Baylor University’s board of regents approved the $9 million purchase of three commercial properties located on nearly two acres in downtown Waco. The properties, which include existing structures and parking areas, are located at 801, 811 and 821 Washington Ave. Baylor currently leases space in these properties for a number of university programs, including the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, the department of psychology and neuroscience, the doctor of physical therapy program and the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. Based on its existing lease agreements with the property owners, Baylor had the right of first refusal to purchase the properties should the owners decide to sell. “Baylor wasn’t seeking this purchase, but when the owners entertained selling the properties, we, as a board, had to take a look at the university’s long-term space needs and compare those needs to the opportunity before us,” said Chairman Mark Rountree. “For nearly a decade, Baylor has strategically positioned itself in downtown Waco by leasing space in these buildings. By owning these properties—instead of leasing—we improve our financial position, and we continue to invest in and strengthen our relationship with the city of Waco.”
The newly renovated Robert E. Craig Hall, a landmark building on the East Texas Baptist University campus, became the new home of the Frank S. Groner School of Professional Studies at the beginning of the fall semester. Built in 1955 and originally called the Sanderson Hall of Science, Craig Hall was renamed in 1992 after the death of the university’s tenth president, Robert E. “Jack” Craig. It housed the ETBU School of Nursing until that school transitioned to the historic Marshall Grand building in downtown Marshall in the summer of 2019. The latest renovations—which include smart podiums with cameras integrated into the rooms to facilitate online instruction—provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for students in athletic training, kinesiology and rehabilitative science programs. Craig Hall’s renovation was recognized with an Outstanding Design award in the 2020 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase. Additionally, Craig Hall received an Outstanding Project Award for its contemporary learning environment and design interventions from the Fall 2020 Learning by Design Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence jury panel.
Jack Goodyear, dean of the Gary Cook School of Leadership and professor of political science at Dallas Baptist University, has been named DBU’s Piper Outstanding Professor of the Year. Goodyear has worked on campus full time since 2008 and served as a minister 10 years prior to his arrival at DBU. He has been dean of the Gary Cook School of Leadership since 2016. Goodyear received his undergraduate degree in political science from Baylor University, his Master of Divinity with Biblical Languages degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in religion, politics and society from Baylor University. On campus, he is involved in planning the annual Christian Leadership Summit, serves on the Campus Advocates for Racial Equality committee and teaches doctoral students in leadership. He and his wife Jessica have five children. They are members of First Baptist Church in Arlington, where he is a deacon.
Baptist Temple in San Antonio dedicated its inclusive playground on Oct. 4 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and prayer for those whose lives will be affected by it. Xavier Sanchez spoke about living with disability and the difference an inclusive playground can make for a child living with a disability and for that child’s self-image. Pastor Jorge Zayasbazan explained the playground was not built exclusively for children with disabilities. Rather, the church built it so children with disabilities and children of typical abilities can play and grow together. Zayasbazan expressed appreciation to corporate, individual and in-kind donors who contributed to the playground’s construction.