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, and what the scholarship means to them. This week, we introduce two Baylor Legacy Scholars from Bolivar, MO — incoming freshman Kevin Malone and his sister, junior Maggie Malone, who expects to graduate in May 2017 with a Journalism New Media major and Graphic Design minor. Maggie submitted her story about her family’s Baylor journey.
My family has always been a Baylor family. Ever since my little brother Kevin and I were wee babes in the cradle, my dad (Kelly Malone ’85) would always tell us stories about a magical place he and his sister and brother went to in their early adulthood — a realm called “Baylor University.” My mother, who didn’t go to Baylor, would always sigh and nod along. Over the many years she’d been married to my father, she almost had enough knowledge about Baylor to have gone there herself. Our rooms were filled with Baylor apparel: Tiny outfits, miniscule stuffed bears, and green and gold pompoms graced our room for many years. An important part of Baylor culture is homecoming, and there were three different ones that stood out as I dove into my new life at Baylor.
As my family and I lived overseas for most of my childhood, my visits to Baylor were infrequent. But my earliest memories of Baylor Homecoming 1999, were, unsurprisingly, the bears. We always went on campus while the students were in class so we could have the bears all to ourselves. I would try to climb the fence and call out to the bears to try to catch their eyes. This would only earn me a scolding from my parents. Baylor became all too real, it wasn’t some far off realm anymore, and I loved it. I don’t remember much else from that first homecoming, but at the time, it was an experience that was completely new.
The second homecoming I remember was in 2010, when I was a sophomore in high school. I was pulled out of school for the weekend so my family could travel down to Waco from Missouri together. It was my dad’s 25th college reunion, and he wanted his family around him to celebrate. I was thrilled to have a day off from school and take a road trip, so I went along happily. Homecoming was an absolute blast. I loved watching the parade, especially the marching band. The bonfire was almost a blast literally, as the blaze went out of control, and the night ended with the fire department rushing onto the scene while the onlookers ran to safety. Although the game the next day was delayed by some pretty nasty weather, I enjoyed it (well, I enjoyed reading my book during the game, that is). But the greatest part was watching Baylor savor their victory and embrace a bowl game in their future, something that hadn’t happened to Baylor’s football program in a while. It also made me excited for college, wherever I was going, and the new experiences I was going to find there.
Flash forward three years. I was a freshman at Baylor, and a member of the color guard in the Baylor University Golden Wave Marching Band. My parents and Kevin were down for the weekend. But I didn’t really get to see them. Band kept me busy for most of Friday and all of Saturday. I had a late night on Friday performing at the bonfire, and an early morning on Saturday waking up for the parade. On Sunday, after my family left Waco to make the long drive back to Missouri, I crashed. I was glad to have seen my parents, though, and shared my first homecoming with them.
Baylor is not only a physical place, but an experience. The people who live the Baylor experience together? We’re family. Baylor people come from all different walks of life, bringing different backgrounds, cultures, and talents into the mix. Stories from Baylor are something to be treasured and shared. I am proud to be a Baylor legacy. My history is wrapped in green and gold, and that is not only an honor, but a responsibility. God brought my family to Baylor for a reason, and I hope to use what I have learned and will learn at Baylor to further His kingdom. These three homecomings are only three stops on a timeline, and I cannot wait to see where God leads me, and my Baylor family, next.
And here’s a bit from Kevin’s essay: I was born in Japan, where my parents served as missionaries, and where I spent the vast majority of the first decade of my life. We would spend a summer in America every few years to spend time with family and raise awareness of missions. Almost every time we visited America, we visited Baylor. I have grown up with Baylor t-shirts, stuffed bears, and green and gold flags, and never even realized it. It was simply a part of life. Now I know what inspires this love of Baylor passed on to me from my father,
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).