This article was included in the October 1947 issue of The Baylor Line, and written by Charles D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Why have students come to Baylor this year and for several years past from California, Massachusetts, Washington and Florida, Tennessee, Alabama and other states as well as from a majority of the counties in Texas and from all the large cities in Texas? Why have students transferred to Baylor from other colleges in Texas and in neighboring states? Why do high school students make their plans long before graduation to come to Baylor University? Why do parents write letters not only to administrative officers at Baylor but to members of the teaching staff to assist them in getting rooms in dormitories or in homettes or trailors if they are assured of eligibility for entrance?
The above questions can all be answered but not merely by saying that Baylor University is the largest Baptist University in the South nor yet by saying that Baylor University is more than 100 years old. Both of these facts have their influence; good, too, both of them. Nor can the answer be merely that Baylor is a Christian university, whose record for educating missionaries exceeds that of any other university in the South of any denomination, however impressive this record is and how far reaching and significant the influence of this unparalleled record is. The answer can scarcely be that Baylor has a faculty of scholars chosen from a long list of universities including Brown, Yale, Stanford, Oxford, North Carolina, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Iowa, Peabody, Texas, Baylor, Southern and Southwestern Theological Seminaries, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia, to mention only representative colleges and universities and not the entire number in which Baylor faculty members have studied and from which they earned A.M. and Ph.D. degrees. It is often said of a great university that the faculty is the university; but what-ever truth there is in this saying that alone is not the answer to the questions raised in the foregoing paragraph.
What then is the answer?
The size of Baylor in comparison with the 59 other Baptist schools and colleges in the South, the age of Baylor (102 years), the Christian teaching at Baylor which has created the necessary religious atmosphere for the development of the missionary spirit and practice, and the worthy scholarship of faculty members all have had a share in attracting students from great distances as well as keeping a large number of Waco students who are among the best of the 4,420 who have registered for the current term. But there are other reasons. Consider a few of these.
Baylor has a law school. This school though not as large as any one of a number of the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences is nevertheless a school in the University whose influence in the field of law is immeasurable. It was a year of great significance—the year of 1920—when the Baylor Law School was reorganized. Since that year lawyers have been educated at Baylor whose legal practice, legislative action, and judicial decisions have more creditable, even laudable history.
Baylor has a music school. The fine art of music has been stressed at Baylor for many years. During the last few years the music faculty has been greatly enlarged so that it is now possible to acquire musical education scarcely inferior to that in the famous conservatories in the East.
Baylor has a physical and health education program and an athletic schedule requiring a staff of highly trained men and women. The Rena Marrs McLean Physical Education building is one of the prized new buildings at Baylor. It provides with its modern equipment for the application of the scientific principles of physical education and health. Basketball games are played on one of the courts in the building before fans and students stacked to the rafters. The football, baseball and tennis teams have proved by their sportsmanship and by their excellence—though championships have not been recorded as frequently as the teams, coaches, and Baylor students and graduates would have enjoyed—that Baylor athletic teams represent not merely a good university but a great university. More than 31,000 persons saw Baylor defeat the University of Miami in the Orange Bowl in Florida on Friday evening, September 26. Fully this number saw Baylor win over Texas A. & M. and Texas University in the Cotton Palace era in Waco. And no Baylor man will ever forget how Baylor in Austin in 1924 with the slogan, “Open that Stadium Right” before a crowd of 39,000 won the game, 28 to 10. A Southwestern Conference championship followed.
When Baylor students of former years get together at Homecoming they will discuss everything mentioned in this article, and more.
And this is Baylor.