The Baylor Line Foundation published the 100th video of its Oral Histories project on YouTube this week, adding the acceptance speeches of its 2017 Alumni Hall of Fame honorees to the longer interviews with Baylor icons.
“These extended video interviews are an important part of our efforts to remind alumni what they love about Baylor,” said BLF Executive Vice President Allen Holt ‘80. “We are committed to telling the stories of Baylor alumni, and everyone who attended the Hall of Fame dinner on Jan. 28 found it to be an emotional night. They left with an extra bounce in their steps, having heard each honoree talk about the lifelong relationships they built during their time at Baylor and what this university has meant to them. At a time when Baylor has been under attack for months, those speeches – and the Oral Histories – make it a bit easier to get through all this.”
“Our Oral Histories offer the entire Baylor family a chance to reconnect with great retired professors like Jim Vardaman, Bill Hillis, Robert Baird, and Dutch Schroeder, and with successful alumni like Walter Abercrombie, Carroll Dawson, Jimmy and Janet Dorrell of Mission Waco, and Gale Galloway,” said BLF President Fred R. Norton Jr. ’80, J.D. 83. “I’m excited that we’ll soon add interviews with Dave Campbell and Dr. Alan Cook, and with many other wonderful alumni.”
In some cases, the BLF has conducted detailed hour-long interviews, asking about each subject’s Baylor memories, favorite professors, and favorite places on campus and about the impact their Baylor education has had on their career success. The interviews are edited into 5-to 10-minute segments and organized into playlists. In other cases, the organization has published what it calls Short Cuts, videos filmed at BLF events.
The BLF hopes to redesign the site this summer and make it easy for members of the Baylor family to film their own family members and upload them to the site.
“I see this as a Legacy project that is a critical part of our mission,” says BLF Chief Marketing Officer Peter Osborne, who created the project. “I lost my dad before three of my four children got to know him and hear about why he loved his time at college. I was lucky enough to grow up hearing the stories, and that was a big reason I went to the same school. My kids didn’t have the chance to share sports events and college memories with him. This is a way to bring these wonderful alumni and faculty to life for future Bears. With a single click, they can hear from retired professors and get a sense of why they are so beloved.
Osborne said one of the videos he gets the most comments on is from his interview with Dr. Vardaman, who recited a favorite poem that he shared with his late sister, Baylor Master Teacher Ann Miller. Dr. Vardaman also talked about how his sister worked with him to help him get into Baylor when there were questions about whether that would happen.
“What makes me sad is that there are at least two people we had hoped to include but lost them before we could film them,” Osborne said. “We hope to accelerate our efforts to minimize the chances that will happen again.”
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Osborne says he welcomes suggestions on potential subjects. Drop him a note at [email protected].