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 sophomore Morgan Mitford and freshman sister Madison Mitford from Grapevine, TX, who expect to graduate with degrees in Interior Design and Speech Pathology, respectively. Their father, Mark Mitford ’86, is their only Baylor legacy connection. Mark recently opened a new business as a Human Resources consultant and the girls’ mom, Melinda, is a substitute middle-school teacher.
Morgan: Growing up with a Baylor tradition includes everything from a shiny BU sticker on the back of the car, Pigskin Revue, Homecoming parades, football games and enough Baylor gear to wear for what seems like months on end.
Madison: Green and Gold rained down on me in the form of confetti and beads. I squealed with joy as me and my sister gazed intently around the bend in the road to see which monstrosity of a float would round the corner next. I’ll never forget kicking off the first of many Baylor Homecomings when I was only 6, not knowing how many Baylor traditions that I would get to experience on my journey to becoming a Baylor Bear myself. Growing up in a home that supported the Bears has been so much more than game day T-shirts and other tastefully colored paraphernalia. It has led to lifelong friendships with my Dad’s roommate’s kids. It has shown me what it looks like to emphasize faith in environments that often neglect this crucial aspect. It has led to gatherings not being complete until we laughed until we ached as stories were shared from that “one time in Martin.”
Morgan: What will always last are the memories. Ever since I was young, a Baylor tradition included meeting with my dad’s roommate and his family to make our journey down to Waco to cheer on the Bears. We would always come for the Alumni games to see my dad march with the band and sit with them in the stands. Sitting in Common Grounds, our family would talk and reminisce with each other. Many times as kids we would all talk about how when we grew up we would go to Baylor, which always seemed so far away from happening. But going to Baylor included family time, togetherness and laughter. Sometimes huddling under blankets at cold football games or sweating under the hot Texas sun. Yet here we are, finally going to Baylor, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Madison: So many happy memories stem from stories like these, as the Baylor grads in my life flung their Green and Gold all throughout my childhood. My family Proudly continued to trek down I-35 in the Fall on game day even when the Bears were in a winning drought, and even more so when Art Briles arrived with that long overdue drink of water flipping our win to loss ratio upside down. Walking through campus after being cooped up in a car for two hours, seeing one polished Golden dome after another felt like walking into a sanctuary of sorts. Strolling to the chime of the bells brought peace to me at a young age and this feeling has never stopped since. Walking out of one of many cutting-edge performances of Sing to see Pat Neff lit up never ceased to spark pride in me knowing the school that so many around me held dear was successful and thriving.
Morgan: Growing up with Baylor in my blood means that Baylor feels like home, somewhere familiar and safe, a place that I have been able to continue growing in my faith and education. I have gotten to run the Line, attend Homecoming, Pigskin, and Sing. I have found my own group of friends and created memories that will last forever. Baylor and I have been through a lot together. We have grown larger, and seen each other through the ups and downs of time. But like all family we are stuck with each other. Growing up with a Baylor tradition included all of the wonderful things Baylor has to offer plus a lifetime of memories, and now I have gotten to continue the Baylor tradition for another generation. Which for me means not only more memories for my family and me, but also a Baylor tradition for my future.
Madison: You could always count on welcoming faces wherever you went; though students cycled through from year to year the friendliness never ceased to impress me. As I started my college search, I looked for this feeling elsewhere but I was always let down because of the unbeatable standards Baylor had set for me at such a young age. I look forward to creating my own memories at Baylor that can be formulated into stories told at my family gatherings like those that have been told at mine. More than anything I can’t wait to walk through Fountain Mall as the bells begin to chime and be able to finally call Baylor what it has always felt like; Home.
The Baylor Alumni Association awarded scholarships to 54 Baylor legacy students for the 2015-16 school year. It’s a program the university doesn’t offer, and our goal is to give out more scholarships with larger amounts to help these students and their families pay for a Baylor education. 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). And there will be a special surprise for donors who contribute $500 or more.