Around the State: Baylor regents approve $902.4 million budget

Baylor University added two American black bear cubs to its Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. The cubs, named Judge Indy and Judge Belle, will join the Baylor Family in the on-campus habitat as early as mid-summer. Cousins by birth, Indy—born Jan. 24, 2023, and currently weighing 25 pounds—is the largest of her litter. Belle— born Jan. 29, 2023, and currently weighing 21 pounds—is the smallest of hers, with their size differential already providing some observed differences in their personalities, behavior and play dynamics. (Photo / Matthew Minard / Baylor University)


Baylor University’s board of regents approved a $902.4 million university operating budget for 2023-24, an increase of $39.2 million (4.5 percent) from last year. The board authorized $24.5 million in total funding for three renovation projects involving residence halls, the Honors College and Baylor Law School. Regents also approved a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and a Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree program in biology of global health. The board elected William “Bill” E. Mearse of Houston as chair, effective June 1. He succeeds Mark V. Rountree of Dallas as chair. Melissa Purdy Mines of Austin was elected vice chair. The board elected three at-large regents—David R. Brooks of McKinney and Martha Delehanty of Jupiter, Fla., along with Carey P. Hendrickson of Arlington, a Baptist General Convention of Texas-appointed regent. Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston, begins a three-year term on the board as an alumni-elected regent June 1.

Wayland Baptist University President Bobby Hall presents the school’s Citizenship Award to graduating seniors Araceli Torres and Devin Davis. (WBU Photo)

Wayland Baptist University presented its Citizenship Awards to graduating seniors Araceli Torres of Odessa and Devin Davis from Opelousas, La., during a recent recognition chapel service. Torres was a molecular biology major with a minor in chemistry who volunteered at the local food bank. Davis was a history major who has been part of the track, cross country and eSports teams. He also was involved in Student Alumni Council and Student Union Board.

Kristyn Getty

Dallas Baptist University awarded an honorary doctorate to Kristyn Getty, a Grammy-nominated Christian recording artist and songwriter from Northern Ireland. She received the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at a May 12 commencement ceremony at DBU. Getty and her husband Keith are co-founders of the Sing Conference, held annually in Nashville, Tenn., and she is creator of the award-winning Getty Kids Hymnal.

Stephen M. Stookey, dean of Wayland Baptist University’s School of Christian Studies

The Baptist History & Heritage Society named Stephen M. Stookey, dean of Wayland Baptist University’s School of Christian Studies, as the 2023 recipient of the W.O. Carver Distinguished Service Award. The award pays tribute to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of Baptist history. Stookey came to Wayland in 2016 as a professor of religion and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in classroom and online settings. He taught previously at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and Dallas Baptist University. Stookey has been involved with the Baptist History & Heritage Society since the early 1990s. In 2017, he received the society’s Carolyn Blevins Meritorious Service Award.

John Davis, professor of management and coordinator for the program in management, was elected president of the faculty at Hardin-Simmons University.


Chance McMillan, Garrett Mathis, Keith Mayberry, David Murphree, Danny Salazar, Chris Styne and Chris Williams as deacons at First Baptist Church in Plainview. Jacob West is pastor.

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