By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
Students were able to enjoy free food and live music during Tuesday night’s “Family Dinner with the Livingstones” event at the Allbritton House.
The event is hosted by Baylor University president Linda Livingstone and First Gentleman Brad Livingstone, who spent time interacting with and getting to know students. Family Dinner with the Livingstones offered all students free food from a variety of popular Waco food trucks by simply showing their student ID.
Matt Burchett, Director of Student Activities, said this is the second year of Family Dinner with the Livingstone’s, and that the event was brought back at the request of the president herself due to the unexpected popularity of last year’s event.
“Last year, we hoped for 1,500 students and 4,000 showed up,” Burchett said. “Dr. Livingstone enjoyed the gathering with students, the free food and having everyone hang out in her front lawn. She asked if we could do it again, and my guess is that it will become an annual event from this point forward.”
The event took place at the Livingstones on-campus residence, the Allbritton House. Students could even mingle in the house’s front lawn, which featured set-up tables, string lights and live music. Food trucks were located around the house and included Waco favorites Vitek’s BBQ, Shorty’s Pizza, Captain Billy Whizzbang’s and others.
Burchett said the event is hosted by the Livingstones in appreciation of Baylor students and all they do for the campus community.
“It’s a beautiful commitment of our president — she loves students and loves doing things for students,” Burchett said. “It’s an event designed by Dr. Livingstone and the First Gent to express gratitude to our students. It was initially scheduled for before fall break until crazy weather hit, but it seems even more fitting during Homecoming week so we can really kick off the week with appreciation for students.”
Lucas freshman Lacey Jones appreciated the event for its free food and as a way to bring the Baylor community together.
“It’s been awesome,” Jones said. “With being a freshman and trying to figure out finances, it’s been nice to enjoy some free food, especially high-quality food like this.”
Flower Mound freshman Kate Kosub particularly enjoyed the Livingstones’ presence at the event, and how they chose to mingle and interact with students.
“I love that they’re willing to hang out with all of us,” Kosub said. “They genuinely want to meet you and actually get to know your name.”
Jones said events like these set Baylor apart from other universities and make the school a unique community.
“It’s been a really fun bonding experience,” Jones said. “The community here is incredible and Baylor makes it easy to meet new people.”
Burchett hopes one of the main takeaways from the event is that students feel cared for and appreciated, especially during mid-semester and Homecoming season.
“During a hectic season, this is a great opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy a meal with friends,” Burchett said. “We hope students leave feeling the gratitude that administration and the Livingstones have for them.”