Baylor University, based in Texas, is the oldest continuously operating university in the region and one of the largest Baptist universities in the world.
The university occupies a large 1,000-acre campus on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco. Baylor University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Baylor offers a variety of courses and there are 12 separate units governing these, which include: College of Arts and Science, Law School, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Hankamer School of Business, and School of Engineering and Computer Science.
The university community at Baylor is bound together tightly by religion, and a large proportion of the student body is particularly active in the field of volunteering.
Baylor is one of the only private schools in the NCAA Division I Big 12 Conference, but the sports teams – particularly football – stay competitive.
In 2014, a new $260 million football stadium – McLane Stadium – was opened on the university’s campus which was designed by architecture firm, Populous, who is known for designing the Yankee Stadium in New York.
The university also has its own holiday called Diadeloso – a day when classes are cancelled so students can participate in athletics tournaments and attend free concerts.
Baylor has developed a large number of traditions over the years. The Baylor Line is where freshmen rush onto the field before home football games wearing special football jerseys with a nickname chosen by the student and his/her intended year of graduation. There are also memorial lampposts erected across campus in honour of each fallen member of the military to stand as “a guard by day” and illuminate the paths of campus.
Notable alumni include Michael Johnson, a retired American sprinter who won four Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships gold medals, who was coached by Clyde Hart, and won several NCAA titles in both indoor and outdoor sprints and relays while at Baylor.
Other alumni include John Lee Hancock, an American screenwriter, film director, and producer, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, and Emmy-winning actress Angela Kinsey.