Higher Education & Student Affairs

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Baylor U, Round Two by Nate Hutcherson

Nate Hutcherson, Grad Hall Director in University House

Nate Hutcherson, Grad Hall Director in University House

No more than a week ago the Baylor campus was a flurry of activity as Baylor Bears, young and old, returned for homecoming. The Baylor family gathered to experience a raging bonfire on Fountain Mall, a day full of tailgating and football at McLane Stadium, and the showcase of talent at Pigskin Revue. Homecoming was a reminder of the true spirit of Baylor.

As a Baylor alumnus, I was initially reticent to attend my alma mater for graduate school. I wondered if I could achieve new insight into higher education at a school I’ve known so well and for so long. During my undergrad, I studied Music Education; I realized my experiences and social spheres in the School of Music would be different than they would be in the HESA program.

Throughout the application and interview process, I was continually reminded of why Baylor is a unique place. From a written statement on purpose to my initial interview with members of the Baylor faculty and staff, sharing about my faith and unique experiences was welcomed and expected. You see, since 1845, Baylor University has been founded on two timeless principles.

Pro Ecclesia – Pro Texana

For the Church, for Texas. Baylor University has sought to promote these values of building the church and blessing society around us. The opportunity to return as a Baylor student is a privilege; here, I believe I will be challenged to think about why I believe what I believe and how my faith can impact the students around me.

While I did not have to face the challenge of finding my way around a new city or campus, the challenge I faced re-entering my alma mater was taking a look behind the curtain. Though Baylor does have many gleaming qualities, she also has her fair share of scuffs. In the first eight weeks of classes and apprenticeship work, I have taken off the rose-colored glasses and started making honest assessments of the institution I know and love. I’ve asked hard questions to understand old traditions and looked under the hood to find better ways of doing our work.

Seeing Baylor in a new light does not make me love this school less. I now know to look beyond the surface of what I see and to make sense of what this institution could be. I am beginning to realize our work as student affairs professionals will require passion and patience. Patience to be okay with hard truths, and passion to believe for more beautiful realities. The community of Baylor University is a place where patience can be developed and passion can be inspired. So whether you are coming for the first time or returning to fling your Green and Gold afar, let me be the first to welcome you to That Good Old Baylor Line!

yolande_graham • October 24, 2016

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