By Frances George
There is a story from years ago of an old man who walked about town with an oil can and wherever he found a squeaky door or roughly hinged gate, he would use his oil can and make the way easier for the one who came after him. It is my hope that as you read this, your uncertainty over college will subside and in your mind and heart, the door will open wide and without hesitation and you allow your son or daughter to walk through it…to Baylor.
Many of you are deciding where your son or daughter will spend the next chapter of their life. I have two daughters who have attended and are currently attending Baylor, beginning in 2012 through 2020. They will complete their time at Baylor with a total three degrees between them. My elder daughter is receiving her second Baylor degree in May and my youngest graduates in 2020. Over the years I have witnessed much of college life from a Baylor perspective. May I submit to you that the Baylor difference is real. Just this morning I was talking with a mom in another state about the Baylor difference. I shared with her the things that set Baylor apart. I told her stories of financial sacrifice on the part of parents in order to send their child to a private university (We are in that category!) I told her stories of distance (We are 1200 miles from our girls). And I told her stories of the academic rigor that accompanies a top tier institution (Yes, that describes us as well! Our girls work extremely hard each year.) These things are all true of Baylor. But as I told this mom just a few minutes ago, there is no sacrifice too big, no distance too great, no rigor too overwhelming that supersedes choosing a university where professors share our faith, for a college community that encourages faith, for the myriad of churches in Waco that grow our children’s faith, and for the deep friendships that make faith such fun. Baylor is unique.
Just last week my younger daughter submitted a paper in one of her classes and in her conclusion she quoted a verse from scripture. My daughter sent the paper to me to share with my 91 year old father, as the paper referenced him and his experience during the Great Depression. Someone in the room with us, who taught at the college level in a state school asked, “Won’t your daughter be graded down for quoting scripture in an academic paper? Won’t this professor be off-put by her blatant display of faith?” My answer, was “No. This is Baylor. This university is different.” I remember thinking once again how grateful I am again for Baylor.
Baylor is worth the cost, worth the sacrifice of distance, and worth the challenge that accompanies academic rigor. Four years at Baylor will make your sons and daughters better prepared to enter the world than most college graduates. A Baylor education is much more than the time spent in the classroom. It is a life experience that takes the long view. Baylor does all things, as the great English orphan protector and provider George Mueller said, “with eternity in view.”
It is costly? Yes. Is it far away from home? Yes. Is it challenging academically, requiring many hours in the library? Yes. But is it worth it? That is the ultimate question each parent must answer. Most things in life of value come with a cost to us. The cost may include the sacrifice of not having our children right down the street but the result: amazing young adults who learn “life” apart from us and yet are surrounded and mentored for four years by wise men and women who teach and do life with our children. The friends, the faculty, the faith found at Baylor are like the old man with the oil can and our children are the recipients of that grace. And likewise, your children then become the “old man with the oil can” to the students who will come after them. How do I know this to be true? Because I’ve seen it, in not just one but two daughters at Baylor. This institution has shaped my daughters, who pour into others’ lives each day, like the old man with the oil can. Baylor is absolutely worth it. Life is about choices. Choose well. Choose Baylor. You will not regret it.
And that is the Baylor difference.