The BAA asked this year’s Legacy Scholarship applicants to reflect on what it has meant to be part of a Baylor legacy family and to grow up surrounded by Baylor traditions. This week, we introduce Allison “Allie” Small, a freshman from Grapevine, TX, who expects to graduate in May 2019 with a major in Communications. In the part of his application where she talks about her Baylor Legacy family members, she listed 25 people, including her mother Shari Hill (Small) Vickery ’89; her father Brian Small ’90, director of marketing at Equify; her maternal grandparents; her stepfather Ron Vickery ’87, JD ’90; and a host of aunts, uncles, and cousins (including Russell Waters, who will graduate this May).
Baylor is all I’ve ever known. It is our “family college.” From the time I was a tiny baby, my parents and grandparents took my brothers and me to every Baylor Homecoming, countless sporting events, All-University Sing, and other special “green and gold” occasions. Because my Baylor legacy runs so deep, every family gathering is filled with talks of Baylor happenings and the accomplishments of the Bears. During my times on campus, I have loved the “family” feeling, the Christ-centered influence (LOVE those sidewalks with engraved scripture!), the traditions of giving back to Waco and the Baylor community, and the enthusiastic support of strong character and student accomplishments.
All of my close family have attended Baylor. From my parents, to my grandparents, to my aunts and uncles, to my cousins, to my great aunts and uncles…there are 25 Baylor Bears in that group! We enjoy Baylor sports, and 14 of us have Baylor season football tickets together! Our crowd includes grandparents as well as 2- and 3-year-olds. We’re definitely creating more great Baylor family memories! It has been fun to watch my older cousins find their niche as they have participated in the Baylor Line, Greek organizations, All-University Sing, service throughout Waco, Mission trips and more. They have also studied hard and definitely prepared themselves for responsible professional positions as young adults. These observations have made me want to follow their example.
I’m impressed how Baylor people continue to love Baylor. Many adults have no continued relationship with the school from which they graduated. Baylor people stay involved through the Baylor Alumni Association, the Baylor University Women’s Councils, the Bear Foundation, the support of sporting events, Greek alumni associations, and by returning to campus often. I love it that my family has chosen be involved in all of these organizations and has made an intentional effort to give back to Baylor and to stay closely connected to their Baylor roots.
Not only do I feel a Baylor legacy connection through my blood relatives but also through close family friends who are also Baylor graduates. I have watched my parents and grandparents experience deep-rooted friendships that have stood the test of time. Some of these friendships were created during their very first week at Baylor! Watching the way these friends love and care for each other through the greatest of times AND the most devastating struggles continues to be an inspiration to me. They are my family, too.
My heart has always been drawn to Baylor – not only because of being a part of its rich traditions but also because of the incredible people and role models Baylor has developed in my family. Sic ‘Em!
The Baylor Alumni Association awarded scholarships to 54 Baylor legacy students for the 2015-16 school year. Our goal is to give out more scholarships with larger amounts to help these students and their families pay for a Baylor education, and we hope to award more scholarships for the Spring 2016 semester. If you’d like to make a donation, please go to this page. We will send a pair of Baylor BattleHands spirit gloves to anyone who donates $100 or more toward Legacy Scholarships (or renews their annual membership for $100 or more).