Baylor regents approve expanded university motto

The Baylor University seal is seen at the quadrangle on campus. At the May 2024 meeting, Baylor's board of regents approved revising the university’s motto, which has been unchanged for more than a century and a half. (Photo / Baylor Marketing and Communication)


Baylor University’s board of regents approved revising the university’s motto, which has been unchanged for more than a century and a half.

At its May meeting, regents voted to expand Baylor’s longstanding motto—Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana (For the Church, For Texas)—by adding Pro Mundo (For the World).

The historic motto is part of the Baylor University seal, which appears on class rings, the medallion the Baylor president wears at commencement services, and at various places throughout the campus.

The updated motto will begin appearing on new campus installations beginning this summer.

“Now that Baylor has risen to a Christian Research 1 university, we have an opportunity to shine God’s light around the world and serve others in even more significant ways,” President Linda Livingstone said.

“Our world is becoming increasingly complex and challenging, and we must lead in emerging fields and remain competitive in academics and athletics. Baylor brings an important Christian perspective to help solve grand challenges, particularly at the intersection of health and engineering.

“Our students will always remain our top priority, and we must prepare them to lead now and into the future in an ever-changing global environment.”

‘Baylor Family’ reacts on social media

While not directly criticizing the action, former regent Ella Prichard commented on Facebook: “My first reaction: Will they jack-hammer the terrazzo floor in Pat Neff to remove the old motto?”

The change predictably brought criticism from some Baylor alumni and supporters on social media.

Sign up for our weekly edition and get all our headlines in your inbox on Thursdays

“Regents are getting in really bad habit of changing things just to change them,” one person on Sic’Em365 posted.

“The only thing more dangerous than not being able to adapt and change is change for the sake of change. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” another individual posted on the same online forum.

However, the change received implied support from one person who commented, “Maybe it had something to do with John 3:16.”

About the same time reactions to the regents’ action prompted the online discussion, Baylor also briefly had to weather a different social media firestorm outside its control.

A parody post on X—formerly Twitter—by @derrico_henrio falsely reported 22 Baylor football players were indicted for illegal gambling on Baylor gridiron games during the 2023 season.

While the bio for the TCU graduate identified it as a parody account, the display name and image included the CBS Sports logo. The satirical post quickly went viral on social media and was picked up by 24/7Sports.

The X platform subsequently posted a notice the parody account was “temporarily suspended” due to “some unusual activity.”

In other business, Baylor regents:

  • Approved a $962.7 million university operating budget for 2024-2025—an increase of $62.4 million (6.9 percent) from the previous fiscal year.
  • Re-elected Bill Mearse of Houston as chair of the board and Melia Purdy Mines of Austin as vice chair.
  • Elected Waco attorney Kyle Deaver and Charles E. Williams, a regional president of Baylor Scott & White Health, as at-large regents.
  • Confirmed Baptist General Convention of Texas-named regents Tyler Cooper of Dallas, Diane Dillard of Houston and René Maciel of McGregor.
  • Re-elected five regents to three-year terms: Jay Brown of Houston, Michael Heiskell of Fort Worth, Don R. Willett of Austin, Michael McFarland of Crowley and Todd Reppert of Houston.

Based in part on reporting from the Baylor Office of Marketing and Communications.

We seek to connect God’s story and God’s people around the world. To learn more about God’s story, click here.

Send comments and feedback to Eric Black, our editor. For comments to be published, please specify “letter to the editor.” Maximum length for publication is 300 words.

More from Baptist Standard