Baylor employs former BAA members for alumni network

By Ada Zhang
Staff Writer

The university has hired former Baylor Alumni Association employees to manage previous BAA programs that are now a part of the Baylor Alumni Network.

Former BAA employees Jan Dodd, Bob Anne Senter and Tessa Jamerson are now employed by the university, said Tommye Lou Davis, Baylor vice president for constituent engagement.

These three employees are the only former BAA employees who have been hired by the university to work in the network.

The network is now in charge of the Heritage Club, Lifelong Learning and marketing of Baylor’s Official Ring program, said President Ken Starr in a university-wide email, Sept. 10.

Starr announced the official termination of the Baylor Alumni Association’s license to use the Baylor name.

The termination became effective after the BAA Transition Agreement vote on Sept. 7 failed to reach the two-thirds majority it needed.

Despite the agreement’s failure to pass, Starr said the university is going forward with many changes outlined in the agreement, one of which was offering jobs to BAA employees.

Previous BAA programs are now managed by a different Baylor organization, but they will continue to be supervised by the same personnel.

“They were event owners previously for these programs,” Davis said. “They’re now employed by university in my division. They’re still point people for these programs. They’ve been doing them in the past and are continuing the programs.”
Davis said the network’s goal is to improve these programs by working collectively.

“We feel that when we focus together, with university resources and unity of purpose, these programs will be enhanced and improved for all of our constituents,” she said.

Jamerson said her transition from the BAA to the network has been smooth because her current job is similar to her previous job.

Jamerson said she is in charge of membership for the network. She also completes work orders, budgets for events and helps pay the bills.

Senter, coordinator of special programs, said she offers the same services for the network as she did for the BAA.

Senter is in charge of the Lifelong Learning program, the travel program and the Fling event for women.

According to the BAA website, the Lifelong Learning program offers an assortment of classes to anyone interested in learning in a comfortable atmosphere.

Senter said the travel program is an opportunity for alumni to go to various destinations around the world. She said she is in charge of choosing these destinations.

The Fling event for women, Senter said, occurs every other year.

“The BAA began it in 1983,” Senter said. “Its an opportunity for women to return to campus, hear speakers, enjoy entertainment and reunite with classmates.”

Dodd, the associate director of special events and programs, also said her job did not change much with the move from the BAA to the network.

She said the transition has been smooth.

“The network staff has been warm and welcoming and helpful in acclimating me to my new position,” Dodd said. “They’ve been fabulous.”

Her current focus, she said, is on the programs that are being transitioned into the network, but she might take on more assignments in the future.

For now, Dodd said she is glad to be able to continue the former BAA alumni programs with the university. After managing these programs for nine years, she said she became attached.

“My hopes for the future in regards to alumni programs is to plan quality events at which all alumni will feel welcome, see familiar faces and feel the rich tradition and Baylor spirit we all love,” Dodd said.

The Heritage Club and the official Baylor ring program are both under Dodd’s supervision.

The Heritage Club was established in 1977 to honor and promote fellowship among those who attended Baylor 50 or more years ago.

Davis said this tradition will continue today with a luncheon in Dallas. She also said the Heritage Club will be on campus in the spring.

The ring program consists of two ceremonies each year, which Davis said she and Dodd are working on together. The ceremony is for students who have completed 75 hours or more of study. At the ceremony, students are given their rings and told what the symbols on the rings represent.

“We’re working together to make sure the ceremony is just as meaningful as it has been in the past,” Davis said. “In fact, we’re going to do some additional things that we think, with working with university resources, can enhance the program altogether.”

Collin Cox, BAA president, said all former BAA employees who are eligible for a job at the university have either been offered jobs already or, he predicts, will be offered jobs soon.

Cox said he is happy that former BAA employees have jobs at the university.

“These are talented people,” Cox said. “To go onto the next professional opportunity — that is terrific.”