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Baylor Alumni

Around the World

The Line tells the story of that good old Baylor Line
By Todd Copeland, editor of the Baylor Line magazine

In the weeks after we mail an issue of the Line, a number of copies come back due to bad addresses. Most of the time, they bear stamps of "Not Deliverable as Addressed" and "Forwarding Order Expired" on their back covers.

But every now and then, the explanations are more unusual. The strangest one that we recently received—and I am quoting it exactly—read, "Due to unexpected situation occurred in the region of Kosovo and Metohija trafic is interrupt temporary."

Given Kosovo's history, I hope the "unexpected situation" means no more than impaired postal service due to the republic's recent declaration of independence.

But beyond the intriguing explanation of its failed delivery, the returned copy of the Line also reminded me of the vast reach of the Baylor family. Quite literally, the sun never sets on Baylor's 140,000 living alumni.

The Baylor Line magazine, of course, is named after the Baylor Line—the long, uninterrupted line of Baylor grads that stretches back to the nineteenth century and wraps around the world, with Baylor alumni pursuing their calling in almost every country you can imagine.

It makes sense that—along with campus news and profiles of students—the Line regularly covers the amazing things that members of the Baylor Line do, wherever they may live. In this issue, we're excited to share with you several feature stories that celebrate Baylor alumni and the transformative effect they have on their chosen professions and the people around them. These are alumni who have traveled the world, pursuing noble goals and serving others.

We start with recent Baylor grad—and former Baylor Line intern—Claire St. Amant and her experience as a Peace Corps worker in Ukraine ("What Am I Doing Here"). Other features focus on the recipients of the Baylor Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award ("Honoring Achievement") and an alumna who traveled to northern Iraq to teach democracy ("Democracy in Action").

This issue of the Line also includes the last installment of the "Alumni 150" department, in which we have been profiling Baylor's 150 most remarkable alumni (ten per issue) since the spring of 2006 as a way of celebrating the BAA's 150th anniversary in 2009.

In the first issue featuring "Alumni 150," I wrote, "The contributions these alumni have made toward the betterment of their professions and communities form the most powerful evidence of Baylor's success in carrying out its mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service."

Having written dozens of profiles over the last three years, I believe more than ever in the truth of that statement. The 150 people we have profiled represent every calling you can imagine, and they were often pioneers in their fields. Some were well known to us before we started researching and writing the series—folks like former Texas governor Ann Richards and Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson. Others were wonderful discoveries, like Decimus et Ultimus Barziza, a 1859 Baylor grad who fought at Gettysburg, made a daring escape as a prisoner of war, and became a prominent Texas legislator.

To give credit where it is due, I should note that the idea for "Alumni 150" came from former Baylor president Dr. Herbert H. Reynolds. "I believe that it has the potential to inform, inspire, and introduce a real feeling of pride and gratitude within our alumni body," he wrote to me in an e-mail in 2005. "Our folks want to be proud of their alma mater and to be able to point to the contributions which our graduates have made and are making throughout the world, principally because of their Christian commitment."

Sadly, Dr. Reynolds has passed on, and with this issue we conclude "Alumni 150." But I believe that Dr. Reynolds's hopes for this department have been fulfilled. And I absolutely know that the tens of thousands of members of the Baylor Line have been—and continue to be—an amazing force for good in this world.

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