President’s Reception held for current and retired faculty

Faculty and staff at Baylor were celebrated this week during the annual President's Reception. Brittany Tankersley | Photographer

By Matt Kyle | Staff Writer

On Wednesday evening, President Linda Livingstone and the first gent hosted a President’s Reception for current and retired staff and faculty in the Barfield Drawing Room. The event featured free food and the lighting of a Christmas tree on the second floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center, which was decorated by the Baylor Union Board.

The event was back in person after not being held last year due to COVID-19. Livingstone said the event was put on to show appreciation to faculty and to kick off the Christmas season. She also said the food was provided by Aramark based on recipes provided by members of the president’s council.

“We love our faculty and staff and appreciate so much all they do to support our students and to do the research they do,” Livingstone said. “It’s a way to thank them and to show them some appreciation as we head into the Christmas season.”

Current and retired faculty mingled with the Livingstones and one another while enjoying the recipes of the president’s council. Jon Singletary, dean of the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, said that he was glad the event was back in person and that he especially liked the homemade recipes.

“The food is great,” Singletary said. “It’s a great combination of interesting recipes, but they’re all really good, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Vincent Phillips, assistant director of undergraduate recruitment, said events like the President’s Reception build the morale of faculty and staff.

“It’s great to see [retired faculty] and see how they’re living their lives,” Phillips said. “Me, I’m like ‘Man, I can’t wait until I retire and get to go to Christmas parties and stuff!’ But I just think it’s a great time to step away from the desk to just celebrate one another.”

Clarissa Talley, transfer admissions coordinator, said the event blew her away because of how it made her feel like family.

“I have only been at Baylor for a couple years, half that time has been covered by COVID, so coming to an event like this, I wasn’t expecting much,” Talley said. “It just adds that special feeling of family.”

Halfway through the reception, Livingstone and members of the Baylor Union Board lit the Christmas tree on the second floor of the SUB. Livingstone said the Union Board has been decorating the tree since 2019, which was the same year the president’s council began using its recipes for the event.

Julia Ericson, Humble junior and president of the Baylor Union Board, said this year’s tree was decorated with the theme “all is calm, all is bright.”

“There are four colors on the tree: the green represents peace and hope provided by our savior; white represents purity and light, the heavenly promise; gold represents the triumph of Jesus; and silver is to remind us to be a bright reflection of our savior’s love to all,” Ericson said. “We just wanted to bring in some calm to the kind of crazy two years that we have had, so it’s just trying to come back to some sense of normalcy, and we get to do that by all being together.”