said, “to keep alumni in touch with other alumni. If you should doubt that this is an important goal for The Baylor Line, just count the pages used for ‘Class Notes’ and alumni-oriented features in any issue.” Under Castello’s patient, nurturing guidance, writers both young and inexperienced and older and established, vied to have bylines in The Baylor Line. A very partial list of those writers includes Katie Cook, Madeleine McDermott Hamm, Carl Hoover, Nita Sue Kent, Ralph Lynn, Vivienne Mayes, David McCollum, David McHam, Louis and Kay Moore, Judy Pace, Paul Parson, Tony Pederson, David Pickle, Ella Wall Prichard, Bob Reid, Hal Wingo, Yale Youngblood and many, many more. In the late 1980s, Baylor was at the heart of a dramatic struggle between moderate Baptists and the fundamentalist wing of the Southern Baptist Convention, which forcibly took control of a number of Baptist institutions. It was a difficult period in the life of the university and many feared that Baylor was next on the fundamentalists’ list. Led by Reynolds, the university enacted a change in its charter that significantly reduced the number of Baylor regents selected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

...g iving alumni a sense of insider status...



ccording to Castello, Reynolds met tirelessly with alumni, faculty and staff to assure them that this move was not engineered to lessen Baylor’s historic faith-based roots. The Baylor Line was, of course, there through it all. One cover from that era featured a line drawing of two lambs butting heads under the headline, “Who are the Baptists?” (June 1985). “It was a huge chapter,” Castello said. “Baylor could have been taken over. And our role was the same. Information.” Castello announced her retirement from The Line in 1995, which also marked Baylor’s transition from Reynolds to Robert Sloan as president. A Homecoming retirement party at the beloved Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center drew family and friends far and wide, along with a blizzard of written and faxed (but not yet emailed) tributes. In their tributes, some alumni even remembered the early days of the magazine, recalling scenes of son Charlie sleeping under Castello’s desk as she worked on the latest issue. “Charlie was born in 1970, so he grew up in my cozy office when I was up on the third floor of the Student Union building.” Castello remained as Senior Editor for five more years, writing the occasional article and conferring regularly with her successor, Editor-in-Chief Paula Tanner. It was Tanner and Todd Copeland who faced the unfortunate period that followed as Sloan and a small group of regents worked to sever the university’s historic ties with the Alumni Association. It is a breach that has only begun to be mended under the leadership of the re-named Baylor Line Foundation and new Baylor President Linda Livingstone. As an alumnus, Castello said she is still hurt by those events (she called it the “disemboweling” of the Baylor Alumni Association), but in the years following her retirement, she began a second, equally rewarding, equally essential career, one that continues today. Talitha Koum (“My child, rise up!” in Aramaic), a center providing “loving relationships, research-based therapeutic intervention” in South Waco’s poorest neighborhood, was founded in 1999 by members of the nearby CrossTies Ecumenical Church. At nearly the same time, CrossTies also founded the Gospel Café in the neighborhood, feeding



hundreds of people every Wednesday through Friday. Castello threw herself into her new roles. “As I’m moving out and Paula was taking over, Crossties was starting up,” she said, “and that was how I figured out how to live my life. CrossTies, Talitha Koum, and the Gospel Café are by the Kate Ross projects, where Don and I once worked as part of Baylor’s Friday Night Missions. This was just after the big Youth Revival of the 1950s, so there was a lot of that fervor when I was there. “But for me, I always think, ‘Wow, I’m now right back where I started at Baylor. You can see the towers of Baylor across I-35 from there. That means something. I realized that while I was at Baylor, I could never really see that neighborhood. The truth is that I knew absolutely nothing about poverty. As close as Baylor is, these poverty neighborhoods were invisible to me.” In 2009, three alumni, Castello, Marsha Marty and Susan Cowley, received the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award from the Baylor Line Foundation for their extraordinary work with Talitha Koum and the Gospel Café. Though not mentioned in the award, Sherry’s husband Don could have been an unindicted co-conspirator for his selfless volunteer work as well. William Don Castello died April 10, 2015, at the age of 80. Castello is still involved with the Gospel Café, cooking, coordinating volunteers and greeting friends, old and new. What does she get out of it? “I’m always the server who greets the person,” she said after a moment’s reflection. “It is important that they see one familiar face every day, even though the rest of the many volunteers are also in there. I get to smile and say, ‘What would you like today?’ “But mainly, I think it’s just the humanizing of each other. They don’t have any idea who I am, or anything I’ve ever done. But they remember my name, and I wish I knew theirs. ‘Miss Sherry. Miss Sherry, do you have the meat and potatoes today?’ They get a main dish, a salad, hot bread, dessert, tea. And they know they’re safe.”

We told Baylor’s sto rie s...Ho n e stly an d tru th fu lly.

The Baylor Line , in m any ways, ch ro n icle d th e go lde n ye ars of Baylor. We ha d b ee n a go o d u n ive rsity, we h ad be e n a go o d Ba p tist university, an d th e n we be cam e a m ajo r u n ive rsity. An d we to ld th at sto r y.”


astello also passionately, fiercely follows both the University and the Baylor Line Foundation. One question she says she often receives is, “Looking back at your time at the Baylor Line, what are you proudest of?”

“We told Baylor’s stories,” she says again, after another pause. “Honestly and truthfully. The Baylor Line, in many ways, chronicled the golden years of Baylor. We had been a good university, we had been a good Baptist university, and then we became a major university. And we told that story.”

The measure of any person is found in the impact she has had – and continues to have – on others. At Castello’s retirement, long-time Line writer Kathy Hampton Dinsdale celebrated Sherry’s ability to step out of her role as editor and simply be a friend. “I’d venture to say she had no clue the far-reaching ramifications – and in Christendom, don’t we call good ramifications fruit? – of her faithful response to living at capacity. Joyfully, expectantly, fully.” And, in response to this article, Dinsdale later wrote, “Years later, Sherry became God’s instrument in a wholly different role, breathing new life and ideas into my flat-lining faith.” Another writer, Beth Whitley Duke, said that Castello’s influence goes far beyond the magazine, that she was “the glue that held the spirit of Baylor together.” A long, emotional email from one of The Line’s regular contributor’s during Castello’s tenure, Nita Sue Kent, includes this touching line: “Sherry encouraged me not only as a writer for the Line, but also for whatever mental, physical, or spiritual journey I was on.” Finally, Harry Marsh, himself a former journalism professor at Baylor and later chair of the journalism department at Kansas State University, goes one step further: “Sherry Castello is a personification of the Baylor spirit. (She) should write her autobiography and it should be required reading for all Baylor students so they could learn how to live abundant lives.”


Do you know outstanding alumni who should be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet in 2020? Nominations are now open on our website at BAYLORLINEFOUNDATION.COM OR CALL 254.732.0393



W e wa n t t o h e a r f r o m y o u ! HALL OF FAME AWARDS BANQUET 2020





THREE LEADERS By Tom Kertscher



n April 2017, when it was announced that Linda Livingstone would become the first woman president of Baylor, the school was facing six Title IX lawsuits, a federal Title IX investigation, an NCAA investigation and an accreditation agency warning. Her predecessor had been fired after a law firm hired by Baylor to investigate the school’s response to sexual assault allegations found “fundamental failure” in Baylor’s Title IX implementation. This year, as Baylor has battled controversy over attempts by an LGBTQ student group to be recognized, Livingstone named Nancy Brickhouse ‘83 as provost, Baylor’s chief academic officer; and the Baylor Board of Regents, the official governing body of the university, chose Jerry Clements JD ‘81 of Austin as its chair. That marked the first time in Baylor’s 174-year history that women have held the top three posts at the school.


e spoke to the three leaders about what the moves say about Baylor and how the school’s course might be different going forward.



We had the right people in the right place to move the university forward...



ll three leaders, noting that women have traditionally lagged men in attending college and getting an advanced degree, said that to some extent it simply took time for enough qualified women to emerge for top leadership roles. “I think that it’s just sort of the right people with the right skills arose as these opportunities arose again this time,” said Livingstone. “We had the right people in the right place to move the university forward in the way that we wanted to.” “In many respects, it’s sort of a generational thing,” said Clements, noting she was one of a small number of women in the country to lead large law firms when she took over as chair of a firm in Dallas in 2006. “It just took a while to get women into the pipeline, and now I think after the passage of some amount of time, the women that got into that pipeline that had desires to be in various leadership roles have risen up through the ranks and served their time,” she said.



he leaders agreed that their ascension shows Baylor is open to hiring in its top jobs the people who are most qualified. “I do certainly also recognize that as a Baptist institution, there’s a lot of symbolism to the fact that we have three women in leadership roles,” said Livingstone. “And it certainly matters to our constituency — particularly our female students and women alums and female faculty, but I think it matters to others as well — that it sends a message that Baylor is going to put people in leadership based on their skills and qualifications and not other qualities.” Said Clements: “We will continue to see women, minorities, anybody that’s qualified can step into a leadership role, and that’s a great thing to see, frankly.”





his moment at Baylor is seen as somewhat coincidental, on the one hand, but also as part of a larger trend of women gaining more leadership positions around the country in academia, politics and business. “I do think that there is a receptivity to women’s leadership that hasn’t always existed, and perhaps also women wanting more and more to pursue some of those leadership roles,” Brickhouse said. Said Livingstone: “The fact that organizations and even voters seem to be open to more diversity in some of the choices they make, I think that’s good for society, it’s good for our institutions and I think it makes us stronger when we’re looking at the full range of qualified people for a position.”



ll three leaders said they don’t feel a burden of greater expectations simply because three women now hold the top posts — largely because they expect so much of themselves. “The only pressure that I feel is that I want to be a successful leader so that we can continue to make Baylor even greater than I think it already is,” said Clements. “I spent 12 years leading a law firm, so you sort of get over that at some point in time and then you just get the job done and don’t worry about that sort of thing.”



All Photos Courtesy of Baylor Photography



he leaders said Baylor’s course will be charted more by the school’s strategic plan than by the fact that women are leading the school. “The thing that may be a little different is that when you have women in leadership, other women — and men — can see that, and see the capabilities that women have for leadership,” said Brickhouse. “And so, it may well provide more opportunities for other women to take on similar roles.”




of Austin, the 2019-2020 chair of the Board of Regents, the official governing body of Baylor University. She was elected to that post by the board in May 2019. Clements, a Baylor lawyer of the year who was named one of the 50 most influential women lawyers by the National Law Journal, is chair emeritus of the Locke Lord law firm, which has its origins in Boston and Dallas.

was named by the regents as Baylor’s 15th president, and the school’s first female president, in April 2017. She previously served as a dean in the business schools at George Washington and Pepperdine universities, and as a tenured faculty member and associate dean at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. Livingstone earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Oklahoma State University.

was named provost, Baylor’s chief academic officer, by Livingstone in February 2019 and started in May. A tenured professor of education, she previously served as provost at Saint Louis University, a Jesuit research university in St. Louis, and in leadership posts at the University of Delaware. Her master’s and doctoral degrees are from Purdue University.


The latest American College President study by the American Council on Education found that in 2016, 30 percent of college and university presidents were women, up from 26 percent in 2011. (We also checked with the American Association of University Women, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, the American Association of University Administrators)

TIMELINE: WOMEN FIRSTS AT BAYLOR 1845: Baylor is chartered, about 10 years before any public institution of higher learning would introduce mixed-gender learning. 1855: Mary Gentry Kavanaugh is the first woman to earn a degree from Baylor.

1972: Donna Denton ‘48 is named Baylor’s first female vice president. 2008: Elizabeth Davis ‘84 is chosen as interim provost, the first female to hold the position. She gained the full title in 2010.

June 2017: Linda A. Livingstone becomes Baylor’s first female president.

1966: Mathematician Vivienne Malone-Mayes becomes Baylor’s first African-American professor.






Three Baylor travelers chase horizons around the world FEATURED STORIES


THE LAST CONTINENT Exploring Antarctica on the 100th Anniversary of Shackleton’s Endurance Voyage by Jonathan Hal Reynolds

ship’s horn blew. The anchors lifted. And we set sail from the southernmost tip of Argentina—the port town of Ushuaia, which explorers long ago deemed the end of the world. “You think we’ll make it through the Drake?” I asked the Irishman standing next to me on the ship’s bow. We both eyed the dark tempest on the horizon. “If the gods are in our favor,” he said with a teasing smile. His name was Jonathan Shackleton, cousin to the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton. We, along with a group of photographers and Oxford scientists, were headed to Antarctica to pay homage to the 28-man crew of the Endurance expedition on the 100th Anniversary of its ill-fated voyage, widely considered one of the greatest survival stories in the history of exploration.



“I heard that over 20,000 sailors have lost their lives in the Drake Passage,” I continued. “I also read in some of the crew’s journals that there are rogue waves that can get up to over fifty feet high.” Jonathan Shackleton grunted. “A hundred feet is more like it. Ships get swallowed whole in the Drake, and crews are never seen again.” A shiver shot down my spine. As we sailed onward, Jonathan Shackleton gave vivid portraits of each crew member of the Endurance, as well as a detailed account of their shipwreck and how they survived on the ice for nearly two years, living off penguin blubber, trapped seals, and dog meat. He also shared insightful stories about Ernest that had been passed down through family members over the past century.

“I’ll see you down below,” he finally said, pulling his toboggan cap lower over his ears as the winds picked up. “Be sure not to miss the lecture on ‘Maritime Superstitions’ tonight after dinner.” “I’ll be there,” I assured him. As he disappeared into the belly of the ship, I glanced back at the shores of Ushuaia one final time. It would be the last I’d see of South America for several weeks.

All the travels of my youth have come to this, I thought. In a few days, I’ll finish what I long ago began. I’ll set foot on the last continent.



The storm pounded us for three days as we rocked our way through the Drake Passage, including close calls with icebergs near Neptune’s Bellows and Deception Island. Wardrobes and nightstands tipped over in our rooms, glasses and plates fell off tables in the dining hall, and passengers walked drunkenly at a slant down hallways while vomiting on the hardwood floors. It was the only time in my life I’ve ever been seasick. On the morning we finally arrived to Antarctica, the sky was clear. As I took my first step onto the icy continent, I teared up, thinking back over all the travels of my youth that had led me to this moment. I experienced a small hint of what Neil Armstrong must have felt when he took his first step on the moon. It was the feeling of completion. I had embarked upon over 30 overseas expeditions on all Seven Continents, and God willing, I’d return home after this final journey to raise children, grandchildren, and perhaps live long enough to lay eyes upon at least one great-grandchild.

Euphoric, I hiked across the ice, climbed through a massive penguin colony to the top of a tall hill, then looked out over the icy wilderness to the ocean below speckled with icebergs. The otherworldly scene took my breath away. I asked a fellow adventurer to snap a photo of me while wearing my expedition parka in that unforgettable spot, and I told myself I’d frame the picture to remember that moment when I’m an old man. When I posted the photo on Facebook later to let my loved ones know that I had fulfilled my quest, a dear family friend back home commented about how inspiring it was to get to see Antarctica through my eyes. She was bedridden with cancer at the time, and has since passed. But I felt in that moment she knew full well she would never have the chance to see this wild place with her own eyes. It made me relish the opportunity even more. In the following days, the expedition members and I kayaked with humpback whales and Emperor penguins, cross-country skied during a blizzard, traversed a snow-covered glacier, polar plunged into frigid arctic waters, and camped out on the ice with Jonathan Shackleton, who shared more tales about the Endurance. It was magical.



After setting up my sleeping bag and bivy on a frosty mountainside, I took out my copy of the book, Endurance, by Alfred Lansing. “Would you mind signing this?” I asked Jonathan Shackleton, sensing the spirit of his ancestor on the ice with us that night. With a smile, he generously took the pen from my hand and wrote the following inscription:

To Jonathan with very best wishes, From Jonathan Shackleton. ‘By endurance we conquer.’ On our final night in Antarctica, I stood on the bow of the ship once again and watched the sun hovering over the horizon, its light shimmering upon the wide open sea like firelit diamonds. I savored the moment, tasting the salty air on my lips, then returned to my cabin to record the day’s journal entry. The ship rocked all night, causing the walls to groan like a haunted house. I lay in bed, looking around at my tiny cabin filled with books and gear. Part of me wished life was always this simple, on the way to some new adventure, with new knowledge, experiences, and beauty ever at my fingertips. This is how I had lived my youth. It’s when I felt most genuine. And free. But I knew inside myself it was time to settle in one place for a while and introduce my own future children to the wonders of the world. That perhaps would be my greatest adventure of all.

While Ernest Shackleton was in South America doing propaganda work around the time of World War I, he was quoting the poet Robert Browning, and someone who didn’t recognize Ernest but acknowledged his uniform said, “I’ve never known a soldier who had heard of Browning.” Later, Ernest was quoting more poetry, and the same man asked, “And who is that one by?” “A fellow named Shackleton,” Ernest replied. The man responded, “Oh, the explorer. I didn’t know he was a poet too.” To which Ernest concluded, “Why the devil do you think he became an explorer?”

Jonathan Hal Reynolds is CEO of Elite Expeditions (www.eliteexpeditions.com)— an educational travel company that introduces student groups to various regions of the world. He also writes children’s books for HarperCollins Publishing in NYC (www.jhreynolds.com). He resides in Texas with his wife and kids.

As we sailed homeward, I recalled a story that Jonathan Shackleton had told me while we were camping on the ice a few nights before . . .



ONE MORE MOUNTAIN A Month-Long Road Trip Through the American West by Cole Niles


we scaled the mountain pass, we heard what sounded like an avalanche. The trees were obscuring our view – we couldn’t tell what was ahead of us. “Should we go back?” my girlfriend Andi asked me. I shook my head, and we continued upward. The sounds intensified the higher up we climbed. I could tell Andi was becoming anxious, and I would be lying if I were to claim I wasn’t feeling antsy either. Avalanches happen fast – in a matter of seconds the ground can be buried under a thick blanket of snow. Who’s to say the next loud booms weren’t to be followed by a deluge of ice and snow?



Nevertheless, we hiked onward. After about five more minutes, we approached a clearing that opened up to a stunning vista of the Canadian Rockies. We had reached the top of the mountain. We looked over at the adjacent mountain, where the sound was coming from, and saw that the sound we were afraid of was indeed a small avalanche, but it was happening across the gorge. We sat there for what seemed like forever, at the top of the world, watching the avalanches consume the smaller mountains. It was a highlight on what was one of the best times of my entire life. This summer, Andi and I were able to go on a month-long road trip across the western part of North America. Starting in Dallas, we meandered our way up through Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, camping the whole way up. Then we crossed the border into Canada and explored Banff before eventually turning westward. We drove the whole of western Canada until finally arriving in Vancouver, our first true city since leaving Denver. We explored the eclectic Canadian city for a few days before going down southward to Seattle. We stayed two nights with some friends in Seattle, then headed south again. My best friend’s parents (one of which is a Baylor Alumnus) welcomed us with open arms into Portland, Oregon for a few days. We continued down the coast until we hit San Francisco. After a day in the golden gate city, we headed back down the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur, finally stopping in San Luis Obispo. We then turned eastward to Las Vegas before eventually powering through the desert back to Dallas. We ate canned beans on an open fire most meals. We slept on couches and floors when we were lucky, but usually were planted on the icy ground in sub-30-degree weather. Our A/C unit busted in California, so we drove over 1500 miles sweating through the triple digit heat of the desert. We were splitting pennies to make sure we had enough gas money to even get us back home. In all, it was about 5.5 thousand miles of driving.

And it was the best month of my life.



From kayaking in Glacier National Park to exploring the unique Asian food culture of Vancouver, each day felt like a surprise just waiting to unravel itself when we woke up each morning. It’s funny, really. Whenever I would explain the trip to someone my age, they would usually look surprised and ask me why I wasn’t doing an internship. I would shake my head and say that this felt right. It was the only time in my life that I would be able to do it, a full month camping around North America, I would explain. They usually nodded slowly after that, still so confused how this could be possible with my graduation just around the corner.

The reaction from people older than me was even more shocking though. I would explain my plan to adults, and on nearly every occasion their eyes lit up like stars. They would begin to smile, and eventually the conversation would veer toward them saying how they wished they had done that when they were my age. What I realized is this: As the most anxiety-prone generation in the history of the world, we are so worried about our futures that we skip over our present. We want to grow up as fast as possible to feel security. But once that security comes, these opportunities may have already passed us by.



Here is my call to college students: Take the risk, because life is risk. When you play life scared, you limit yourself, so go for it. I would much rather live life dealing with mistakes than regret. Whatever mountain you need to scale, if it’s a study abroad opportunity or a summer road trip, I beckon you forward. Until we reached the mountaintop, Andi and I had no idea what was awaiting us at the end of that hike. There were valid reasons to play it safe, to turn back. But if we didn’t, we would have witnessed the most beautiful thing we may ever see. We search for these moments our whole lives, so I’m not going to say no to one when the opportunity presents itself. Photos b y Cole N iles and A

ndi Risk



TRUST THE NET How Julie Copenhaver quit her job to photograph the world. by Shelby Roth


2017, Julie Copenhaver quit her stable job working at Baylor and decided to travel the world. She purchased a storage shed and packed up her life in Waco, the place she had called home since college, and traded in her life for a dream many would find daunting. The seed was planted at a small event hosted by Baylor’s Career Office, where she listened to a panel of three women who had built successful careers centered around their passion. “It was that epiphany moment of hearing these women talk and saying to myself, ‘I can do that. Why am I not doing that?,’” Julie said. Julie’s passion was photography, and her heart was yearning to see the world. Julie remembers one of the first thoughts she had. “People are doing this. This is something that’s not just a pipe dream. This can happen.” Two months later, she sat in a Christmas service and listened to the message which described how the wise men chose adventure. “Christians have to be fearless when it comes to following Christ . . . and this [dream] to me, I felt called to do it. I felt God was saying, ‘This is your time. This is something you have to do.’”



Julie stepped away from her quiet life and chose adventure. “I had a full-blown panic attack because I was quitting my quite lucrative job, and setting out all by myself on this adventure with really just no plans but jump. Jump and the net will be there. There’s definitely been fear. But the essence of fear and the essence of perseverance is that you have to step through that fear,” Julie said. Her travels haven’t been without their dangerous moments. For instance, take the day when she almost ran out of gas on the edge of a cliff in New Zealand. Or, the time when she lost her phone in Casablanca, and relied on a cab driver to help her track it down, despite everyone telling her that it was not a wise idea for a solo female traveler to travel through the streets of Morocco’s largest city. Or, the night she was strangled in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. After meeting a few other travelers in a hostel, the group decided to hit the town together. They were having a normal night out when one of the men in her group snapped and attacked her in an alley. She fought tooth and nail until she was able to escape into a nearby crowd and ask for help. On dealing with the potential dangers of solo travel in unfamiliar places, Copenhaver said, “You go with God and you go with your gut.”

More than anything, she’s learned first-hand that most people are willing to open their doors and let you come in.



Julie has always been independent, but throughout her adventure she has learned that it’s okay to rely on other people. In her career, she tried to do everything herself, but now she believes life is created to have help from others. She is a huge advocate for study abroad programs, which she wasn’t able to partake in during her time at Baylor. To Julie, experiencing other cultures and seeing a little bit of how other people live, is a lesson like no other.



“You can read about it all you want. You can watch movies. You can ingest all the research as possible. But until you actually go out there and live it, you don’t really know,” Julie said. She would never replace her experiences, both the ups and downs, for anything. She recalls being at her desk job looking out the window and thinking, “I don’t know what it is, but there’s something out there. There is a huge world out there, and I’m not doing my life justice or giving myself a glimmer of hope of what I really want to do with my career with what I know I can do. I’ve got to go out there into the world and find it.” And she did.

Photos by Julie Copenhaver

Copenhaver worked at the Baylor Line from 2009-2013, before taking a position at the university. To stay updated on her adventures and view her photography, visit jkcopenhaver.com



G RE E N A N D G OLD I N HOUST ON BLU E Six Baylor alumni are working hard to protect America’s fourth largest city. by Tom Kennedy

Baylor alumni are well known for being at the top of professions connected to law and the judiciary, medicine and medical research, businesses from oil to publishing, and let us not forget preaching and the Lord’s work.

A new calling has emerged in this, the second century of Baylor’s alumni endeavors. It entails shootouts with drug dealers, saving watery Houstonians from Hurricane Harvey, kicking in the doors of violent suspects and arresting and convicting those who violated the commandment, Thou shalt not kill.

Photo by Claire Kennedy Platt



“Baylor University taught me about service, compassion and hard work...” Six of the high-ranking members of the Houston Police Department are Baylor graduates. They make it clear that much of their job satisfaction comes from using all that green and gold wisdom to enhance the Houston Blue. HPD has Baylor Bears in SWAT, Homicide, the Dive Team, and Narcotics. Who are these good guys? Like most of his Baylor mates on HPD, Commander Larry Baimbridge (1992, History) knew from the git-go that he wanted to be a police officer. “Many of my friends at Baylor were surprised to learn I intended to be a cop,” he recalled in between SWAT forays. “More than a few asked why I spent so much to go to Baylor to become a police officer. My answer then, as it is now, is that I wanted a great education from a Christian university. I had wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy. I had a friend whose dad was an HPD sergeant. I always loved and respected him and it stuck with me.” Higher education has an ever-growing partnership with law enforcement. Baylor now offers a Criminal Justice minor and HPD, for example, boasts that two of every three officers have college degrees. Commander Baimbridge admitted that the Baylor education enables him to stay better focused and lead the division that also includes the Dive Team, the Bomb Squad and the K-9 Patrol Unit. He describes Dive Team Bear as the “rock star” of many Bayou City flood victims. Edward “Eddy” Godwin (2001, Anthropology) holds the sergeant rank. Sergeant Godwin, whose grandfather graduated in 1942, found an influential mentor in Dr. Susan Maki-Wallace in Anthropology, who helped to pioneer Baylor degree plans in Forensic Science. Maki-Wallace’s lab sessions served as the “CSI Baylor” inspiration for Godwin’s police ambitions. Godwin, like Commander Baimbridge went literally from a Baylor graduation to the HPD Academy the following month. “Of all the positions I’ve had,” he said of his HPD career, “I think I am using my Baylor education the most on the Dive Team because we conduct a lot of recoveries in the water. It has been very helpful to know body compositions and crime scene processing to give investigators a better understanding of how someone or something ended up in the water.” HPD Narcotics Sergeant Mark Newcomb (1983, Sociology) always had two goals – earning a Baylor degree and becoming a Houston Police Officer “because this is my hometown.”



“Baylor University taught me about service, compassion and hard work, not only through the university but also from my brothers in the Sigma Chi fraternity,” Newcomb explained. “I remember joking about the ‘Baylor Bubble’ when I was there and how isolated the university seemed from the realities of the world. After 34 years of seeing the worst in society, I have come to appreciate it more than ever.” Newcomb’s leader in the HPD Narcotics Division is a Baylor journalism graduate. Lieutenant Dirk Bogaard (1989) transferred to Baylor in 1986 and undertook the study of public relations. “A requirement for a class taught by Dr. William McCorkle was to ride along on an evening shift patrol with a Waco police officer,” he said. Working in Houston, he was summoned to serve on a criminal court jury hearing an Aggravated Robbery case. “During the trial, the responding Houston police officer testified about his involvement in the investigation,” the lieutenant said. “I immediately recalled the enjoyment of my ride-along with the Waco Police Department and thought, ‘I could do that.’ “Since I was already considering a career change, the day after the trial ended in a hung jury I went to HPD’s recruiting division and submitted an application.” Bogaard graduated in 1991 and now serves as a leader in one of the most dangerous duties on the force – apprehending and arresting drug dealers. He survived an undercover assignment that resulted in a shootout. The wounded drug dealer took three of Bogaard’s bullets and later got 50 years. “In a way,” he pointed out, while taking time out from assessing reports from Newcomb and others, “a police officer’s job is similar to a journalist’s in that both seek to determine the Five W’s – Who, What, Where, When and Why. And then write a coherent report – or article – that tells the story. Although I did not realize it at the time, studying Journalism at Baylor University helped to prepare me for a career with the Houston Police Department.”



As with most good police stories, where would we be without Homicide? Sure enough, Houston’s Homicide commander is Michael Skillern (1988, Business). Like Sergeant Godwin, a family member influenced him toward Baylor. Skillern “always wanted to be a policeman” but figured he should get into a higher-paying occupation with “a higher level of prestige or social standing.” Or so he thought. He became what turned out to be an unhappy commercial real estate appraiser. One Baylor buddy whose influence then entered the Skillern picture was Dirk Bogaard, already with HPD. “I decided that if he could do it, I could too,” crediting the lieutenant as the primary influence in changing his career direction. The leader in the pursuit of every homicide suspect in the nation’s fourth largest city said he loves a job that over the years has included 16-hour days, tiresome extra jobs and absence from many family events. “From the early days of chasing bad guys at night, to even now as an administrator, I have loved my time here and this has been one of the best decisions I have made.” We well know why Baylor became the five-year home for Commander Craig Bellamy, head of South Gessner Division, which covers the vast population of Southwest Houston. Baylor chose him as a 1989 football recruit. Redshirted, Bellamy played on the Grant Teaff-coached teams of the mid1990s as an interior lineman and tight end. Bellamy (1994, Sociology) drew glowing praise for his leadership in the policing aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a natural disaster that brought flood waters that perhaps only Noah could have foreseen. He was tasked with putting together 16-hour shifts for his officers, who wound up spending most nights at the station. Bellamy wasted no time rallying his troops. He used his own credit cards to buy food and successfully bargained to get enough on-site refrigerators and deep freezers to accommodate what amounted to a makeshift Army barracks and café. The commander even helped to scramble the 12 dozen eggs and fry the 12 pounds of bacon needed for the daily breakfast crews. Before each of these meals Bellamy led those present in prayer. Reflecting on his decisive actions, which drew praise from the communities served by his division, Bellamy recalled his experiences under Grant Teaff. “He exemplified service. He took care of his people and encouraged you to be better. He pushed the education as well. He wanted the individual to get better.”

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Ella Courage in Black and White How a student editor challenged segregation on the front page of the Lariat by Jonathon Platt



Wall Prichard’s voice has a high pitch. Her gait is the stride of a woman with a purpose. She is always smiling, always dressed elegantly, always ready to help. Meeting Prichard in passing, she may not strike you as someone whose life has been spent speaking truth to power, but give her a minute and she will change your mind. She is able to make you care deeply about the issues in her heart.


er tenure at the paper occurred in the middle of what many alums call the “golden age of the ‘Lariat.’” During this time, reporters learned to cover topics with a fervent rigor, voracity, and, almost, an “activist sentiment,” as Prichard put it. The peak of the “golden age” was a short five-paragraph editorial by Prichard calling for the end of racially-based segregation at Baylor. Looking back, many see that editorial as the “tipping point” to an integrated campus. “By 1962, it was inevitable. It really was,” Prichard recalls, referring to what she and other “Lariat” “activists” believed was the imminent reality of desegregation. he “inevitability” Prichard speaks of is well documented. Just eight years before Prichard took its helm, the “Lariat” conducted a survey and asked students for their thoughts on integration. There were four questions in this survey: “Are you in favor of segregation in public school through high school?” “Do you feel that it would be alright to let Negroes attend Baylor graduate schools?” “Would it be alright with you if Negroes attended as undergraduates at Baylor?” The final question was much more detailed and much more personal: “Would it be alright with you if Negroes attended academic classes, P.E. classes, participated in intercollegiate athletics, ate with the white students, and participated in all phases of University life?” To the last two questions, only 20 and 33 percent of students, respectively, agreed with the hypothetical forms of integration. At the same time, 70 percent were okay with public schools being desegregated and 62 percent were alright with African Americans attending Baylor’s graduate schools. Extrapolating the results of the survey to the population of Baylor—at the time 5,900 total students —implies that more 3,600 students would be comfortable with an integrated campus, albeit still in a limited capacity. The results of the “Lariat” survey ran on September 29, 1954 across its front page. That date and positioning say a lot. It was the year of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, calling for the end of segregated education in the United States. It would be almost ten more years before Baylor trustees voted to desegregate the campus. Prichard’s editorial ran on November 14, 1962. The night before, Baylor’s faculty senate voted in favor of opening the campus to African American students—a non-binding, but important stance against university policy. The previous Saturday, trustees approved the formation of a committee to investigate the possibility of desegregating Baylor. Just a few weeks prior, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, still a powerful governing body to Baylor, voted, as Prichard described it, “unanimously to condemn the sinful silence of Mississippi Baptists.”



ut when you give Prichard a pen that is when things really light up. With a pen Prichard can change an entire university. She has done it before in just 140 words. Prichard was the editor of the Baylor “Lariat” in the fall of 1962, after being raised in New Orleans and Texarkana, by parents whose moral standards made Prichard the woman she is today, she said. Their encouragement to do the right thing from an early age also got her into a bit of trouble when she was editor. “I knew that Judge McCall was a person who was fully capable of carrying out a threat to expel or suspend, but I really didn’t think I had a professional or ethical choice,” she said. Judge McCall—that is Abner Vernon McCall, the widely loved former president of Baylor—told Prichard at the start of her tenure as editor to stay away from two issues: criticizing Baptist principles and speaking about racial desegregation. Prichard, of course, broke both of those rules in one semester.




in praising each of these decisions in her editorial as “leading the way to the eventual desegregation of Baylor” wrote that “these actions indicate that Texas Baptists and those persons most directly connected with Baylor are recognizing their Christian obligations.” Her overt stance could have cost her the position of editor, her scholarships, even her status as a student. McCall, Prichard will tell anyone, did not make idle threats. But her conscience would not allow her to remain among the sinfully silent anymore. She met McCall in Pat Neff Hall the next morning, arriving before he or almost anyone else arrived at work. Bringing with her a copy of that day’s “Lariat,” she waited patiently on an old church pew outside the president’s office—“sinner’s row,” she jokingly called it—until he appeared. She said she remembers never once feeling regret about her decision. She needn’t have worried. McCall did not follow through on his threat to expel her. When asked why she wrote the critical editorial, despite all that could go wrong for her as a result, her reply was simple and stern: She had no choice but to speak up because she was someone who could speak up. Prichard was inspired by a poem when making the decision to publish written by a German Lutheran pastor, Martin Niemöller, in 1946 about the atrocities (and public passivity) during the Holocaust. She paraphrased it: “First they came for the Jews and I wasn’t a Jew so I didn’t speak. And they came for the Labor Unions and I wasn’t a Laborer and I didn’t speak. And then they came for me and there was no one to speak for me.” Almost 60 years after her editorial ran, Prichard, now a published author, former business owner, and world traveler, reflects on her days at the “Lariat” as having shaped her character, her worldview, and her life. She said her decision is a point of pride to her but also a reminder of the power of words. Her editorial, as many remember it, stands as an ebenezer in Baylor’s history—a changing point, a pivotal moment, the voice Baylor needed.




er words spoke into and broke the hold that silence held on the university. “That [poem is] powerful,” she said. “In 1962 that was less than 20 years after Hitler. I was alive in World War II. And, so, this was very real, the price we pay for sinful silence.”


Do you know any alumni who should be featured in the Baylor Line? Send your ideas to craig@baylorlinefoundation.com




In August, a group of Baylor students sent a letter to both the Big 12 conference and the NCAA asking them to take action on Baylor’s treatment of its gay, transgender, and queer students, citing discrimination in university policies. This is the latest in a series of events and discussions about diversity and LGBTQ students at Baylor, a conversation that has intensified over the last two years. This is not a new point of contention on campus, however. Over the last ten years, the dialogue about diversity, homosexuality, and inclusion at Baylor has been a consistent presence on campus and amongst leadership. In 2011, students founded what is considered the first “official unofficial gay club” at Baylor. This club, now called Gamma Alpha Upsilon, has continued to seek official charter from the university but has not received this recognition.

A few years later in 2015, the university chose to change language in its student policy on sexual misconduct. This included dropping a phrase that specifically forbade homosexual acts, along with incest, adultery and fornication, a shift that came in response to the university wanting to better reflect, “Baylor’s caring community,” said a Baylor spokesperson. While students of Gamma Alpha Upsilon continued to seek official charter during the years that followed, the issue was not brought back to the foreground again until 2018, when two separate groups of faculty members sent separate letters to President Linda Livingstone, each letter espousing different views over the implementation of Title IX policies at a Baptist university. One letter cited concern over a trend toward “identity-related theories” that, the authors stated, “encourage group conflict rather than reconciliation.”

TIM ELIN E 2011: Students founded the first “official unofficial gay club,” now called Gamma Alpha Upsilon.



2015: Baylor dropped a phrase from its student policy on sexual misconduct that specifically forbade “homosexual acts.”

This letter noted a need for the “’distinct Christian mission’ to be clarified,” and asserted that the University should, “employ faculty, recruit students, and hire administrators who are in accord with Baylor’s mission.” In response, another letter was addressed to President Livingstone. This letter offered support for, “the University’s efforts to address the many injustices that have occurred through an array of Title IX violations on campus,” and affirmed, “the value and practice of diversity as continuous with the moral vision of the Christian gospel.” Then, earlier this year, the issue escalated between student groups when the student group Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) invited Matt Walsh, a conservative blogger, to campus. To promote Walsh’s appearance, YAF posted fliers across campus that contained an image of a hammer and sickle on a rainbow flag. (The student chair of the organization has since said the flyer art was a poor choice and did not convey its intended message). In response to Walsh’s appearance, a letter and petition, authored by alumni, was circulated urging Baylor administration to formally recognize LGBTQ groups. The letter gained more than 3,200 signatures. With this issue at the forefront on campus, at their July meeting, the Board of Regents heard a presentation from Dr. Janet B. Dean, an associate professor of psychology at Asbury University who has written about queer students’ experience at religious colleges and universities. Dr. Dean also led a discussion amongst attendees aimed at finding ways to create a supportive, safe environment for LGBTQ students. The board took no action regarding students’ request for recognition of an LGBTQ student group on campus. Conversations about diversity and LGBTQ students on campus are not likely to stop anytime soon at Baylor, and a response to the recent letters to the Big 12 and NCAA is yet to be known. “Baylor is committed to providing a loving and caring community for all students, including those who identify as LGBTQ,” a Baylor spokesperson said. “We believe that Baylor is in a unique position to meet the needs of our LGBTQ students because of our Christian mission and the significant campus-wide support we already provide to all students.” How this plays out at the university remains to be seen.

To learn more, visit https://www.baylor.edu/diversity/index.php?id=963497

2018: Faculty submitted letters to Dr. Livingstone. The letters come from camps of faculty who are at odds primarily over the implementation of Title IX policies and what that means for a Baptist University.

April 2019: The student group Young Americans for Freedom invited Matt Walsh, a conservative blogger, to campus and a subsequent letter and petition was circulated urging the Baylor administration to recognize LGBTQ groups.

July 2019: Board of Regents

heard a presentation by Dr. Janet B. Dean, an associate professor of psychology at Asbury University, a Christian institution in Kentucky, who has written about queer students’ experience at religious colleges and universities.

August 2019: Baylor students sent letters to the NCAA and Big 12 asking them to examine the institution’s treatment of gay, transgender, and queer students who say they have long faced discrimination on campus and in university policies. Dr. Livingstone sends a letter to faculty, staff, and students pointing them to a new webpage that outlines Baylor’s stances.


E F T YC H I A H ow Lin da Carol Trotter Found A Big, Fat, Greek Family by Craig Cunningham

S he boarded t he plane headed for G reec e, anx ious to m eet her m ot her for t he first t im e. For t he last half ce n tur y, she had believed, wit h g ood reason, t hat her m ot her died dur ing c hildbirt h. But af ter invest ig at ing her h e ritag e, she unc overed a widespread sc andal th at m ade her quest ion ever yt hing she knew about her or ig in.



Linda Carol Trotter (‘81) is one of the 3,000 Greek children adopted in the 1950s and 1960s under dubious circumstances, some of which turned out to be illegal, sealed with forgeries, and rooted in greed. Despite the beginnings mired in deceit, Linda Carol was raised in a happy home by American parents. “I had the most wonderful parents in the entire universe,” Linda Carol said. “No one was luckier than me when it came to getting adopted parents. They were fabulous. My dad was the one who told me I should go to Baylor.” She attended Baylor, and her parents would often bring their motorhome down from Houston to tailgate at Floyd Casey Stadium. After graduating, Linda Carol was married and had two children of her own, Heather (’17) and Justin. It wasn’t until her parents passed away that she renewed her interest in learning about her beginnings. “Once Mom and Dad went, that’s when I started to feel alone, because the only blood relatives that I had in the entire universe were my two kids. I just kind of wanted to know if somebody looked like me. Where do I get my talents from? Where do I get my singing talent from? Where did I get all this musical stuff that I’ve done my whole life? I just wanted to know.” This question kickstarted a journey that would change her life. As she researched, she began to uncover stories about other adopted children from the same time period, and the pieces did not add up.

In the years following World War II, many Greeks struggled to make enough money to survive. The nation had also endured a three-year civil war, leaving the economy in shambles. Some families resorted to taking their newborn children to shelters until they could find stable enough footing to take care of them, fully intending to come back and claim them. “You can imagine when they would go back to get their baby, “ I still cry and they’re handed a death certificate that says your baby died. In reality, that baby was sent to America,” Linda Carol said. “The watching director would write in the orphanage ledger book that the baby had died. Then, the director would place the baby in a different bed m y f ilm of and write a new admission under a different name in the orphanage me arriving, ledger book for the same child.” A pipeline was created between Greek orphanages, government because m y officials, notaries, and American organizations that gave everyone a healthy cut of the profits. parents are so In Linda Carol’s case, over 70 children were adopted through a partnership between the same two lawyers in Greece and a Greek e x cited,” Orthodox priest in San Antonio. Linda Carol’s adoptive parents, like thousands of others, had no idea. When the adoption was finalized, they received papers that stated Linda Carol was a foundling of unknown parents, that her mother had died in childbirth, that she was premature, and weighed four and half pounds. None of that was true. After the adoption was arranged and financed, Linda Carol was put on an airplane with two other Greek babies. Flight attendants watched over them as they crossed the Atlantic. Her father recorded her arrival to the airport on 8mm film. “I still cry watching my film of me arriving, because my parents are so excited,” she said. “You can tell how excited they are to get me and how happy they are. In that film there’s a lot of Greek kids in there, because other people at San Antonio already adopted these kids. And they came to support my parents and brought their kids with them.” Her parents acquired a Texas birth certificate that listed her birthplace as Athens. “They really didn’t know where I was born. I wasn’t born in Athens.”

After the death of her parents, Linda Carol found all of the documents her parents had been given during the adoption process. She turned to a tool that her parents did not have in the 50s: the internet. She quickly came across an online community of people like her, and most of them had unsuccessfully tried to track down their parents in Greece. Some people she met online had been searching for 30 years with no luck. An investigative article in The New York Times in 1996 confirmed mass corruption of Greek adoptions during the years when she was adopted, but resources were scarce, and she did not know where to begin.



“It’s difficult to navigate over there,” Linda Carol said. “There’s bureaucracy. And you don’t speak the language and you’re not in Greece. So you send a letter in English and they ignore it. Most people have no idea where to send any of this stuff. So, it’s very difficult to get information.” Online, one expert’s name continued to come up: Professor Gonda Van Steen. She is the head of the Centre for Hellenic Studies at Kings College in London, and has been following this history for years. She became a key resource in Linda Carol’s journey. Linda Carol reached out to her, and was surprised to hear back. “F asten you r s e at Based on her own research and the information b el t. I j u st s p oke Linda Carol had in her parents’ documents, Dr. Van Steen was able to direct her on how to submit the to yo u r c ou s in , appropriate forms in Greek. “She just happened to be doing research on these an d h e a ss u res m e adoptions at the time when I started to look,” Linda th at you r m ot h e r, Carol said. “And the way I met her was an absolute miracle. I give all the credit to God, because there is Har i k l e ia , is a live no way I would have found my family in two months an d we ll at t h e time without a divine hand being on my shoulder the whole time. There is just no way.” age of 79.” They spoke for two hours and developed a plan to submit paperwork through the right channels. “I j u st b roke d ow n Dr. Van Steen warned her not to have high hopes. Many others had been down this road only to reach an d c r i e d ,” L in d a a dead end, or to bounce between government agencies for years. Caro l sa id . Six weeks later, and against all odds, Linda Carol received a package of nine documents from the orphanage. For the first time, Linda Carol had the adoption decree, the possible name of her mother, and her family’s village. Still, the documents conflicted with one another, and the signatures were obvious forgeries. Linda Carol sent the documents to Dr. Van Steen to translate them into English. She helped research the names on the documents, and asked people from the listed village if they had any information. One day, Linda Carol received an email from Dr. Van Steen that read, “Fasten your seat belt. I just spoke to your cousin, and he assures me that your mother, Harikleia, is alive and well at the age of 79.” “I just broke down and cried,” Linda Carol said.

When Harikleia was told that her daughter was alive and looking for her, she almost fainted. Family members had to rush to hold her up. Her only child, named E F T YC HI A , was still alive. After giving birth half a century ago out of wedlock, the baby girl was taken by a godmother to an orphanage in Athens. “She had no idea where I was,” Linda Carol said. “My godmother never told anybody what she did with me. None of my family knew, and up until I found them they really thought I was probably still in Greece somewhere. It never occurred to them I was in America.”



“S i n c e re c o n n e ct i n g w i t h he r mot he r, L i nd a C a ro l ’s sto r y h as g o n e v i ra l i n G re e c e . . . a nd re awa ke n e d t he h o p e of s o m an y w h o h ave b e e n s e a rc h i ng fo r t he i r p a re nts.”

Her mother’s signature was forged on an array of documents, consenting to the adoption of her child. After hearing the news that they were each still alive, Harikleia and Linda Carol made plans to meet. On the day they met, the entire family gathered to greet the long-lost Eftychia in the village of Stranoma. They wept and embraced one another. Despite the language barrier, Linda Carol and her mother have been able to grow closer over the last two years. “She was overjoyed,” Linda Carol said, of meeting her mother. “She adores my kids, she adores my husband. She just thinks everything is hunky-dory now. She’s got a whole family. And the best part of this whole thing is I have 12 first cousins, a really big family. I have a big fat Greek family.” Linda Carol has an apartment in Greece, and she has been back over a dozen times. During one of those trips, she and her husband renewed their wedding vows for their 25th wedding anniversary on the village square. Her mother and 50 of their relatives joined them to celebrate.

Since reconnecting with her mother, Linda Carol’s story has gone viral in Greece. A piece in the Tennessean spread around the nation, and reawakened the hope of so many who have been searching for their parents. Linda Carol has since been featured in television programs and articles. Other adoptees began reaching out to her through Facebook. She was determined to help others who were searching. “I had it in my heart, right after I found my family, that somehow I want to help other people find their families.”

She founded The Eftychia Project. Since her name means ‘Happiness’ in Greek, the organization is fittingly translated to ‘The Happiness Project’. Dr. Van Steen is on the board of directors, along with other Greek orphans and archivists. Their mission is to reconnect adoptees with birth parents, at no charge. They have already had success in reconnecting families. “We probably have about eight or nine active cases right now that we’re working on,” Linda Carol said. “We tell everybody we’re not professionals. We don’t do this for a living. We don’t make any money out of this. It’s just a labor of love for us. And we’re going to give it our best shot to everybody. I had this idea, but I really hadn’t planned to start it. And it just goes to show you that God has other ideas. And his timing is perfect. He calls you when you’re even not prepared to do it. This is what he meant to happen. There’s a reason it happened two years after I found my family and not when I first found them. Because I would never have had the connections and the knowledge that I have now to be able to help anybody else.”

To learn more about the Eftychia Project, visit Facebook.com/ TheEftychiaProject/. Linda Carol is also in the process of writing a book about this story titled My Name is Eftychia, slated for a late 2019 release. You can contact Linda Carol directly by emailing her at MyNameIsEftychia@gmail.com.





When Emily Chapman Richards (’07) arrived at Baylor University in the fall of 2004, she never anticipated how the Lord would use her time in Waco to prepare her for the role of executive director of Show Hope.


ailing from Nashville, Tennessee, Emily grew up going to a Christian school, and knew she wanted a similar experience in college. Baylor checked the boxes of her college wishlist. “Baylor was always this magical place in my mind because I had a handful of really meaningful counselors [at Kanakuk Camps] that were impactful in my life that had gone to Baylor,” she said. Emily entered college as a nursing major with the goal of ultimately using her education to help care for children who had been orphaned. However, it did not take long for her to decide to switch majors. Nursing no longer felt like the road she was meant to take. Instead, she decided to pursue a BA in international studies with a religion minor. “In the political science and the



religion classes at Baylor, I kind of got two spectrums of conservative thought and liberal thought. I believe it gave me a really well-rounded picture of how God is at work in the world.” Between her time in Waco and her semester abroad in Maastricht, Emily recalls gaining a distinct understanding of the “narrative of God’s grace in the world” through the study of the diverse ways humans try to implement order on earth. One class that made a particularly strong impact on her was focused on the life and teachings of Jesus, taught by Dr. Mikeal Parsons. As part of the course she was tasked with creating her own commentary on the Gospels. She loved the class and was deeply impacted by the pursuit of understanding of how Scripture could be applied to the modern world.

with Emily Chapman Richards By Libby Tidwell

When her youngest sister passed away unexpectedly not long after she graduated, Dr. Parsons reached out to Emily with deep compassion. “All of that – the intentionality of the professor, the way he taught that class and made it so impactful, I just was really positively impacted by that.” Because of the impact from her time at Baylor, Emily moved to Northern Ireland with her husband Tanner to earn her Masters of Theology at Queen’s University Belfast. Emily’s passion for orphaned children began at a young age with a mission trip to Haiti. She felt the Lord very clearly put the call of adoption on her heart. She pushed her parents, Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman, to adopt. The Chapman family ended up adopting three girls from China, which set into motion the founding of their nonprofit in 2003, Show Hope. Today, Emily serves as executive director of the organization. Show Hope began as a way to help families who have the heart to bring another child into their family, but struggle to meet the upfront cost of $35,000 to $60,000 to adopt a child. The next step into orphan care for Show Hope was establishing and assisting care centers for children waiting for adoption in China. “As we continued to get involved and my other sisters joined our family from China, we really had a heart to care well for children living in China that have been orphaned and are waiting for mom and dad to come.” Additionally, Show Hope operates in pre- and postadoption care for adoptive families, and also engages students who may become future leaders on the issue of adoption.

The mission of Show Hope is “to care for orphans by engaging the Church and reducing barriers to adoption.” To date, Show Hope’s adoption aid grants have helped more than 6,700 children come home. More than 2,700 kids have been impacted by their Care Centers in China. And they have offered pre- and post-adoption support to innumerable families. When asked about her vision for Show Hope going forward, Emily said, “The vision for the future is, how do we continue to go deep and make very meaningful impact as we look at sustaining the work of Show Hope over time. I have visions of grandeur. That is what I hope and that is what I am praying into and believing. God will find a way.”

If you are interested in giving to Show Hope, being a part of the work they are doing, or applying for an adoption grant, visit www.showhope.org.



CODING with Cratebind The old adage says not to mix family and business, but don’t tell that to the founders of CrateBind, an app development company based out of Dallas. The company was started by Baylor alums John Harlan (’13), his sister Brittany (’10), and Jordan Graft (’10). Brittany and Jordan are now married.


ollowing graduation, the three of them cycled through a few startups, including a grocery delivery business, but none of them took off. That’s when they decided to stop relying on others to code their ideas. They had studied finance and economics at Baylor, but now turned their focus on learning to code. That skill allowed them to create the company that would eventually become CrateBind. They initially built a software system for private equity firms. But word spread, and soon they were being approached by other clients. “There will be people who come to us with ‘napkin sketch ideas’,” said Connie Harlan, John’s wife, referring to the variety of clients they serve. “There’s large companies raising millions of dollars for support. Or, a publicly traded bank will come to us and want us to rebuild their software.



by Craig Cunningham

A lot of times, companies will come to us because they’ve already spent $500,000 going to another software company that has failed or that has outsourced their work and it doesn’t work.” Their portfolio now includes a wide range of apps, including ones for dating, real estate, finance, and health services. As good as their products are, CrateBind is also known for their office culture and how they treat employees. For the past two years, they have been recognized with an award for Best Place to Work in Texas. They credit some of that ethos to the values they learned at Baylor. People always come before the work. They regularly host game nights, have a weekly catered lunch in the office, and make a point to spend quality time with each person on their team. Some employees have gone so far as to move closer to work and one another. Personality fit is an important factor in their hiring process, but each employee also must be on the cutting edge of the industry, with highlydeveloped skills. They now have 30 employees working in both Texas and Mexico. When asked about the challenges of working so closely with family, Harlan said, “Actually it’s been such a blessing. Each person has a different set of skills. We definitely had growing pains in figuring out what the roles look like, learning the new skills, and adding new people to the team. But it really seems to work pretty well.” One project they are particularly excited about right now is for an organization called Our Calling. The goal is to create software that allows homeless shelters to connect with one another to provide real-time data about how much space they have to accommodate those looking for a place to stay. This project has also drawn the interest of AT&T, who is partnering with CrateBind to make it a reality. The company has benchmarks and ambitious goals they are aiming to hit in the next few years, but Harlan stresses the most important thing is to keep doing quality work, for the right reasons. “We just want to serve the people that we work with,” Harlan said. “Our clients and our employees. And we want to continue to build great, efficient products.”



Right now, Michelle Stevenson (’87) might be 35,000 feet in the air. But for her, that’s just another day at the office.


fter finishing her career as a special education teacher, Michelle found herself an empty-nester at age 56, wondering what the next chapter of her life might entail. That is, until Linda Williamson Kirby (’83), a former Zeta sorority sister and 35-year veteran flight attendant with Southwest Airlines, suggested she should apply. Michelle laughed off the opportunity initially, but said she might be interested when the application process opened. The airline only accepts applicants once every few years, and when the time came, Michelle threw her hat in the ring. “I thought, ‘oh that’s fun,’” Michelle said. “I can do that. So I submitted my name.” She may have applied to the exclusive program on a whim, but did not hear back for almost a year and a half. One day out of the blue, the phone rang. “They said, ‘Are you still interested?’” She took the next step towards interviewing with the airline, and was soon offered a spot in the rigorous training program. Her kids were both surprised and excited when she told them she had accepted a job as a flight attendant.



“My older daughter was totally in shock,” Michelle said. “I didn’t even want to say anything because she would just laugh. But she’s very excited. My younger daughter has been the same way.” Michelle learned quickly that flight attendants have a long list of responsibilities that far outweigh serving food and drinks. Safety of passengers is the primary concern. Her training was focused on how to react in unexpected situations, including medical emergencies, flight safety measures, and how to manage individuals who may present complications on the flight. Michelle described the training program as “intense. It’s a ton of memorization, and all about safety.”

She was also surprised at how many of the people in her training group were around her age. But after going through the material she understood why that might be a benefit. Because attendants are expected to be calm under duress, airlines often view older flight attendants as an advantage. They have lived more life and are less likely to be rattled in tense situations. “You just have to be a mom. Maybe we can use some of those mom skills to keep people happy on the plane.” Though she is always prepared, her favorite part of the job is meeting new people who are traveling all over the world. “Everything on the flight goes by really fast,” Michelle said. “I like meeting all the people, hearing their stories, and knowing what they’re doing. That’s the fun part.” Even though Michelle and her husband live in Dallas, she technically works out of the Oakland airport. That makes for a long commute to the office. She works out of the Oakland airport for three days at a time, usually taking three flights per day. “I’ve always loved flying. I just didn’t ever think I’d do it as a career,” she said. “This is kind of a fun new life. It’s much harder than it looks. It’s much more physical than I ever thought it would be, but I love it. I guess you can always take a chance on something.” Michelle comes from a long line of Baylor grads. Her parents met at Baylor, and her grandfather was one of the founding members of the NoZe Brotherhood. She playfully describes the family legacy as “a long line of trouble.” Their love for Baylor extends to the love of Baylor sports, and may partially explain some of her husband Kevin’s enthusiasm for her new role. As a perk, flight attendants and their spouses can fly for free. Michelle said, “My husband loves it. He’s excited, and very proud of me for doing it. We were already tailgating and going to every home game, and now he can go to the out of town games.”




SLAVERY With Victor Boutros By Tom Kertscher

As an undergraduate at Baylor, Victor Boutros ‘98 had his eyes opened to the idea of something larger than self.


began to dream more seriously about how my skills could be used to serve others,” the 2015 Young Alumnus of the Year said. “That was a huge launching pad.” That orientation was in place a couple of years after graduation when, while in graduate school at Oxford University, Boutros heard the story about a 12-yearold girl from India who, after working for a summer to earn money for her family, was kidnapped and forced into prostitution. “It’s horrific and, over time, I learned that her story is replicated on a large scale around the globe, that there are 25 million people who are experiencing some form of modern slavery,” Boutros said. The girl’s story eventually transformed the life of Boutros, who recalled even as a child in Texas, being captivated by how he would have responded had he been alive during the fight against slavery in the United States. He left Oxford, took a law degree from the University of Chicago, worked as a



federal prosecutor and, in 2016, founded the Human Trafficking Institute outside of Washington, D.C. He is the chief executive officer of the organization, which also works in Belize and Uganda. It exists “to decimate modern slavery at its source by empowering police and prosecutors to stop traffickers.” “This is where my set of skills and gifts and interests come together with this incredible need and I don’t want to miss it,” Boutros said. “I feel like this is a disaster that’s happening on our watch and we can be a part of ushering it into the dustbin of history.” According to the latest estimate by the Geneva, Switzerlandbased International Labour Organization, an arm of the United Nations, in 2016 there were 25 million victims of forced labor in the world. That is, they were “forced to work under threat or coercion as domestic workers, on construction sites, in clandestine factories, on farms and fishing boats, in other sectors, and in the sex industry.” “It is a hidden crime, it’s very hard to see,” Boutros said. “The trafficker takes efforts to keep it from you and, in a tragic irony, the victims also often don’t want you to know about it because they feel so embarrassed and ashamed by the abuse they suffered. And so for that reason, it does require proactive investigations — you’ve got to go out and find it. You see this very predictable pattern, which is the business of trafficking just explodes wherever the laws are not enforced.”

According to the institute, trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world, with traffickers earning more annual profits than Apple, JP Morgan, Samsung, Wells Fargo, and Microsoft combined. And in developing countries, “traffickers are more likely to be struck by lightning than go to jail for openly owning a slave.� The Human Trafficking Institute trains law enforcement professionals in what Boutros said is the very specialized work of investigating and prosecuting human traffickers, including finding the traffickers, how to develop search warrants and how to work with victims, whose testimony is crucial. The institute says it developed a model that was used by six U.S. Department of Justice prosecution districts and within two years, those districts increased the number of human traffickers charged by 114% while the remaining 88 districts only saw a 12% increase. The institute also hires former FBI agents to go overseas and work with law enforcement to improve their investigations. One recent success story: Criminal charges filed in 2019 against Bernhard Bery Glaser, a German national accused of sexually abusing and trafficking girls in Uganda who had several years earlier evaded prosecution. He allegedly lured girls to his home under the guise of providing assistance to victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. USA Today reported in July 2019 that there are more than 4 million victims of sex trafficking globally and that one in seven reported runaways in the U.S. in 2018 is likely a victim of child sex trafficking.

More on Victor Boutros Book: Co-author of The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence Video: Interviewed on the Eric Metaxas show

Milwaukee journalist Tom Kertscher was a 35-year newspaper reporter, finishing that career at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Now a freelance writer, his work includes fact-checking for PolitiFact and sports reporting for Associated Press. His reporting on Steven Avery was featured in Making a Murderer. Kertscher is the author of sports books on Brett Favre and Al McGuire. Follow him at TomKertscher.com and on Twitter: @KertscherNews and @KertscherSports.



A medley of people shuffled into Brotherwell Brewing. The diverse group was representative of Waco itself, and they all came to confess and tell stories about the times they were “Quitters”.

This is Analog. nalog is a series of confessional storytelling events throughout Waco. Adam Moore, founder of Analog, saw a unique opportunity to connect with people through storytelling. There have been four Analog events already, in a new spot every time, with different speakers. Each Analog event has a different theme, from “The Darkest Day of the Year” to “Quitters”. Some people play songs, some tell stories, but there remains a common thread throughout the whole event: authenticity and vulnerability. But the story of Analog starts further back, about twenty years ago, when Moore first stepped foot on Baylor’s campus. Moore, a Religion major, had always felt called to a higher purpose. “Faith, and how we make meaning of the world collectively, is a thread that has been important to me for the past 20 years.” Moore said. “A sense of calling to ministry, I would have thought it would have been expressed by working in a church. I realized that that wasn’t what I was supposed to do, but I felt compelled to be a part of spaces where faith and making meaning are central, in community with each other.” Once he had completed his undergraduate degree, Moore entered into graduate studies first in the School of Education, then Truett, earning two Master’s degrees by 2012 while working all around Baylor’s campus in a variety of roles.




In 2008, Moore started a group called “Void Collective”. “Void was a space of exploration,” Moore explained. “Faith and doubt. We didn’t proclaim one particular religious confession, it was open to various perspectives.” The first meetings for Void Collective found their home in a bar, and the group almost immediately took on a sort of performing arts culture. With poetry readings, music, and other spoken word orations, Void was starting to look closer and closer to Analog. They even hosted some events centered on true, personal storytelling, the crux of what Analog has now become. “It was unlike anything else going on in Waco” Moore recalled.

With Adam Moore

This is Waco is set to launch in the fall and is Moore’s latest attempt to bring community together. The publication, for Moore, follows the thread that he has been chasing for 20 years now: how communities make meaning. He hopes that exploring the theme of meaning will shine through with the publication. Moore describes the vision of the publication as “a collaborative art project and an expression of Waco culture.” He hopes it can inspire readers to indulge in their own creative endeavors too. From local musicians to historic cultural hubs, the publication hopes to view the entire city of Waco with a broad lens. Moore envisions a publication that is able to encapsulate all of Waco’s cultural influence, not just focusing on downtown, but extending to every corner of the city. “Working on these kinds of initiatives gives me life,” Moore said. “They connect me to the larger community. They are a creative outlet for me that I hope to contribute to the community around me.” With the growth of Waco’s art scene, This is Waco and Analog seem to be coming at just the right time. A vibrant and creative Waco is knocking on the door, and Moore hopes to help usher the city into its next stage of cultural flourishing.

Photos Courtesy of Andreas Zaloumis

After a few years, the Void Collective ended, but the idea of confessional storytelling still bounced back and forth in Moore’s head. Seven years later, Analog has become just that. “It’s not about who can tell the best story,” Moore said. “But authenticity and vulnerability. It’s sharing real experiences in a way that hopefully connects with others.” The name Analog comes in opposition to the screen-oriented lives we currently live within. Sitting down and listening to people tell stories in person holds value, according to Moore. “A couple of people have talked about starting a podcast . . . but there’s something special to me about it being a one-time event that you have to be there, in person, to experience,” Moore said. “If you were there, you got to experience that moment, and you got to experience something special. It won’t be replicated.” In addition to his work with Analog, Moore also hopes to continue to explore the thread of how we make meaning through another medium: A print publication.

By Cole Niles











the richest nation on earth, millions of people experience hunger every day, and it is the responsibility of all Christians to set aside any ideological divides and find a way to share the abundance. This is the central message of Jeremy K. Everett’s new book: I Was Hungry: Cultivating Common Ground to End an American Crisis. For 10 years, Everett, MDiv ‘01, has served as the founder and executive director of the Texas Hunger Initiative (THI), a collaborative project aimed at ending hunger, housed in Baylor’s School of Social Work. Everett’s debut book is a quick and emphatic testimony of his journey of discovery about poverty in America. From working in disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina to building a coffee shop/community center in San Antonio’s West Side, Everett recounts the lessons he has learned.  



Visit www.iwashungrybook.com to learn more.

I Was Hungry serves as part autobiography and part how-to for anyone looking to engage with Everett’s mission to end hunger in the United States. He presents compelling evidence both anecdotally and through research and statistics that outline the gaps through which large sets of Americans still fall, despite the many non-profit missions and governmental programs aimed at providing food for the food-insecure.   Startlingly, more than 40 million Americans are food-insecure and nearly one out of six children in the U.S. live in a foodinsecure household, at risk for hunger. Anecdotally, Everett presents vivid stories he has encountered depicting the plight of impoverished Americans, including stories where children are digging through dumpsters for food or failing classes on purpose just to get a free meal in summer school. The stories and statistics are enough to evoke the sympathy of any American, but Everett’s strong theological convictions are what he hopes brings all sides to the table to solve the problem of hunger.   The book opens with a passage from the Bible, Matthew 25: 31-46. This is the parable in which Jesus describes God’s judgment on two groups. God grants eternal life to the righteous, who provided food for the hungry and cared for the vulnerable, while those who did not care for the needy were banished to eternal punishment. In an oftencited line God says, “Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”   Everett often returns to this passage and other similar ones in hopes of spurning his fellow Christians to action. He sees the inability of Americans to find a way to feed the hungry as the great moral failing and sin of our time. Everett argues that while many of us have too much food, “it is a tragedy to argue over policies and politics and even Bible verses” instead of finding a way to solve the problem.   

The Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, argues in his book, Moral Wisdom, that “Sin is not in our weakness; it is in our strength.” Sin is when the strong do not bother to love. Everett drives home a similar message when he writes, “Hunger in our modern American context is not about famine or a lack of production, but about a lack of concerted effort to ensure that people have access to food . . . Simply put, they are the people Jesus instructs us to look after, because our mutual well-being requires it.” Through collaboration, THI has helped to create systems that have led to 100 million more meals being served annually to Texas children than in 2009. To enact that sort of change, Everett knows from experience that the gaps between an increasingly divided America must be closed, and he outlines a number of ways to build consensus. As much as the book is about understanding the plight of the impoverished and appreciating their humanity, it is also about appreciating the perspective and humanity of people with different political beliefs or experiences.   When we see all people as created in the image of God, he argues, then we have no choice but to enact changes to our systems that are letting our neighbors down. “This is our time to recognize the createdness of all of our brothers and sisters, no matter their socioeconomic level, their ethnicity, where they live, or where they are from. We must alter history with the idea that hunger and poverty are not required human conditions.”



IN REMEMBRANCE Col. Jack D. Abercrombie, a career military veteran of 35 years, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 6, 2019—the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. He was 96. A memorial service will take place 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 15, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco, followed by military honors and the scattering of ashes at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, Texas. Jack was born on April 14, 1923, in Tonkawa-Three Sands, Oklahoma. With his father working in oil, Jack grew up living in several towns across the Midwest. He graduated from Salem High School in Salem, Illinois, in 1941 and attended college while also working as a welder in the oil industry. In November 1943, Jack enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was assigned to the 2536th Squadron H in San Marcos, Texas, where he began flight training. Stationed in England and assigned as an aircraft observer (aerial navigator) for B-24 Liberator bombers, Jack flew night missions over Europe in World War II. After the war, in 1945, Jack left the military and returned to the oil industry. In December 1949, he reenlisted as a Private First Class in the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the 3700th Officer Candidate Training Squadron. Commissioned upon graduation as a Second Lieutenant, his first orders sent him to Lackland Air Force Base as a radar technician. In 1951, he was reassigned to the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project and relocated to Sandia Base, the nation’s principal nuclear weapons development and test facility located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Assigned a Q clearance, the Department of Energy’s highest classification, Jack worked daily on projects that would soon shape history. In the late 1950s, he was reassigned to the 150th Tactical Fighter Group, Air National Guard, and deployed to support the rapidly expanding air war in Southeast Asia. As Wing Executive Officer of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, Jack, then a Lieutenant Colonel, served a one-year tour of duty at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base. In 1973, he moved to Colorado to join the 154th Tactical Control Group at Buckley Air National Guard Base, a unit whose mission was providing enhanced dimension to the nation’s military capability, supporting air and ground commanders with specific information of enemy positions and movements. In 1977, Jack was promoted to Colonel and became the group’s third commander. During the end of his military career, the 154th conducted ambitious, complex and noteworthy military exercises to develop and expand combat mentality. These exercises captured the attention of many service VIPs and general officers, and earned Col. Abercrombie the nickname of “the silver fox”. A tribute both to his renowned tactical combat cunning and silver white hair. Jack retired in December 1981, with numerous commendations, honors and medals to his credit. After retiring from a distinguished military career, he moved his family to 40 acres outside Marble Falls, Texas, to build a Hill Country retreat. Jack was an inquisitive, avid reader; ardent student of history; collector and restorer of cars; amasser of tools; teller of stories; builder of houses; and a natural leader— but most of all he was a loving husband and father who had a joyful spirit. He was loved, respected and admired by those who knew him. Flowers are welcome; memorial contributions may be made to the Abercrombie Family Scholarship at Baylor University, Office of University Advancement, One Bear Place #97026, Waco Texas, 76798-7026.



Gus B. Green, B.A., 1950, born January 26, 1927, took the Lord’s hand and left us June 30, 2019. Gus was strong in his beliefs, and he spared no effort in living and sharing those beliefs with everyone he interacted with. This included every church he attended, in addition to the various positions he held at Southwestern Bell and AT&T before retiring in 1988. Gus believed in being present and invested in his family. Whether he was spearheading family trips, hunts, and reunions, attending birthdays and graduations (sometimes even if you hadn’t married into the family yet), or just spending time visiting over a bowl of clam dip, he made sure that everyone was together and making memories – usually somewhere in the great outdoors. He was always there to help teach you how to walk, cook you the best pancake breakfast that anyone ever had, comfort you when you skinned your knee, or buy a ticket on a flight he wasn’t traveling on just to sit with you at the gate if you were nervous about flying for the first time. Gus also believed in sharing his favorite traditions and activities with as many new people as possible. His work with the Texas Youth Hunting Program speaks for itself – he took joy in introducing both kids and adults to hunting and participating in all sorts of outdoor traditions. He led lots of youth hunts with Texas Youth Hunting Program over the years, but it was commonplace even for family hunts with Gus to involve inviting friends who hadn’t hunted before and were sure to get at least one lecture about the purpose and responsibilities of hunting while on the trip. He was a good steward of God’s creation and the things God blessed him with. Gus believed in giving selflessly and generously. He loved cooking large batches of his secret recipe venison chili to share God’s bounty with co-workers, boy scouts, and fellow church members. He gave back to his alma mater through scholarships, and donations to the Baylor library. If he thought you needed something, he’d make sure you had it. When he was on the receiving end of things, he was sure to properly thank the person, and he worked to teach his family the value of gratitude as well. He believed in saying yes sir and yes ma’am, in doing things the right way instead of the easy way, that the customer was always right, that you should support businesses and organizations that share your values. Overall, it seems that if Gus Green was a part of your life, then you were better off for it. He was constantly working to improve the world he lived in for himself, his family, and the people around him. He left us all better than he found us, and Heaven is a better place for having him.

Bob L. Bennett, age 77, died in San Francisco on March 17. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Shih. He was born in Nocona, Texas and graduated from Baylor as a philosophy major in 1963. He remained at Baylor for an additional year to serve as Assistant BSU Director. Bob received a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and also attended Bright Divinity School. He later obtained an MBA. He spent most of his career working either in a mental health center or as a consultant to medical practices.

On April 18th, 2019, Charles D Brady, originally from Hearne, Texas, and a 50+ year resident of Montgomery Village, MD, went to be with his Lord surrounded by his family. Charles graduated with a BS from his beloved Baylor University and an MSEE from Rice University. Charles worked on the Apollo guidance system for NASA, and was a pioneer in telemedicine in the early 70s with the ATS-6 program providing healthcare to remote villages in Alaska. This effort was followed by work on the NASA space station program. Additionally, Charles was an Abraham Lincoln portrayer requested for events across the region. Regardless of his professional success, Charles is best remembered for his love of his Lord, and his commitment to serving Christ’s children through service at Fourth Presbyterian Church. As an Elder he also served as moderator of the Presbytery of the East.  Charles was best known in the community as the photographer and the “Voice of the Whetstone Whales” summer MCSL swim team. He volunteered every year at the Montgomery County Fair, helping his wife with the canned goods in the Home Arts building, and his sons with their sheep – reaching back to his love for agriculture and farming.



On Saturday, February 16, 2019, Dr. James Breckenridge, or “Jim,” passed away at the age of 83 years. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his kind, gentle manner, his unquenchable sense of humor, and his clear sense of calling to Christian ministry through teaching. Born June 30, 1935, in St. Louis, Missouri, Jim grew up and received his education in Southern California. After earning his B.A. at Biola College, Jim went on to earn his B.D. at California Baptist Theological Seminary, M.A. from USC, and Ph.D. in Church History, also from USC. In 1974, Jim began a 23-year career as Professor of Religion at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he taught courses in New Testament, Comparative World Religions, and American Cults. He was invited to teach at a Christian university in Japan, 1986-87. His family accompanied him. Upon retiring from Baylor University in 1997, Jim returned to Riverside, California where he became an active member of First Baptist Church. One of his greatest joys was preparing curriculum for and leading his adult Bible study class weekly. Jim belonged to the American Philatelic Society, participating in chapters in TX and CA, as well as winning awards for his historically thematic stamp collections.Memorial donations in memory of Jim may be made to Learn For Life Kenya, either mailing them to 2477 N. 91st Street, Wauwatosa, WI 53226 or online at LearnForLifeKenya.org/donate

Martha Ann Curtis, 66, was born to Eugene Springfield and Billie Ruth Hailey in Marlin, Texas. Martha graduated from Rosebud-Lott High School in 1971 and from Baylor University in 1975. Shortly before graduation Martha met the love of her life, Randy Curtis, on a blind date. They were married on December 28, 1974 in Lott, Texas. Martha and Randy started their family in Killeen and were blessed with three children, daughter Christie Leigh, daughter Kelly Anne, and son Andy Hailey. Throughout her life Martha was a devoted Christian, loving wife, mother and grandmother. She was also a school teacher, Sunday School teacher, Choir Director, Deacon, Elder and so much more. Martha loved people and never met a stranger and always took time to get to truly know someone. She loved Jesus, her family and the Baylor Bears. To know her was to know the love of Jesus.



The Lord called Sue Wegenhoft Briscoe home July 28, 2019. She was born in Rock Island, Texas on December 9, 1926 to Oscar and Elsie Wright Wegenhoft. Her family has lived in Colorado County for generations. Sue is survived by her brother Bill Wegenhoft, one niece Cindy Moran, two nephews Curt Wegenhoft and Carl Wegenhoft, great niece Rachel Wegenhoft and great nephews William, Elliott and Mitch. She will be greatly missed by her family and many, many friends. She has touched each one of them in a special way during her life. Sue graduated from high school at San Marcos Baptist Academy as Valedictorian and continued her education at Baylor University receiving a BBA Degree with a major in accounting. She continued her studies at the University of Texas where she received a Masters of Business Administration Degree with a major in accounting and law. In 1951, Sue received her certificate as a Certified Public Accountant. In 1979, she was appointed by the Governor of Texas as the first woman CPA to ever serve on the Texas State Board of Public Accounting for a six-year term. She was appointed County Auditor of Colorado County and served in that capacity from 1951 until December 1954. During that time, she served as a state officer of the County Auditor’s Association of Texas. In 1954, she resigned as County Auditor and went into public accounting. She owned her own firm from 1954 until 1979, when she retired. From 1954 until 1979, Sue was active in the accounting profession. She was a member of the American Society of Women Accountants and served that organization as National Director for two years; National Treasurer for one year, and was National Vice President for one year. She was asked to be National President by that organization in 1956, but declined because of the large accounting practice she was carrying at that time. During this time, Sue was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. In 1958, she was in the first edition of Who’s Who of American Women. She was in the twelfth edition of the World Who’s Who in Commerce and Industry. In 1962, she was in the publication Texas Women of Distinction. Sue was actively involved in the Republican Party for many years. She was a delegate from Colorado County to the State Republican Convention in 1968 through 1978. She was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1972 and 1976. She served as Committee Woman to the State Republican Executive Committee for ten years prior to serving on the SREC. She served as State Treasurer of the Texas Federation of Republican Women from January 1968 through September 1970. Sue was a member of the First Baptist Church in Columbus. She served on the Board of Trustees of San Marcos Baptist Academy from 1981 to 1990. She was very interested in traveling, having made two trips around the world. The first trip was in 1964 north of the equator and the second in 1980 south of the equator. She hunted in East Africa in 1967. Her favorite places were Hawaii, New Zealand and Switzerland. Memorials may be made to Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central Texas, 1818 Columbus Ave, Waco, TX 76701.

Clifford Robert (“Bob”) Byrd departed this life with his family by his side and arrived at his eternal home on July 11, 2019, after a long illness. Bob was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on April 1, 1940, to the late Clifford and Ellen Byrd. He was a 1958 graduate of McKinney High School, a 1962 graduate of Baylor University where he was President of Hankamer School of Business and President of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. Bob was a Certified Public Accountant and spent the majority of his career with Fox Byrd & Company, where he was named managing partner in 1989. Bob was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Dallas Chapter of Certified Public Accountants. His clients said that Bob was more than a CPA; he was a counselor and friend to many. Bob was a member of Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Dallas, since 1972 where he served as the Chairman of the Deacons, the Chairman of the Finance, Personnel, and Missions Committees. Bob also served as the Chairman of the Key Church Council, Teacher of Andrew’s Men’s Sunday School Class, and a Trustee of Mission Oak Cliff. Additionally, Bob was a Member of the Executive Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, a Member of the President’s Circle at Baylor University, a Life member of the Baylor Alumni Association, a Trustee of Dallas Baptist University where he also served as the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Secretary of the Board, and the Executive Committee of the Board. Dallas Baptist University honored him with the Good Samaritan Award in 1996. Bob cherished his family and enjoyed creating memories with them on vacations far and wide. Some of his favorite trips include touring throughout Europe, biking in the mountains of Colorado, and walking in the footsteps of Jesus in the Holy Land. Bob was an avid reader, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, and shared his dry sense of humor with all. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren who called him Papaw, and he had a warm and engaging demeanor with friends and family. Bob was a devoted Christian who loved the Lord and gave generously of his treasure, time, and talents.

Betty Jean Purvis Christian, the long-time coordinator for the Baylor University Honors Program, died early Tuesday morning, March 5, 2019, after a prolonged struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. A faculty wife and mother of four, she was greatly loved by family, friends, and her Honors students for her steady presence, her quick laugh, and her servant’s heart. A memorial service for Betty will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, March 16, at Seventh & James Baptist Church in Waco. Born April 30, 1925, in Bogalusa, Louisiana, Betty grew up in Louisiana and for a few years during the Great Depression on the “old place,” a family-owned farm near Findley, Mississippi. After graduating from high school in Bogalusa and completing a secretarial course—with time off to travel the country—she moved to Dallas, Texas to find work. The cousins she was living with, Louise, Gus, and Martha Niendorff, took her to their church, Cliff Temple Baptist, where a young guest preacher named C. W. “Wally” Christian was presiding over Wednesday night prayer meeting. Wally was quickly smitten and, after a year of courting, they married on August 9, 1952. In May of 1953, having decided that Wally should pursue a career in academia instead of the pastorate, they moved to Waco for him to work on a master’s degree at Baylor. They arrived just in time for the massive tornado that destroyed much of downtown—but fortunately spared them. In 1954 Wally was offered a

teaching position in the Baylor religion department. For more than 50 years after that, Betty and Wally would be part of the Baylor community, with only a brief absence for Wally’s Ph.D. work at Vanderbilt University. Betty worked in various clerical positions during those early years, which also saw the arrival of their four children—Anne Denise, Robert Dale (Bobby), Martha Sue (Suzii), and David Wallace. In 1965 she began work as secretary and, eventually, program coordinator of the Honors Program. For the next 30 years she guided, counseled, and occasionally mothered generations of top students at Baylor. As one student wrote to her years later, she was the “home and hearth of our academic development.” In 1990 she was honored as a Baylor Outstanding Staff Member. Betty retired from Baylor in 1995 to pursue a long-held desire to work with the Meals on Wheels program. She continued serving people in this way and so many others until Alzheimer’s slowed her down. Yet even as her memory and her health failed, she maintained the gentle, good-humored disposition that inspired so many to love her. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Providence Hospice, Meals on Wheels Waco, or Seventh & James Baptist Church. If flowers are preferred, yellow was Betty’s favorite color.



Bobbie Creel Ramsey Donaldson, 89, of Hillsboro passed away June 5, 2019 at West Rest Haven in West. She was born to James McKelvain Ramsey and Mary Willis Yates Ramsey on October 16, 1929 in South Bosque, Texas located in McLennan County. She was the middle daughter with an older sister, Elizabeth Ann (1925) and a younger sister, best friend, Lou Marie (1930). She attended and played basketball at McGregor High School (graduated 2 years early at 16), received her B.A. in Education from Baylor University in 1953, and her M.R.E. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1955. After graduation, she and her roommate and long-time friend were on staff at Gaston Avenue Baptist Church the Junior High and High School Youth ministers. In the fall of 1957, Bobbie met and married USAF 1st Lt. Presley Wright Donaldson while she was on staff at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene. They subsequently moved to the El Paso area where they began their family that included children, George McKelvain, Patricia Ann and Barbara Carol. They lived on the Texas side of Anthony and moved to Austin and Dallas before settling in Irvin in January of 1968. After visiting several churches in the area, the Donaldson family joined Plymouth Park Baptist Church where all family members were active. Bobbie was hired as the Children’s Minister at PPBC in the early 70’s and served with Johnye Williams for several years. She enjoyed spending time with many church friends and also became a Mall Walker in the late 80’s. In the 1990’s she served as the Director of International Friends at PPBC. In 2002, Bobbie and Presley retired to their farm in Hillsboro and joined the First Baptist Church of Hillsboro. She served the community by providing devotionals at one of the local nursing homes every Sunday morning.

The day before her death, Davilynn Furlow had been scheduled for a manicure/pedicure, and the day before that she had a haircut. This comes as a surprise to no one in Greensboro who knew her as the perfectly coiffed lady in the wheelchair with red lipstick and beautiful nails. Before Davilynn and her husband Bill Furlow moved to North Carolina in late 2013, though, she was better known for her 35-year career as a journalist, primarily at the Los Angeles Times. Among other positions there, she was the deputy food editor. She loved newspapers and newspaper people, even if some of them thought her a little too well-groomed to fit the stereotypical profile of an “ink-stained wretch.” In addition to The Times, she worked at newspapers in Houston, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Escondido, CA, and for several years was editor of the La Jolla Light in San Diego. In 2005, Davilynn and Bill made a radical lifestyle change and moved to Natchez, MS. They opened a coffee bar, and she was role model and mentor to many young employees. When she began experiencing symptoms of what eventually was diagnosed as progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare and debilitating neurological disorder, the Furlows moved to Greensboro to find better health care and to escape the three-story Victorian home in Natchez. As PSP wrecked her body though never her mind or her spirit Davilynn, 69, lost the ability to speak and walk. But she didn’t lose her insistence on impeccable grooming. Nor did she lose her sense of humor. To the end, she enjoyed laughing, and her laughter brought joy to those around her. If Davilynn ever held a “pity party,” it was brief and private. Rather than ask, “Why me?” she instead said, “Why not me?” Davilynn was born in Dallas and grew up there and in Lufkin, TX. She met Bill at the Houston Post, and they married in 1972. Memorials may be sent to CurePSP.



Carol Lane, 68, of Hot Springs was welcomed home February 22, 2019. Carol was born in Houston, Texas to Randolph and Jane Quick in the late summer of 1950. The family moved to Arkadelphia where Carol was a cheerleader and graduated from Arkadelphia High in 1968. After high school, Carol attended Baylor University. While at Baylor, she was a member of Kappa Theta and Seventh and James Church, earned her Bachelor’s in Social Work in 1972 and her Masters in Sociology in 1974. She began her career as a researcher at the graduate school of Social Work at UALR. Carol and Chuck had been acquaintances while both Baylor students. However, it took a mutual friend and some long-distance matchmaking to set them up on a date. An evening walk throwing Frisbee and smelling honeysuckle was all it took. Carol and Chuck married in 1976. They were blessed with Charley and Catie a few years later. A house fire in 1987 prompted Carol to discover new talents. Her family needed a home and Carol, having neither training nor experience, took it upon herself to design and contract the entire project. This remains the family home. The home project came just as she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This disorder would cause her pain the remainder of her life. You’d never know it though! She always had a smile on her face while working tirelessly to serve others. She continued to be a resource to those in need, a comfort to those in pain, a teacher to those on the journey and an asset in the hands of her God.  Carol served her Lord in so many ways— teaching youth for over 15 years, lending her sweet voice to the choir, serving as discussion leader or substitute teacher in Bible Study Fellowship for 19 years, teaching in her Connect Group at First Baptist Church, and recently providing relentless encouragement to people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease through Rock Steady Boxing. She never, never, never gave up!

Mary Elizabeth Heffington Godfrey, age 85, of Dallas, TX, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Mary was born in Dallas to James Carroll Heffington and Mary Elizabeth Warmath Heffington. Mary was an only child and was raised by her loving mother after her father passed away when she was four years of age. Mary grew up in the Greenland Hills area of Dallas, now known as the “M” streets. She graduated from North Dallas High School in January 1951. Following in her father’s footsteps, she attended Baylor University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in May, 1954, with a desire to teach children. Mary completed her education with a Master’s Degree in Education from North Texas State University in August, 1958. Mary spent most of her teaching career at Dan D. Rogers Elementary school in Dallas teaching 3rd-4th graders. She was active in her teaching sorority for many years even after retiring from teaching in 1964. Mary grew up at First Baptist Church, Dallas and was a life-long member. She accepted Christ as her savior and was baptized by Dr. George Truett when she was 10 years old. With Mary’s love of teaching children, she continued teaching Sunday School at First Baptist for over 25 years. Mary met Aubrey Godfrey, Jr., at First Baptist Church and they were married for over 52 years. They raised their two daughters, Martha and Cathy, in the Kessler Park area of Dallas. After the girls went to college she was a substitute teacher until her first granddaughter was born, when she finally retired for good to enjoy time with her grandchildren. Mary and Aubrey were directors of 6th grade department at First Baptist Church Dallas for many years. They had been a part of the President’s Sunday school Class since 1988. After their girls married and had children, Mary and Aubrey enjoyed being a part of her grandchildren’s lives and watching them grow up. They also enjoyed time with family at their lake house making memories. Mary enjoyed traveling and before they were married she spent a summer taking graduate classes in Hawaii. She traveled with Aubrey as they attended medical meetings and had many wonderful trips together with different medical organizations and First Baptist groups. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: First Baptist Academy, Criswell College, American Heart Association, or a charity of your choice.

Robert Carmon Jones (Chaplain Lt. Col, Retired) 87, of Waco went to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, July 15, 2019. At the time of his death, he was surrounded by his loving wife of 65 years, and family. Robert was born in Runge, Texas to Carroll and Cora Jones. His family moved to Live Oak County about 9 years later, where he met the love of his life, Joyce Gilstrap, while in 5th Grade. He attended Texas A&M and graduated from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. He was ordained into the ministry, and pastored his first church at 18. After finishing seminary studies, he entered the Army as a first lieutenant. During his 23 years of service, he completed two tours in Vietnam, where he performed more than 600 services. He was also stationed in Germany, Panama, New York, and Colorado. As a result of his service to our country in Vietnam, he received many medals and awards, including, but not limited to, three Bronze Star Medals for meritorious achievement, two Air Medals, and the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal. He dedicated his life to serving God. Robert was a member of Seventh and James Baptist Church. Around the city of Waco, he became known as the “Rose Man” for the more than 1,000 rose bushes he tended with great care. He was an active member of the Waco Rose Society, and wrote a book on growing roses in this area. The rose garden was open to visitors who came from all over the state to visit. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials for scholarships to the Truett Seminary at Baylor University, in memory of Robert Jones.



Milton Brooks McGee passed peacefully on Thursday, April 25, 2019 in The Woodlands, Texas, surrounded by his family. He was a lifelong Texan, born in Waco on April 30, 1931, to Bess Lee Brooks and Milton Worley McGee. He graduated in 1949 from Lamar High School in Houston, and in 1953 from Baylor University, where he met Betty Lois Harper. Milton and Lois were married in May of 1954. Milton served as an officer in the United States Air Force. After leaving the Air Force, Milton became a CPA and settled in Houston, where he practiced with his father. In 1959, Milton opened the first CPA firm in Conroe, which became his home and the place where he raised his four sons. He practiced accounting for 40 years before his retirement, establishing a firm which has thrived now for over 60 years. He also served in several leadership capacities as a member of the American Institute of CPAs and was a two-term member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Human Welfare Coordinating Board. In 1988, Milton lost his beloved Lois to a long battle with cancer. Sadness turned to joy when he married Brenda Campbell in 1989. Brenda was his loving spouse, companion, and travel partner for almost 30 years; indeed, they traveled the country and the world together with both family and dear friends. In addition to travel, Milton loved fishing and watching sports, especially those involving his Baylor Bears. Milton and Brenda were also very involved with their Windsor Hills community and The Woodlands United Methodist Church. Family and friends will never forget his easy smile, quick wit, integrity and gentle spirit.  The family suggests contributions be made in his honor to either to the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University or The Woodlands United Methodist Church.

Joan Fidler Parsons, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, formerly of Waco, Texas, died peacefully Wednesday, May 8, 2019, after a recent hospitalization. Joan, affectionately known as “Bammaw” to her family and close friends, was born October 7, 1928 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to Leland and Belva Fidler. In 1936, the family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where her father took a position with Standard Oil (Exxon). She graduated from Louisiana State University in 1949 with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. While there she met James W. “Jim” Parsons, Jr.; they married on September 7, 1948. After Jim completed his doctorate at LSU and following the birth of their first son, Gregg, in 1954, the Parsons moved to Waco, where he began his 40-year career as a Professor in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. Joan spent her time and energy raising their three busy sons-Jack, born in 1957, and Joe who came along in 1961. She spent many years ferrying them back and forth to sports events-especially baseball- and encouraging their interests, including welcoming Jack’s drums into the house. Joan’s welcoming nature made their home a favorite hangout for the boys’ friends. The family loved to travel, especially on summer trips to Baton Rouge in the station wagon to spend time with family. They also took trips around the U.S. to see the sights or attend Baylor football games. As a friend recently observed, Joan was always up for an adventure, and she and Jim made sure their lives included it. The Parsons were charter members of Lake Shore Baptist Church in Waco. Those founding members of Lakeshore became fast friends for a lifetime, sharing meals together every month for many years through “Supper Club,” gathering as families on New Year’s Day, and sharing a variety of excursions over the years. Joan’s generous spirit poured out on her family, friends, and the community throughout her life. She taught a preschool Sunday School Class at Lakeshore for 30 years and helped prepare Wednesday night dinner there for 15 years. She also volunteered as a driver for Meals on Wheels for 40 years. Joan was known for her chocolate and shoes. She made friends wherever she went and made her family, especially her grandchildren, feel completely cherished. As age began to slow her, Joan made a series of moves, first to an assisted living facility in Waco and then, in early 2018, to Tennessee, where she could live closer to more members of her family. Though these moves were difficult for her, she quickly involved herself in these new communities and made new friends. In her last year she particularly enjoyed riding through the beautiful Tennessee countryside with Jack and spending time with his large extended family. Memorial contributions may be made to Lake Shore Baptist Church.



Dr. Avery Thomas Sharp was born October 5, 1942, in Kingsville, Texas, to Horace and Lillian Terrell Sharp. After the family moved to Sweeny, Texas, Avery attended Sweeny Public Schools. He learned to love music and participated in choir and music lessons. He sang solos in churches and performed often in local music activities. He attended Southwest Texas State University on a choir scholarship, and he loved performing with the university choir and directing choirs in Calvary Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in San Marcos. In 1963, Avery married Patricia Tipton Sharp and the two pursued degrees together. After graduation from SWT, he attended Teacher’s College, Columbia University in New York City while he taught music education in Lindenhurst Public Schools on Long Island. His musical interests continued with a move from New York in 1970 to attend the University of Iowa in Iowa City for a Ph.D. in Choral and Vocal Music. In addition, he received a second Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Iowa. He worked as the Assistant Director of the Music Library at the university. He also directed choirs in churches in Tipton, Iowa, and Washington, Iowa. In 1979, the Drs. Sharp moved to Waco for Pat to teach at Baylor in the School of Education, and Avery worked at the Waco-McLennan County Library for two years. He directed the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit. In 1981, Avery began as the Music Librarian in Moody Library at Baylor University. He later served Baylor University as Assistant Director of Moody Library, then Dean of the University Libraries, and finally Reference Librarian of the Armstrong Browning Library. Dr. Sharp was active in numerous professional associations, in both library and music. He also published books that bridged his music and library science interests, many in collaboration with Dr. James Floyd. Avery and Pat adopted four children from three countries, beginning in 1973 with a four-year-old daughter from Korea, Hilary Rachel Sharp, married to Dr. Christopher Grant, Waco. The Grants have two sons, Patrick who attends law school in Houston and Will who attends Harvard University. A second beloved three-year-old daughter from Korea, Tiffany Heather Sharp, died at age 13, a devastating loss to the family. Robb Taylor Sharp at six years old came from Romania in 1991 to be adopted; he is married to Elizabeth Stanley Sharp and lives in Dallas. Hayley Dilyana Sharp was five years old in 1992 when she arrived from Bulgaria; she lives in Waco. The Sharps love their wonderful family, calling it the “Little United Nations”. Memorial gifts may be made to the Tiffany Heather Sharp Memorial Scholarship Fund online at www.baylor.edu/give or mailed to Baylor University Gift Processing, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798-7050.

Bobbie Wallace Smith went to her Heavenly Home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Monday, the 14th of January 2019. She was born on the 21st of June 1928, in the home of her parents, Oran Winford Wallace, DDS and Letha Burkes Wallace. She was born on the day of her father’s graduation from The University Texas Dental School in Houston. He often joked that his diploma was awarded out of sympathy since he was up all night awaiting her arrival. She was always proud of being a native Houstonian. She married Terry Tamon Smith on the 21st of December 1999, with whom she shared 19 happy and memorable years. His love, compassion, patience, and companionship were treasured. He was the widower of her deceased sister, Joanne Wallace Smith. Never in their wildest imagination did they ever anticipate falling in love. Bobbie graduated with honors from Reagan High School in 1945. While at Reagan her junior year, she represented the city of Houston in the Women’s Debate finals for the State of Texas and was a Yell Leader. Her senior year, she was Drill Master for the Reagan Redcoats and went to the Texas state competition in Women’s Extemporaneous Speech. Bobbie graduated from Baylor University in 1949. While at Baylor, she was president of Athenean Club (Kappa Kappa Gamma), represented Baylor in Women’s Debate in her senior year, and was nominated for class Beauty three years and named RunnerUp her senior year. She loved her years at Baylor and developed lifelong relationships with many of her classmates. She moved back to Houston after graduating and taught at Harvard Elementary School until having children. Raising her children was her life’s calling and top priority. Nothing provided more joy than her children and their activities. It didn’t matter whether she was a Brownie leader, PTA officer, or sports spectator; she was the cheerleader and advocate for her kids at every phase. No activity was too troublesome or conflicting – the more the better. She loved working crosswords, solving puzzles, and her trips to Dairy Queen for a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard. Bobbie was a member of The Baylor University Alumni Association, The Baylor University Women’s Association of Houston, The Alexander Love Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), The Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association, and The Guild of Houston Baptist University. She lived an active enjoyable life of golf, tennis, and bridge with her friends. Her passion was participation including her volunteer work at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  Church and her relationship with God were always at the center of Bobbie’s life. She never missed Sunday School while growing up and attending First Baptist Church in Houston, and she cherished her “perfect attendance” pins she received. After graduating from Baylor, she taught Sunday School at First Baptist Spring Branch and later became a charter member of Tallowood Baptist Church where her three children were raised. She has been a member of Second Baptist Church of Houston and The Ticket to Heaven Bible Study Group since 1985. She enjoyed all of her church activities – singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, participating in Bible studies, committee participation, and exercising at the Family Life Center. She was proud and satisfied with the footprint she left. In lieu of customary remembrances memorial contributions may be directed toward Hope Health Center, 4614 Carnegie Avenue, Fairfield, AL 35064



Oscar Turner III(aka “Bubba”), age 81, met his Jesus face-to-face on January 15, 2019, in Houston, Texas, surrounded by his wife and four daughters. Oscar was born on May 21, 1937, in Dallas, Texas, to Oscar Turner, Jr. and Elizabeth Williamson Turner. After following in his dad’s footsteps as president of the senior class and graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Oscar went on to graduate from Baylor University and attend Baylor Law School before receiving his law degree from South Texas School of Law in Houston. During his years at Baylor, Oscar studied Bible and business and played baseball and basketball, but it was his service as the youth minister at First Baptist Church, Fairfield, Texas, where his deep faith was put into action. Oscar’s early journey in ministry led him to speak at a South Main Baptist Church retreat where he first laid eyes on his beloved bride of almost 57 years, Anna Claire Chavanne.  A banker. A lawyer. A restaurant owner. A real-estate investor. An artist. An ordained Baptist minister. Oscar was a true “Renaissance” man. However, his most important and rewarding role was a family man with a servant’s heart and gentle spirit. He was a larger-than-life husband, father and grandfather who always put everyone else’s needs above his own.   Oscar and Claire joined Houston’s First Baptist Church in 1978, where they made life-long friends and a profound impact on numerous lives and hearts along the way. Oscar had a deep love of God’s Word and bringing the heart of Jesus to others. His Sunday morning Bible study class, “Catacombs,” grew from a regular-sized gathering of saints and seekers to a 350-member class, which was the foundational core for what became Evergreen Baptist Church in Katy.  Oscar’s love and impact went beyond the church walls to anyone whose path he crossed. He made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room. His smile, his strength and his constant encouragement touched hearts and lives every day. Oscar was the ultimate cheerleader. As a life-long servant-leader, he loved his Lord, his family, his pastor, his church, and his friends unconditionally. He was happiest when he was serving others.    In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to: Houston’s First Baptist Cypress Campus Missions (HoustonsFirst.org), Houston Baptist University Prince-Chavanne Lecture (HBU.edu/giving), or Amazing Place (AmazingPlaceHouston.org).

James “Jim” Tipton was born July 20th, 1948, in Knoxville, Tennessee, to James R. and Lois Tipton. He was an excellent student and athlete and graduated from Brainerd High School (Chattanooga, TN) in 1966. He studied at Baylor University before returning home to continue his studies at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) through the ROTC Program where he graduated with various honors in 1971(B.S. Economics). He completed his military service in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1974.He continued his academic studies at the University of Florida (1974-1980) earning three degrees: MBA(Finance), MA (Economics) and a Ph.D. (economics); he was one of only six (out of over 30) graduate students who completed the rigorous program. It was during his graduate study at Florida he met and married Barbara Miller. They were married on June 11, 1976.From 1980 to 2009, Dr. Tipton was a tenured Professor at Baylor University in the Hankamer School of Business (Economics/Finance Dept.), teaching various economics, finance and banking courses to graduate as well as undergraduate level students.



During his tenure at Baylor, he served on many various committees, as well as Faculty Senate. He also served as Chapter Advisor for the Sigma Chi Fraternity of which he was a member at Tennessee. In addition, he was actively involved with Boy Scout Troop #497 chartered by Baylor University. He had an unquenchable thirst for learning and study was his passion. If wasn’t working on a mathematic/ finance problem, reading or playing masters level chess he enjoyed playing golf and was a avid sports fan following the Baylor Bears, Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to some of Dr. Tipton’s favorite organizations: Baylor University School of Business (James M. Tipton Tribute Fund (scholarship finance/banking), Sigma Chi Fraternity, Boy Scout Troop # 497 and Military Veteran groups or the charity of your choice.

Rowland Stiteler, a native Texan and story-telling journalist who spent 50 years crafting articles about people and places that were packed with facts while flowing like poetry, died June 19 in Cuenca, Ecuador, where he had lived for the last five years. He was 72 and collapsed from a heart attack just outside his home, according to Donna Smith Stiteler, his wife of 34 years. Mr. Stiteler spent most of the last 25 years specializing in reporting on the business of meetings, conferences and conventions. Since 2014, he had been an editor at The Meeting Professional, a publication of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), a Dallas-based trade organization. He had been a freelance writer for the magazine for two decades before joining the staff. He started working as a newspaper reporter while still in college in Waco, Tex., where he grew up, and never stopped cranking out articles for newspapers and magazines in Texas, Nebraska and Florida. “Rowland was the love of my life and I cannot imagine life without him,” said Ms. Stiteler, who is also a freelance writer for The Meeting Professional. “He was a roller coaster ride – a genius, a gifted journalist with a slew of accolades. He was a veteran and the best storyteller on earth.” Ms. Stiteler said her husband was on his way home with a cake he had bought for a young boy he was teaching to speak English when he collapsed. Mr. Stiteler’s editors, colleagues and those he wrote about praised him for his cheerful willingness to tackle any story thrown at him, researching the topic thoroughly and writing with flair. Wick Allison, founder and publisher of D Magazine, a Dallas monthly where Mr. Stiteler was a writer and then the editor from 1978 through 1981, said in a tribute in the magazine he did “great work” on numerous subjects. “He was a shoe-leather reporter who could write like a poet,” Allison said. “But mostly he was very good at getting people to talk.” Leaders of MPI said he would be sorely missed. “If you needed a thoroughly researched article with quotes from all the important sources within 24 hours Rowland was your guy,” Blair Potter, managing editor of The Meeting Professional, said in an obituary in the magazine. “But I will really miss Rowland because he was such a great friend, perhaps the world’s funniest storyteller and a passionate animal rescuer (alongside his wife Donna), spending many hours volunteering with animal charities such as the SPCA.” Mr. Stiteler was born in Waco on May 15, 1947, and attended public schools there. He attended McLennan Community College for a year before transferring to Baylor University, where he graduated with a journalism degree in 1969. He worked for the Temple Telegram while still an undergraduate and for United Press International briefly after graduation. He served in the Air Force, primarily working in public information in Omaha, Neb., where he also worked part time for the Omaha World Herald. He worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram before joining D Magazine in 1978. By1983, he was an editor for the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel Sunday magazine and later worked for an Orlando city magazine. He began doing freelance writing from Orlando in the late 1980s before relocating to the Tampa area. Mr. Stiteler’s first marriage, to Betsy Waters, of Dallas, ended in divorce. He and Donna Smith Stiteler were to celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary the day he died. In addition to her, he is survived by a daughter, Heather; a sister, Nanci Felice of Austin; and was preceded in death by another daughter, Tiffany.






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Profile for Baylor Line Foundation

Baylor Line | Fall 2019  

Celebrating Courage

Baylor Line | Fall 2019  

Celebrating Courage