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’s BAA Legacy Scholar, Emily Knaub, expects to graduate next May with a B.A. in Political Science, Pre-Law with a Minor in Communications.
When I was originally applying to colleges my senior year in high school, I remember telling my mother (Lisa Pardo ’82 (B.B.A. Entrepreneurial Studies and Management)) that I didn’t want to go to Baylor. She went there so I wanted to go somewhere different. She told me that was fine, but to keep my eyes and heart open to all possibilities.
A couple weeks later we attended a recruitment event and I decided to go out of curiosity. After all, my mother went there and I thought I knew a lot about it from her. It was not halfway through the presentation when I leaned over to my mother and said, “Now I understand why you went to Baylor. I want to go here!”
I unfortunately was unable to attend Baylor for my first year due to some paperwork error, but after going to an out-of-state school I realized that I am a true Texas girl with her heart on Baylor. So the summer following my freshman year I applied back to Baylor and was accepted. Now I’m entering my senior year and I can’t help but look back at how much my mother’s legacy has shaped me in my life overall, and in my college experience.
My mother bleeds Green and Gold and cheers for Baylor athletics either from her home or in Waco. She played tennis for Baylor on the women’s team so she always made sure she had athletic schedules displayed prominently around the house. She taught me how to do a Sic ‘Em before I could walk, and I received my first Baylor football jersey at the age of 2. My first homecoming was when I was 8, and I went to the famous football game where Baylor won their first Big 12 game and tore down the goal post. I was at the game where RGIII solidified his Heisman trophy spot, and was there in the stands when they won the Alamo Bowl.
When Baylor games are on TV, everything stops and we watch it religiously. She has this Baylor candle that when you press the button it plays the fight song, so you can imagine I knew the song long before I was in the Baylor Line. She has had season tickets the past four years and because she’s a letterman we got to enjoy the Letterman’s Club at every football game. Her door at her office is adorned with nothing but Baylor articles, pictures, and jerseys. They joke with her that her office is the Baylor Chapel.
When it was my turn to walk the great halls of the campus, I felt like I was walking in the presence of greatness, my mother included. As football season quickly approached I had to pick my name on my Baylor Line jersey, and I immediately knew what it was going to be: a tribute to my mother, a legacy. It read, “Baby Bear.” I didn’t tell her and when I showed her the jersey you can imagine how much she loved it. That fall she came up for every home game and I ran every game in the Baylor Line. Just like the many before, we shared Homecoming together and she told me stories from her times on campus. I felt like I knew the campus already, but to see it through her eyes made me appreciate it further.
(Getting this scholarship last year) I was able to participate in the Bob Bullock Scholarship program in Austin where I intern with a State Senator. It has truly been a positively life changing experience, and all thanks to the scholarship. I am a member of Baylor Chamber of Commerce, Baylor College Republicans, and recently was accepted to the Baylor Ambassadors.
Baylor laid the foundation for my mom to succeed in life, and I’m about to finish my journey here. If it were not for my mother being an avid Baylor fan, supportive, and my Momma Bear who helps celebrate the traditions with me then I do not believe I would truly love Baylor as much as I do now. It’s because of her legacy that I am here hoping to leave a legacy of my own.
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).