Winter 2006 for alumni and friends of Baylor School
When Harry Met Sally:
Twenty Years of Coeducation
A special section examines the decision to return Baylor to its
coed roots, from how the news broke to resulting changes in
curriculum, housing, sports, and the arts.
From the Headmaster
Prepared for Life
It is an exciting time at Baylor. We have been focused on positive difference in the world. Faculty augmented their own
sustaining and continuously improving our students’ learning efforts with a terrific array of Baylor alumni who returned to
environment. campus to give back. Internationally acclaimed novelist Arthur
Those of you who have been by the campus recently know Golden ’74 graciously spent an entire day with students
that the magnificent new entrance to Baylor visually extends discussing the challenges he faced in writing Memoirs of a
an invitation to come and learn. The inscription upon entering Geisha, perhaps planting a seed of inspiration for future
the new Baylor gates beckons students “to prepare for the novelists. Dr. David Abshire ’44, who is helping us dramatically
university and the business of life,” and offers a challenging in our Character Leadership curriculum, was just outstanding.
last word as students exit each day, exhorting “magnanimitas” Bob Bonner ’85, who is now a fine educator in his own right,
– or greatness of spirit. was terrific. Randy Weinberg ’70 was also wonderful with
Inside those gates are the reasons for the comings and goings students. As the director of a Buddhist Retreat Center in South
of our 1,063 students. This is the first year that we have filled Africa, his message was especially compelling with students
every dorm room with a boarding student. Those students in our Eastern and Western Religion classes.
create a wonderful, critical mass for a true 24/7 campus It was also a tremendous pleasure for our students to meet
environment. Student achievement in academic classes, related some of the talented women who were admitted as our first
labs, and service is among the best in several years. Student 41 females 20 years ago and to hear firsthand from Dr. Herb
spirit is apparent in good natured cordiality on the campus, Barks ’51 and Gordon Street ’56 what the change meant to
great support of athletic teams, and great community service. the school. The recent celebration of the Martin Luther King,
While we do not have the individual results yet released Jr. holiday gave students the opportunity to hear from eight
on several of our national tests, it is clear that there has been Howard High School graduates whose bravery one Friday
a dramatically improved school aggregate performance in a afternoon in 1960 helped change the course of history.
whole range of competencies. It bodes extremely well for Students here continue to reflect the values of a strong
release of individual names to those scores later in the year. independent school with a public purpose. Our students in
In addition to regular expectations of rigor in the classroom, local, regional, and international settings are already making
Baylor students are working to clone the huge red oak on our a positive difference in the world. Reports back to campus from
campus, reputed to be the largest in Hamilton County, working last year’s seniors indicate delight (almost pleasant surprise!)
to understand the environmental condition of Baylor Lake, at how well they were prepared for college by the faculty.
working to create bio-diesel fuel from used oils from our kitchens, It is a great time for Baylor. We continue in an inclusive
working to create pottery and paintings worthy of gallery planning mode to make sure we are able to sustain the best of
consideration, producing plays, preparing for model United our assets while also sharpening our focus on quality improve-
Nations, and host of added intellectual and artistic opportunities. ments. If you have not been back to the campus in a while,
The work of our faculty and staff remains exceptional at please do come back home. And tell us what you see.
Baylor. While students are our reason to exist, it is the faculty
who are at the core of helping to prepare students to make a by Dr. Bill W. Stacy, President and Headmaster
volume fifteen • number two for alumni and friends of Baylor School
2 Around Campus
News and perspectives from Baylor School and beyond.
4 Alumni Profiles Baylor’s coeducational environment provides ample
Alums Stacy Green Ramsey ’91, Christopher Brooks ’89, and Jean Raines opportunity and life lessons for student leaders. (Cover photo
Lessly ’89 talk about Baylor in the early years of coeducation, the paths of Paige Lanter and Daniel Waddell by Angela Rich)
they took to their chosen careers, and what they are up to today.
by Rachel Schulson Barbara Kennedy
7 Campus Life: A Look at Religion at Baylor Designer
Baylor Chaplain Dan Scott and Associate Chaplain Jason Haas talk about Angela Rich
the ways in which Baylor provides students with a variety of opportunities
Writers & Contributors
to understand their own faith and the religious practices of their peers.
Dr. Herb Barks Rachel Schulson
by Barbara Kennedy Eddie Davis Dr. Bill W. Stacy
9 When Harry Met Sally: Twenty Years Photography
of Coeducation Eddie Davis Jack Parker
A special section examines the decision to return Baylor to its coed roots, Barbara Kennedy Angela Rich
from how the news broke to resulting changes in curriculum, housing, Michael Locke
sports, and the arts.
by Barbara Kennedy and Rachel Schulson Susan Collins Susan Miller
Bill Cushman ’59 Velda Price
20 Raider Report President and Headmaster
A roundup of class notes, kudos, athletics, and more. Dr. Bill W. Stacy
32 Final Thoughts Associate Head/Vice President for Advancement & External Affairs
Former Headmaster Dr. Herb Barks credits the inclusion of the feminine
for many of the positive changes at Baylor in recent years. Vice President of Finance and Operations
by Dr. Herb Barks Dallas Joseph
Associate Head for Academic Affairs
Associate Head for Student Affairs
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Jon Kinsey ’72
President, Alumni Association
Greg Wright ’64
Chair, Parent Alliance
The mission of Baylor School, a coeducational day and
boarding college preparatory school, is to instill in its
Baylor School admits students of any race, sex, color, religion, national or ethnic students both the desire and the ability to make a positive
origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made difference in the world.
available to students at the school. Baylor does not discriminate on the basis of sex,
race, color, religion or national origin in the administration of its educational policies,
171 Baylor School Rd., Chattanooga, TN 37405
admission policies, financial aid programs, athletic programs, and other school-
Phone: (423) 267-8505 | Fax: (423) 757-2878
administered programs. www.baylorschool.org | email@example.com
Around Campus News & Perspectives from Baylor School
Novelist Arthur Golden ’74
Addresses Baylor Assembly
Baylor students enjoyed a captivating lecture by Arthur
Golden, whose highly acclaimed novel Memoirs of a Geisha
was on the New York Times best-seller list for more than
a year. A movie based on the book was released in December.
In his remarks, Golden shared a personal account of how
the idea to write a novel about a geisha came about, insights
into Japanese culture, and a vivid narrative of the nine years
it took to complete the novel. He also shared his perspective
on seeing the book made into a major motion picture and
the role he played in working with director Rob Marshall.
Golden, a 1974 Baylor graduate, spoke as part of the
school’s Cushman Guest Lecture Series. The series is named
in honor of long-time faculty member Bill Cushman ’59,
and made possible by benefactors Larry King and his late
wife, Peggy, of Minnesota. King spent only one year on the
Baylor faculty as Cushman’s colleague in the Walkabout
program, but he has remained a member of the extended
Baylor family through friendships and his ongoing relationship
with Walkabout and the Senior Trip.
Arthur Golden ’74 and
his former Round Table
faculty sponsor, Bill
A video/audio podcast of Arthur Golden’s pre-
sentation is available at www.baylorschool.org
Dr. David M. Abshire ’44 Addresses Leadership and Character in School Assembly
Dr. David M. Abshire, a 1944 Baylor alumnus and former
Reagan aide, spoke to Baylor students in a special school
assembly on the qualities of an effective leader and the impor-
tance of character and civility in leaders. Abshire’s campus
visit coincided with the school’s inaugural year of Leadership
Baylor, a program that includes a leadership component in
the curriculum at each grade level. Abshire currently serves as
President and CEO of the Center for the Study of the Presidency
and as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic
and International Studies in Washington, D.C. His book,
Saving the Reagan Presidency: Trust is the Coin of the Realm,
describes in detail the behind-the-scenes story of his private
meetings with Reagan and how he and his team conducted
the crucial process of restoring the President’s power in the Dr. David Abshire ’44 meets with Honor Council president
wake of the Iran-Contra affair. Abshire served as a special Ally Baxter ’06 and vice president Corey Manson ’06.
counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank to coordinate
the Iran-Contra investigation and, as such, had authority to An video/audio podcast of Dr. Abshire’s presen-
meet with the President alone. From 1983-1987, he was tation is available at www.baylorschool.org
Ambassador to NATO.
Baylor Podcasts Year Coe
From student recitals to renowned guest speakers, there are
plenty of great things happening on Baylor’s campus. But what
if your schedule or distance doesn’t allow you to be here? We
are proud to introduce you to our podcasts, a new feature on
our website that will enable you to download selected classroom
lectures, chapel programs, various concerts, and much more
– to your personal iPod or other MP-3 player. Now you can
easily subscribe to audio and video programming that you Celebrating Leadership
can listen to at your convenience.
“The concept of podcasting is exciting and revolutionary.
With the proliferation of handheld devices, teens and young Melendy Lovett February 6, 2006
adults are increasingly turning to new media such as podcasts. Senior Vice President 10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
We are excited to offer this innovative feature to our community,” Texas Instruments Baylor School Chapel
says Bernard Fertal, Director of Interactive Media at Baylor.
Angelo Otterbein, President of Silverpoint, Inc, Baylor’s Melendy Lovett joins our “20 Years of Coeducation”
partner in the new website design, agrees. “We have developed celebration and shares her perspective on women working
sites for about 100 schools across the country, and Baylor is in technology, as well as women and men sharing
one of a select few that continually pushes us in how they are leadership positions in a major Fortune 500 company.
thinking about the web and using it to truly serve prospective Alumni, current parents and prospective parents are
students, parents and alumni. It’s hard to capture the life of welcome to attend. Priority seating is given to our
a school in any medium, the web included, but we think Baylor students. For more information contact Barbara
gets about as close as you can get. It’s been a lot of fun working Kennedy at (423) 267-8506, ext. 354.
with their forward-thinking team.”
This year’s 12th MLK Day celebration were used to quell what The Chattanooga
gave Baylor students a glimpse of local Times called “the most massive racial
history and the opportunity to meet some clash in the history of Chattanooga.” The
Students Meet Local Civil of the people who were an important part sit-in was documented by filmmaker Brian
Rights Activists and Leaders of the city’s civil rights movement. As part Cagle in “No Incident, No Service: The
of the annual “Day On” celebration com- Chattanooga Sit-ins of 1960.”
memorating the life Baylor was the first independent
of Martin Luther school in the area to recognize the holiday
King, Jr., students as a “day on.” Past speakers have includ-
met some of the ed Richard Lapchick, who was at the
H o w a r d H i g h forefront of the international campaign
School students to boycott sports in South Africa; Ernest
who staged sit-ins Green, one of the first black students to
at lunch counters integrate Central High School in Little
in Chattanooga in Rock, Ark. in 1954; Mark Mathabane,
1960. A few days author of Kaffir Boy, the story of his
after their initial childhood in South Africa under apart-
demonstration, heid; and Bernard LaFayette, Jr., a civil
200 other Howard rights activist and Director of the Center
High School students joined them, along for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the
with an increasing number of area white University of Rhode Island.
students, who or-
ganized a counter- Video/audio podcasts of our MLK Day presenta-
protest. Two days tions are available at www.baylorschool.org
later fire hoses
hances are you’ve given little, if any, thought to the history and
prevalence of plague. Chances are even better that you would after
only a short conversation with Christopher Brooks ’89. Chris is so
knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his area of study that it’s almost
impossible not to be stimulated about the subject matter.
“I’ve always had an interest in nature and a knack for mathematics,”
says Chris who received his B.S. in biology from Kennesaw State University
in Atlanta, earned his master’s degree in biology from Murray State in
Murray, Ky., and, in 2004, completed his Ph.D. in biology from the
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
In November 2005, Chris traveled to Oslo, Norway to
present at an international conference on plague at the Academy
of Sciences and Letters. The purpose of the conference was
to discuss and share plague research among scientists world-
wide. His presentation was to colleagues from Norway, the
United Kingdom and Belgium who collaborate with scientists
from the former Soviet Union, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan
whose background is in biological warfare research. Chris’
talk was about the research project he was recently
involved with at Colorado State University.
“The specific work I do is the development of medical
models to describe the spread of disease and how disease may
be able to persist. Analysis of models gives insight into what
processes are driving the spread of disease and could show
gaps in knowledge in the system,” says Chris.
Christopher Brooks ’89 I didn’t On January 1, Chris moved with his family to Texas to
take a position as a research scientist at the University of
even realize for a long time just what Baylor
Texas, Austin. He is working with disease ecology data that’s
had given me. If you can learn to think for been collected for a research project in Madagascar, the country
yourself, you can learn anything. that currently has the most human cases of plague in the
world. “My work here is examining sociological and natural history data
about contact between individuals and wildlife. I will be seeking funding
to research movement of disease,” says Chris.
eet three alumni whose His research through Colorado State and UT Austin will allow Chris
paths have taken them to make his name known in his field. He has already had five research
in very different directions and yet papers published in journals such as Ecology and Oikos and plans eventually
to take on a faculty position. He has great respect for teachers. His mother,
who share an appreciation for what Carol Brooks, taught art when Chris and his brother Mark ’86 were Baylor
was instilled in them on the Baylor students. He fondly remembers Barry Hall as a passionate teacher of eighth
campus. An educator who first grade science, math instructor Ken Brewster, who was “a very interesting
teacher whose habit of flipping his glasses up stayed with me,” and Bill
learned to appreciate good teaching
Cushman ’59, whom Chris calls “really amazing.”
as a Baylor student, a scientist When Chris arrived at Baylor as a seventh grader, it was an all-boys
fascinated by plague, and a physi- school, but that changed the following year. Although it was a major shift
cian who wants to change the way in the life of the school, it did not make a dramatic impact on Chris
personally. “If I had been a faculty member, especially if I had been there
we think about aging — these day a long time, I think it would have been a far bigger deal. It wasn’t a
and boarding students attended fundamental change for me though. I had come from a coed environment
the school during its first years of but still wasn’t adept at talking to girls.”
Apparently Chris learned the necessary skills by the time he enrolled
coeducation. Find out how the in graduate school. It was at UNC that he met his wife, Susan, who was
decision to open the school to both finishing a degree in wildlife biology and working at a research lab. Chris
genders affected them personally is now stepfather to two stepchildren — 16 and 17, a three-year-old son,
and a son, born December 5, 2005.
and what they took away from As a parent and an academician, Chris appreciates the importance of
their Baylor experience. a stimulating learning environment. He feels that most students are not
prepared to think but to regurgitate information. “I didn’t even realize for
by Rachel Schulson a long time just what Baylor had given me. If you can learn to think for
yourself, you can learn anything.”
r. Jean Raines Lessly ’89 credits Baylor’s drama program and director
Schaack Van Deusen with having helped her get over her shyness.
It is difficult, however, to imagine Jean as anything but the determined
and outspoken woman she is today, fighting daily for the rights of her
Indirectly, it was also Schaack’s influence that led to Jean abandoning
plans to study law, the first step on the path to her current position as
medical director of the Metropolitan Nashville-owned Bordeaux Long-
Term Care facility.
Jean was one of the stars of the theater program when the Baylor talent
pool expanded to include girls. Schaack suggested that Jean get involved
with a program called Peace Child, a program in which 15 Russian (then
Soviet) teens and 15 American teens toured the southern U.S. performing
a musical promoting peace between the two nations. Jean was very taken
with what she learned of Russian culture and jumped at the chance to
spend her junior year in Moscow while a student at Vassar.
In the Russian system, students her age were already in graduate
programs, so Jean attended law school classes in anticipation of a career
in international law. Jean says, “I didn’t like law; it was sleazy and just not
for me.” Fortunately a Russian friend was attending medical school, and
she attended class with him. Jean at that point was a political science major
who had never taken a college-level science class and was quickly hooked.
“I came home and took general chemistry and biology in my senior
year,” explains Jean. “I only needed four pre-med classes to get into medical
school, and I took a year off to take them.” At UTC, where she took
organic chemistry, she was proficient enough to also tutor in the subject.
She then attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis,
which she says was “hard but good.”
Jean completed her residency in internal medicine at Vanderbilt followed
by a year of geriatrics. She is board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics,
and palliative (end of life) care. Her intention was to study
Jean Lessly ’89 I credit Baylor with hematology oncology, but she was quickly disillusioned.
preparing me for college, which was easier than “The doctors wanted to give chemotherapy to anyone who
Baylor. A lot of people were struggling, but I was breathing. Chemo isn’t always the answer,” she insists.
wasn’t because I had learned how to study. The experience made Jean determined to work with patients
in a different way. “Doctors split people up by organ systems,”
she says. “Nobody looks at the big picture or asks the key question, ‘What
is going to make the time they have left as good as possible?’”
Active with different hospice organizations, Jean is passionate about
the need for death with dignity. “America is aging, and 50 percent of
people will die in pain. It doesn’t have to be that way,” says Jean. “Instead
of resolving family issues, people keep pretending that their family member
is never going to die. We need a whole different model.” Jean’s field is still
an emerging medical specialty, and she is glad to be at the forefront.
Jean was also a pioneer at Baylor, entering with the first class of girls.
She acknowledges that it was difficult at times. “The seniors were very
unhappy. Our being there was stealing their thunder.” She also notes how
strange it was to be the only girl in P.E. class and laughs as she talks about
a biology class she took from the legendary Major Luke Worsham. “There
were only two girls in class. When he was going to cover sex education,
he had us leave and then met with us separately later.” Now the mother
of two daughters, ages five and two, Jean believes that an all-girls environment
is too sheltered. In spite of some rough moments, she had a great experience
at Baylor and says, “It made me learn to stick up for myself.”
Jean is still very close with Baylor friends of both genders and says
wryly that dating in a setting of 41 girls and 600 boys “wasn’t bad.” She
also credits Baylor with preparing her for college, which, she says, was
easier than Baylor. “A lot of people were struggling, but I wasn’t because
I had learned how to study.”
tacy Green Ramsey ’91 may be one of the few Baylor students who
welcomed a drop in her grades when she started classes at the school.
A boarding student who had been receiving 100s at Selma High School,
Stacy suspected that she wasn’t being challenged and welcomed the change.
“I struggled for a while at Baylor because I didn’t know how to study. But
from the start, I loved the hands-on learning.”
Even then, Stacy, who is now an educator, appreciated good teaching.
“I have great memories of Clay Nichols, who taught English,” she says.
I remember him standing on a desk and role playing one of the characters
in a book. It was teaching that I responded to.”
Stacy also responded positively to Walkabout and other
outdoor opportunities at Baylor. Having come from the flat
terrain of Alabama, she was thrilled to go rock climbing for
the first time and still calls the Senior Trip “an incredible
experience.” It was because of her exposure to outdoor challenges
that Stacy earned her undergraduate degree in natural resources
and recreation from Colorado State.
She earned her master’s degree in education and human
development with a focus on special education from George
Washington University and is now back in Tennessee as principal
of E-Sun-Alee in Deer Lodge. E-Sun-Alee, which means “their
tomorrow” in the Muskokee Indian language, is one of 18
campuses associated with the non-profit Eckerd Youth Alternatives
(EYA). EYA is a national organization serving youth eight-18
who are at risk for or exhibit emotional and behavioral problems
at home, at school and in the community. E-Sun-Alee is a fully
Stacy Green Ramsey ’91 A lot accredited school offering group and individual counseling,
adventure programs, and relationship and communication-
of our students come from schools similar to building skills in a therapeutic outdoors setting.
Baylor, and I refer to my experiences to give Stacy notes that at a time when Baylor is celebrating 20 years
examples of what I want my teachers to do. of coeducation, the school she heads is just gearing up to add
It’s important to think about learning founda- girls. “There is nothing out there for girls who are struggling
tions and to look at where you’ve been to in a traditional setting. Now girls will have an opportunity to
develop self-esteem and confidence by pushing their limits
determine where you’re going.
academically and physically.”
Having boarded at Baylor only a year after the first female boarders
arrived, Stacy knows the challenges her new students will face. “It was
very tight knit within the dorm community,” she reports. “It was like living
with 40 sisters, and we all looked out for each other. But outside the dorm,
we were making new trails.” Stacy notes that her second year was much
better. “The day students were used to having us around, and our relation-
ships with them really grew that year.”
Stacy continued to grow personally, too. The small class size didn’t allow
her to hide as she had in class in Selma. She got very involved with the dance
program and performed with her dance teacher for her senior speech. She also
found that the hands-on teaching style that first impressed her continued to
make learning exciting. She applauds Baylor for its consistent use of experiential
education. “You’ve got to have a textbook foundation, but you also have to
know how to apply it.” Stacy uses as an example her physics teacher who,
“had us watch the Tennessee River and then calculate how many gallons of
water were flowing by the library.” She calls adviser Coach Perry Key
“interesting,” adding, “He would always show us something wacky.”
Not only did these and other teachers influence Stacy’s decision to pursue
a career in education; “I use them as a guide in my job at E-Sun-Alee.”
Stacy, who married David Ramsey on November 1, 2005, has a stepson,
15, and stepdaughter, 18, a freshman at the University of Indiana. She is
the mother of a nine-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy. “I hope my kids
can go to Baylor too — either as boarders or day students,” she says. “I
want them also to experience learning in a different way.”
Campus Life: A Look at Religion at Baylor
by Barbara Kennedy
When Bill Cushman ’59 attended Baylor includes an in-depth look at the Holo- student to grow spiritually and ethically
chapel as a young cadet, he marched into caust. In the Upper School, the academic while at Baylor,” adds Scott.
the old chapel building in military forma- study of advanced ethics, the Bible and Central to the religious life at Baylor
tion and remained standing to sing “Jesus sacred texts, and the study of Eastern is the weekly chapel program that Scott
Calls Us” from the Cokesbury Methodist and Western religions are available oversees. “Chapel is intended to encom-
Hymnal. The image he describes with through elective courses, which in the pass spiritual, ethical, and religious issues.
precise detail is an important snapshot past several years have become so popular Our goal is to find the best voices in
of Southern society in the fifties where with students that the classes are usually religion in the world and invite them to
leadership consisted primarily of white filled to capacity. And while the majority speak. It’s also critical for speakers to be
Protestant men. of Baylor’s students and faculty are Chris- able to relate to young people and have
Fast forward 47 years to today’s chap- tian, many world religions are represented a strong spiritual foundation,” says Scott.
el, and the image is somewhat different. and respected at the school. “When we ask people to speak, we
Baylor’s student body and faculty are far “The trend in many private schools ask them because of who they are. We
more racially, religiously, and economi- at both the national and local levels has don’t ask them to come and be someone
cally diverse. As one might expect, the been to move away from a narrow focus they’re not. The reality is that not everyone
chapel program and religious offerings on one particular faith to a wider global in chapel is going to agree each time, and
have evolved over the years to reflect the understanding of religion,” says Dan that’s okay because it provides our stu-
changes that have taken place within the Scott, Baylor Chaplain. “The best way dents with the opportunity to grow and
school community, as well as broad cul- to understand the world today is to un- expand their thinking. Sometimes it’s
tural changes that have taken place across derstand religious passions. If you want beneficial when people differ,” says Scott.
the nation and around the world. Today, to understand the Middle East, you need Beyond curricular offerings and week-
students are exposed to a much wider to understand Islam. If you want to un- ly chapel, Scott works closely with Asso-
range of religious perspectives and cul- derstand India, you should understand ciate Chaplain Jason Haas in providing
tures through invited speakers and classes. Hinduism. Any educated student ought students with a variety of opportunities
Lower School students, for example, to have a working knowledge of the to understand their own faith and reli-
are required to take an ethics course that world’s great religions. We want every gious practices of their peers. “Our goal
Religious traditions at Baylor 1964
have changed along with the Charles E. Hawkins III is named the school’s fourth Headmaster.
school and with those changes 1893 The son of an ordained minister, Hawkins was a Sunday
there have been several mile- School instructor and board member of First Centenary
Baylor School is founded on the ‘Jeffersonian
stones worth noting: Methodist Church. One year later, Ernest Cushman, an ordained
Principles’ of the University of Virginia, honoring
the core ideals of Thomas Jefferson: freedom Methodist minister, is hired as the school’s first Chaplain.
of inquiry, the love of knowledge and the pursuit
of truth. Like the University of Virginia, the school
is non-sectarian. And, like Thomas Jefferson, 1971
Baylor’s founder and first Headmaster John Roy Dr. Herbert B. Barks, an ordained Presbyterian
Baylor, is a practicing Episcopalian. minister, is elected president of the school.
1926 – 1929
Alex Guerry, the son of an Episcopal Bishop and himself a
practicing Episcopalian, is named Headmaster after the
sudden death of John Roy Baylor. One year later, the Alumni
Chapel is dedicated. Dr. Herbert Barks, a devout Presbyte-
rian, succeeds Guerry as Headmaster.
is to help every member of the school go to worship is to have encouragement thinking,” he adds.
community deepen their sense of rever- from a faculty member or other Baylor Scott also believes that one of the
ence, ethical discernment, and under- families,” says Haas. challenges for adolescents is overcoming
standing of their own faith traditions and The two chaplains are also proud of the fear that they won’t be heard or
the traditions of others. We are also the school’s Religious Round Table. Cre- respected for their religious opinions. At
looking at ways to increase the number ated in 1995 by Ed Snow, who served as the same time parents may have some
of opportunities for spiritual conversation Chaplain from 1989-2003, the Religious anxiety about those opinions. “The chal-
on campus whether it’s the Fellowship Round Table is an interfaith group of lenge in a real sense is to trust the envi-
of Christian Athletes, chapel, or an on- upper school students and faculty who ronment where these conversations are
going and regular Bible study,” says Scott. come together to talk and explore religious taking place. The biggest danger would
“I think people would be amazed at issues. “The strength of the Religious be to become silent about spirituality or
the number of religious conversations Round Table is that the issues and discus- to become negative about it. The world
that take place on a daily basis,” says sion topics come from students. One of these kids are going to live in is a world
Scott, who notes that one of the challenges the guidelines for the group is respectful where they are going to work with people
of working with the religious and spiritual listening, and they do a good job with from every religion and every back-
aspects of a student’s development is to that. There is a racial mix, a boarding and ground. We’re simply helping them feel
encourage those discussions to continue day mix, and both liberal and conservative comfortable in that environment and
at home with their parents. “It’s nice to views. It’s a given at Baylor that you have confident in their own faith.”
get a call from a parent whose child has a respectful dialogue. It’s also important
heard something challenging in chapel for people to be secure in what they believe Parents and alumni are welcome to attend
and takes their thoughts and questions and not dilute their thoughts out of fear weekly chapel talks, although priority
home,” says Scott, who adds that parents of what someone might say,” says Scott. seating is given to students. For complete
are also welcome to attend chapel. “A “Because the discussions are student-led, information, please visit our website at
partnership with our parents is very im- they are a wonderful window into student www.baylorschool.org
portant to us,” says Scott.
For his part, Haas lives on campus and
serves as a dorm parent for Lupton Hall. Dan Scott, Chaplain
He also works with Walkabout, Leader- Appointed 2003
ship Baylor, Community Service, and leads B.A., Carson Newman College; Master
a voluntary weekly Bible study group. As of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theo-
a member of the residential life community, logical Seminary
Haas is also very interested in assisting
Jason Haas, Associate Chaplain
boarding students with their spiritual
development, which at times is as simple
B.S. outdoor education, Montreat Col-
as making arrangements for them to attend
lege, Master of Divinity (Cum Laude),
a worship service off campus. “We provide
Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
transportation to specific churches, but
the most effective way for a boarder to
Joe Gawrys is one of 49 teachers in the U.S. to
1980 receive a sabbatical grant from the National
Joe Gawrys joins the Baylor English faculty, Endowment for the Humanities. His area of study 2003
doubling as an instructor of Old and New Testa- is the history of Buddhism in China and Japan. Rev. Dan Scott is hired as Baylor’s 7th
ment classes. A few years later he develops the Chaplain; Jason Haas is hired in 2005
school’s first elective course in World Religions. as the school’s first Associate Chaplain.
1989 A $4.2 million addition to Alumni Chapel is dedicated with a speech by Rev.
Rev. Ed Snow is appointed as Baylor’s Chaplain. He Billy Graham. Ethics is added to the curriculum as a way of looking at a wide
later creates the Religious Round Table to foster the range of religious and philisophical perspectives and their application to specific
discussion of specific issues of interest among the issues – from the personal to the global. Charlotte Barr, a former sister of the
various religious constituencies in the Baylor community. Nashville Dominicans, joins the English faculty one year later as Baylor’s first
poet-in-residence and eventually begins teaching various electives in religion.
How We Got Here
Former Headmaster Dr. Herb Barks ’51 and trustee
Gordon Street ’56 talk about how the decision to
admit girls evolved.
by Barbara Kennedy
The Scouting Report
Tom Hale ’75 fondly remembers being one of 12
boys who attended classes for almost four weeks at
the all-girls Masters School to test the waters of
by Rachel Schulson
Breaking the News
Pulitzer prize winning journalist Bill Dedman ’78,
then a reporter for The Chattanooga Times, talks
about publicizing the decision to go coed sooner
than the administration had planned.
by Barbara Kennedy
The Changing Classroom
Jim Stover, Associate Head for Academic Affairs,
and other faculty members discuss how the arrival
of the “Fabulous 41” prompted a review of gender
equity and curriculum.
by Barbara Kennedy
Go Big Red
Bill McMahan ’67, Alexis Guerry Bogo ’89, and
Heather Ott on how the sports program was expand-
ed to serve female athletes and how girls have fared
Celebrating 20 Years of Coeducation over the years.
by Barbara Kennedy
Except for the years 1900-1911, Baylor was, until 1985, defined in part
by its all-male tradition. It is a testament to Baylor faculty, staff, and alumni Changes to the Arts
that today’s students accept the easy camaraderie among male and female Schaack Van Deusen ’61 and Betsy Carmichael consider
students as a natural component of the Baylor experience. the changes in both the fine arts and performing arts
In preparing this issue of the Baylor magazine, the editors heard from programs when girls were added to the mix.
men and women from the first coed classes. Mark S. “Butch” Nation ’86 by Rachel Schulson
wrote, “I was in the unique position of being a junior during the final year
of Baylor’s all-boys existence and a part of the inaugural coed year as a Blazing New Trails
senior. While my Baylor experience was tremendous under both models, Veteran faculy member Bill Cushman ’59 reflects on
I quickly witnessed the dramatic benefits that the coed structure would the addition of girls to the annual senior trip.
come to offer.” by Barbara Kennedy
Holly Haskew Tambling ’89 was greeted by TV news crews when she
arrived at the first day of school. “Chattanooga is steeped in such tradition Girls Join the Ranks of Boarders
that it was quite a big deal in town when Baylor announced it was admitting Mercedes Akers, Nancy Johnson, Elizabeth Ruffner
women,” says Holly. “I remember being called into a special assembly and ’88, and Margaret Darby ’91 on the opening of
Lowrance Hall in 1989 and about boarding today.
being told by the head of school that we should stay at an all-girls’ school
by Rachel Schulson
because we would never be editor of the school paper or president of the
student body. I took the remarks to mean that the school believed women
Breaking Multiple Barriers
could not make the same accomplishments in a coeducational environment.” Tara Wynn ’88, Baylor’s first female African Amer-
While Holly had already decided to apply to Baylor, these remarks ican graduate, speaks about her experience in the
reinforced that decision. “My parents had instilled in me confidence that early days of coeducation.
I could achieve anything a boy could, and I didn’t want to stay at a school by Barbara Kennedy
that didn’t think that was true.”
This special section celebrates 20 years of coeducation and examines the Student Voices Then and Now
process that led to the decision to admit girls, how some of the first female Quotes from 1985 and what current students imagine
students, dubbed “The Fabulous 41,” felt in the early days, and how their a single-gender Baylor might be like.
arrival necessitated changes to curriculum, arts, sports, and boarding. by Rachel Schulson
When Harry Met Sally
How We Got Here
In 1983 the Board of Trustees appointed trustee Gordon P. Street Street: The alumni group did a grand job of accepting and
to oversee the development of a strategic plan for the school. supporting it. As alums we remember and love what the school
Street worked closely with Baylor President Dr. Herbert Barks, on was for us. And I feel very strongly about that in my own
a planning process that drew input from a diverse group of more career here at Baylor. One of the most difficult things for an
than 70 people, collecting a wealth of ideas and perspectives. In alum – as a leader and as a member of the community – is to
September, 1984, the Long Range Planning Committee met in make the transition forward to what the school can be, not
Pine Isle, Ga. to examine 30 strategic propositions. Included in for you but for others. Don’t look back, look forward.
the discussion was “Proposition 24” which stated: “…The school
must consider going coeducational in order to meet the needs of Were you conscious that you were shaping the school’s history?
a changing society and to strengthen the quality of the student Street: Not at all. We knew going coed was the thing to do,
body.” The meeting brought the “coed question” into sharp and we were simply doing it. We were thinking of managing
focus among leaders in the Baylor community. Board approval more people in the dining hall, having more people in classrooms
of the strategic plan, including the unanimous decision to admit and in the dorms. One of the big problems was breaking off
girls, became official at the trustee’s meeting in May, 1985. Mr. the “hilltop” and expanding the campus.
Street and Dr. Barks recently returned to campus to reflect on
Barks: Nobody knows how big it really was – after all these
the events that marked the beginning of a profoundly new era.
years of being a military school and an all-boys school and all
of a sudden ‘bang’ we’re going to be coed. There was so much
Looking back, how do you feel today about Baylor’s decision
dynamic stuff going on at the time. We were building things and
to admit girls in 1985?
changing things. On one hand it felt like history was being made,
Street: Being coed is a very natural thing. It was not natural
but on the other it was just the next step for Baylor to take.
for Baylor at that point in time, but that’s because we had
been all boys and before that all military. Men and women
What were some of the challenges you faced?
have learned to work together, and there is no better time to
Street: The integration of girls was difficult for the boys at
start learning that than when they are young. Look at what’s
first. I think it was also difficult for the faculty and staff. We
happening today here at Baylor, and I rest my case.
probably should have done training a couple of years earlier,
Barks: I’m a product of Baylor, and I know when I went to but the decision was made.
school at Vanderbilt, it was the first time I had ever had a girl
Barks: I had teachers who wanted to quit. Luke Worsham
in my classroom – ever. I didn’t know how to have a girl as
came in and said he didn’t want to teach girls. But two years
a friend or any experience with girls as leaders.
later he said it was the best thing that we ever did.
Could you talk a little bit about the Pine Isle meeting and the Street: It was not an experiment; it was a commitment, and
May, 1985 board meeting? the adults went about it in that manner and made it work.
Street: The main arguments at Pine Isle were the quality of And I’m sure it was challenging for the “Fabulous 41,” but
single sex education vs. coeducation. How girls would affect now we have the “Magnificent Many.”
the athletic program also came up. There was a fear that the
applicant pool would be larger and therefore the school would Looking back, would you do anything differently?
become too difficult academically for some students to get in, Street: The only mistake looking back was we stole the thunder
and there was also a question of how we would be able to of seniors that year. The limelight was on the girls. I regret
afford the additional buildings. Jack Lupton was our board that for our last class of boys. But in the end, Chattanooga
chairman, and he was for it, and by the time the spring board wound up with a boys school, a girls school, and a coed school.
meeting came around, most of the selling had been done. The What a great choice for the community.
board meeting wasn’t tense at all.
Any additional thoughts?
What were people’s reactions to the announcement ? Barks: Everybody on my board was a Baylor grad, and every
Street: GPS took it hard, McCallie took it hard, but both one of them said we’ve got to do this. I think it was an
recovered beautifully. They recouped, refocused and have indication of how the world was changing, too.
done extremely well.
Street: The decision to go coed was the only decision to make,
Barks: We had two things that helped it along. First, the board and it was an excellent decision for the school. I am totally
had also done some really good planning – Gordon Street and convinced that coed is a very good way for young people to
Alex Guerry had done really good work. The other thing is grow academically and in terms of character. It’s not the only
we announced it in April and we did it in the fall. Nobody way, but it’s a superb way.
had time to get upset.
When Harry Met Sally
The Scouting Report
Tom Hale ’75 graduated ten years before Baylor went coed, equally in awe of their Baylor visitors. “Had I known then
but for several weeks in his senior year, he learned alongside what ‘deadly weapons’ a deep Southern drawl and nice manners
girls and was changed by the experience. Tom was one of 12 were with Northern girls, I might never have returned home!”
boys selected to represent Baylor in a swap with ten girls from But after almost four weeks they did return, and Tom and
the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York. the other boys reported about their experience to then-
In what Tom calls “a toe in the water for coedu- Headmaster Herb Barks ’51, faculty members, trustee
cation,” the boys — a cross section of Baylor Gordon Street ’56 and other key Baylor leaders.
students — found themselves in the middle “I have to give them a lot of credit. They
of a campus full of liberal, very educated, didn’t let us know that we were de-
well-heeled Northern girls, many from briefing, but we were. They let us tell
well-known families. “The adminis- them as much as we felt free to.”
tration didn’t want to give us much While his experience at Masters
of an agenda — we were told to be “Although we all looked at the same was improved by having met his
on good behavior,” says Tom. first love there, Tom’s view of co-
The boys lived in the school’s full moon, it was like discovering education shifted for many reasons.
comfortable infirmary and, aside that it was, in fact, made of green “I came back feeling that I had
from occasional outings into New cheese and these girls could tell missed something for the past few
York City and other sites in the area, years,” he explains. “Baylor was the
stayed on campus and participated you why and how it would taste.” most masculine school you can
fully in school activities. Tom was imagine. It was like the Citadel, and
impressed with the very high standard I saw then what I was missing.”
of achievement in AP, sports, and ex- Tom and his wife have three
tracurricular activities. He remembers his children—a daughter almost 20 and twin
surprise when he attended the school’s boys almost 15 — and “did not consider for
roundtable literary group and heard the opposite a second sending them to a single gender school.”
of the views he was exposed to at Baylor. “Although we all In a recent letter to the Head of their sons’ school, Tom wrote:
looked at the same full moon, it was like discovering that it “The education I was offered was exceptional, but I now
was, in fact, made of green cheese and these girls could tell realize I missed out on the interaction of young men and
you why and how it would taste.” women as they go through all the challenges, opportunities
For Tom, a boarder from a small town, the experience and rewards of surviving and thriving together.”
altered his life. ”Despite the best efforts of our counselors to Tom is proud of having been a member of the group that
let us have interaction with girls, they were staged events. Unlike participated in the swap with Masters. “That initial ‘seed
day students who had girlfriends, for the boarders in our group program’ was of high merit and led to helping make Baylor
of 12, this was a more profound experience than people might what it is today. Whoever began the push toward coeducation
have realized.” Tom laughs at how the Masters girls were was a true visionary.”
The 12 Baylor boys who traded plac-
es with 10 Masters School girls: (in
front) Doug Stein, Frank Latimer, David
Stine, Will Oehmig, Charles Ragland;
(standing) David Hannah, Tom Hack-
ney, Bruce Tripp (dorm master), Tom
Hale, and Boyd Thatcher. Not pic-
tured: Mark Chesnutt, Lamont Lock-
wood and Barry Roseman.
When Harry Met Sally
Breaking the News
Following a retreat in Pine Isle, Ga., the Long Range Planning about a building next to the infirmary, and he replied that it
Committee set about the enormous task of refining the school’s was going to be the girls’ dorm. Half an hour earlier I’d been
strategic plan for the May 1985 board meeting. Once com- told it was too preliminary to report on, and here I was carrying
pleted, the exhaustive 12-page draft covered academic goals, a model of the girls’ dorm,” said a bemused Dedman. “The
religious life and counseling, athletics, faculty, alumni and guy opened a station wagon, I helped him slide it in the back
development, facilities, trustee committees and policies, and and he put a sheet over it so nobody could see it. Our hands
of course, the admission of girls to were now free, and he turned to
Baylor. While the coed decision me and introduced himself as Ted
and all of its implications for the Franklin with Franklin Architects.
school were being massaged in- I said, ‘Hi, Bill Dedman, Chatta-
ternally, rumors had trickled out nooga Times.’”
into the Chattanooga community. On April 11, just a few days
Paul Neely, who at that time was after visiting campus, Dedman’s
the editor of the Chattanooga story ran under the headline:
Times, had heard something about “Baylor May Break Tradition and
the school going coed and asked Admit Girls” and included quotes
Baylor alum and Times reporter from the draft despite Dr. Barks’
Bill Dedman ’78 “to check it out.” request. “The chairman of board,
“I started making calls, and it Dr. Barks, and Ted Franklin ’47
was one of those things that people – they were all saying you can’t do
thought was a big secret but then the story. But what happened was
you find out that half the town pretty straightforward. We got a
knows about it,” Dedman recalls. tip, we followed up, and they asked
“It was at the stage where there us not to run it – but news is not
had been a retreat and going coed what you give to the paper, it’s not
was something on the wish list, based on press releases,” said
but the board had not voted on The coed announcement was big news in all local media. Dedman. In spite of his rationale
it. So I started talking to people A future benficiary of the change, Sara Zane Moore ’03, as a journalist, Dedman said he had
– it wasn’t hard to plug into the daughter of Dr. Chris Moore ’68 and Ellen Probasco mixed feelings. “It was an awkward
network of parents, alumni and Moore, holds a copy of The Chattanooga News-Free situation, reporting on an institution
faculty who had been involved in Press. Bill Dedman ’78 was the first to break the story I loved, asking questions of teachers
some way. Someone gave me a about the decision in an article in The Chattanooga Times. who, just a few years earlier, had
copy of the long-range plan, and been putting me on the detention
I went out to see Dr. Barks,” said list. I only knew what was hap-
Dedman. In their meeting, Barks made it clear that the school pening because people inside Baylor wanted the story told in
was not ready to release the plan. the newspaper. Still, I know the school was ruffled; every
At the heart of the matter was the question of whether institution wants to announce things in its own way. And it’s
Dedman should run the story. In Dedman’s view, Baylor was hard to tell a 24-year-old reporter much of anything.”
one of the city’s prominent institutions and it was about to Looking back, Dedman views the school’s transition to
undergo a major change that would have an impact on the coeducation as a continuum that also mirrored progress taking
community’s private school culture. From his perspective, Dr. place in the South and the overall American culture. “When
Barks asserted that Baylor was a non-profit, service-oriented my brothers were there in the sixties, it was an all-white, all-
organization and reporting on an internal document “was like male military school. We dropped the military, and in the late
reading mail from my desk.” seventies we started becoming more integrated. Coeducation
After meeting with Dr. Barks, Dedman decided to visit was the next natural evolution in moving the school forward.
former librarian and Dean of Faculty Bruce High. “I was Those were three huge changes.”
standing outside Bruce’s office in the hallway outside of Forbes
Lounge. I’m 24 years old and dressed in khakis and a tie like NOTE: Bill Dedman was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in
a typical Baylor student, waiting to see my best friend on the investigative reporting for “The Color of Money,” a series of
faculty. A gentleman poked his head out of Forbes, pointed articles in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that exposed racial
at me and asked me to give him a hand. He comes out carrying discrimination in mortgage lending in Atlanta. He is currently
a piece of plywood, and we’re walking toward the parking managing editor of The Telegraph, a daily newspaper in
lot carrying an architectural model of the campus. I asked him Nashua, N.H.
When Harry Met Sally
The Changing Classroom
Once the announcement to go coed was official, the school Gender Equity Among Faculty
went into full swing preparing for the arrival of female students. Another obvious change that began to take place was the
On the athletic side of the spectrum, coaches were wondering hiring of more female faculty. In 1985, women made up ten
aloud how they’d go about coaching girls. On the academic percent of the faculty as opposed to today’s 45 percent. “As
side, faculty questioned how girls would change the dynamic a coed institution we recognized that we needed role models
of the classroom itself. for both men and women. If you are going to be a coed school,
Sue Tomisek Ramsey, now dean of the ninth and tenth grades, you need a coed faculty,” says Stover.
was one of seven female faculty members at that time. “There Baylor’s first full-time female teacher was Mireille Scheni,
had been rumor that we who came to Baylor in
were going coed, but the 1961 to teach French and
day we were called into “The girls I taught were really smart girls. But from was the only female
Sterling Auditorium to teacher for 15 years.
hear the announcement the first day I told them I don’t have boys and I
When the first group of
was pretty stunning. We don’t have girls. I have students.” ~Mireille Scheni girls came along, Madame
were wondering how in the Scheni said she didn’t do
world it could all happen anything differently in the
so quickly. We had to stop and think about our teaching classroom. “The girls I taught were really smart girls. But
philosophy. We did a lot of things to get ready. We had workshops from the first day I told them I don’t have boys and I don’t
and visited each other’s classrooms and evaluated how often have girls. I have students,” says Scheni.
we called on girls as opposed to boys. We really wanted to do Marilyn McAnnally joined the mathematics faculty the first
a good job,” recalls Ramsey. year girls arrived at Baylor, but her first class happened to be
“There was a huge expansion in arts courses as well as all boys. “My guys were not exactly brimming with excitement
more inclusive offerings in English and social studies,” says at the idea of bringing girls and having a female math teacher.
Jim Stover, Associate Head for Academic Affairs, who recalls At 5'2" I felt the need to show them I was tough. Everyday
departmental conversations that centered on revising English I would drive to work saying to myself that I would be ‘stronger
texts. “With the addition of girls, we realized that we needed today than I was the day before,’” she said. “I had been at a
to read more works by and about women,” said Stover. “We coed school before, but the strength and confidence of the
also became more discussion oriented, in part because discussion girls at Baylor were remarkable. I remember thinking, these
becomes more valuable when you have different perspectives.” girls are tough – they will give the guys a run for their money.
Ramsey believes one of the great changes that took place I think their parents must have planted some seed along the
was a breakdown of long-held stereotypes in the classrooms. way that had taught them that they were every bit as capable
“Guys could feel superior in math and science until they had as men.”
to compete with girls in AP Calculus or AP Physics.” The arrival of women on the faculty and girls in the
Veteran math teacher Dr. Dan Kennedy remembers classrooms naturally brought about conversations on equality.
“considerable national hand-wringing” in those days about Fontaine Alison, who joined the faculty in 1985, says the
math anxiety and young women. One high-profile study of discussion taking place at the adult level was focused on the
American classrooms suggested that teachers were communi- changing roles for girls. “We were thinking about roles beyond
cating different expectations to girls and boys when it came the traditional homecoming queen and prom date. The decision
to mathematics, and that girls were called on less often in class to admit girls forced us to stop and think about issues we
because they were shyer. “Girls’ schools naturally latched onto probably wouldn’t have discussed so thoroughly had we always
this study and used it to promote the facile conclusion that been coed. Those conversations may have resulted in a more
girls learned more mathematics if they were taught in all-girls progressive atmosphere at Baylor than in the greater Chatta-
classrooms. I preferred the alternate conclusion that if boys nooga community. One of the real advantages has been opening
and girls could not learn mathematics together, then there was up more activities and opportunities for both our girls and
something wrong with the way mathematics was being taught,” our guys.”
says Kennedy. “We made some changes that ultimately made Ultimately, the infusion of female faculty was a significant
the mathematics classroom better for everyone, with a new boost for the school’s overall transition to coeducation, says
emphasis on exploration and collaboration and a new empow- Bill Cushman ’59, who chaired the English Department 1974
erment of all students through technology. These same reforms through 1987, and is now a history instructor. “We had been
have been widely promulgated by the National Council of teaching the texts of fabulous female fiction writers for a long
Teachers of Mathematics since 1989 as part of their equity time, but when women came on board, that number drastically
standard for American classrooms, but I am proud to say that increased. They really helped us take off and made a huge
Baylor was ahead of the wave on this – and probably still is.” difference really fast.”
When Harry Met Sally
Go Big Red
Veteran coach and Baylor alum Bill McMahan ’67 admits he it was no different,” recalls Alexis.
“wasn’t thrilled in the beginning” with Baylor’s decision to It didn’t take long for the women’s teams to make their
go coed. “When I’d gone to school here and started working mark in Baylor’s rich athletic history. In 1991, the women’s
here in 1974, it was a single sex school. I didn’t know how cross-country team earned their first state championship title.
to go about coaching girls. But I found out that if a girl likes Softball followed with two consecutive state titles in 1993 and
you, she’ll run through a wall for you. They stick with you 1994. In 1997, the women’s golf, soccer, volleyball, cross
through thick and thin,” said Bill. country, and track teams captured state titles. All totaled,
Since the first girls were transfers from other schools, female athletic teams have won 52 state titles, including a
TSSAA regulations required them to sit out a year before state record of 11 consecutive titles by the women’s golf team.
playing. “The first year of coaching was one of the toughest There are also three alumnae who have been recognized as
coaching assignments ever,” agrees Doug Moser, who was the members of the Sports Hall of Fame.
first coach of the girls’ softball and basketball teams. “The “When you stack up what our girls have done with other
character, intelligence and camaraderie of the girls who came programs in Tennessee, they are second to none. They had
that first year were phenomenal. But imagine coaching with very humble beginnings and have been able to accomplish a
no game to work toward,” said Doug. great deal in a short amount of time and have helped our
Facilities were also an issue. Groundbreaking for the field program gain nationwide recognition,” said Baylor Athletic
house didn’t take place until 1988, and there were no locker Director Austin Clark.
room facilities. “We practiced in a church that had a tile floor Their success comes as no surprise to Doug. “I still have
because there was no room for us on campus. I still remember a T-shirt from that first year that says, ‘Baylor Lady Raiders:
the first practice – we piled into a van, got to the church gym, Laying the Foundation.’ They were the foundation for every-
talked for a few minutes, stretched and started doing lay-ups. thing that’s going on in Baylor women’s sports today.”
We had 12 or 13 girls, and at least half of them couldn’t get “A coeducation environment is obviously healthier. Men
the ball to the rim. But they were ninth graders, and you could and women work together in the real world, and I think it’s
see that they were going to be quite good,” said Doug. been healthy for the school,” says Bill. English teacher Heather
Alexis Guerry Bogo ’89, who transferred from GPS, remembers Ott agrees. “Girls as athletes at Baylor changed more than the
practices “with no goal in mind other than in a year we might athletic program itself,” notes Heather, who has served as the
be able to play games. But we loved it. Park Lockrow was the girls’ varsity cross country coach for 15 years. “They changed
varsity tennis coach, and he put us through hell week, which the ways that many people saw females overall. They saw them
was basically a week of running. Just because girls were here as tougher, more capable, more everything.”
34 TSSAA State Championships of Baylor Girls Teams
Cross Country (3)
1991, 1995, 1997 18 Non-TSSAA State Championships of Baylor Girls Teams
Golf (11*) Fencing (6)
1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
*Eleven consecutive state titles by a 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996,
school in any sport is a TSSAA record 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Alumnae in the
Baylor Sports Hall of Fame
1993, 1994, 2003, 2004, 2005 Amy Robertson ’94
Softball, Basketball (inducted in 2001)
1993, 1996, 1999, 2000 Katie Lunn ’94
Cross Country, Soccer, Track,
Track & Field (3)
Basketball (inducted in 2001)
1997 (Relays), 1998, 1999
Melissa Nott ’93
Swimming (inducted in 2004)
When Harry Met Sally
Changes to the Arts
Justin Knight (far left); Jack Parker (middle and far right)
When fine arts instructor Schaack Van Deusen ’61 knew that Schaack. “They didn’t put up with anything from the boys.
Baylor would be going coed, he asked his sophomore English Jennifer Clower ’89, now a lawyer, and Jeannie Raines ’89,
class to write an essay about the advantages and disadvantages now a doctor, were co-presidents of Baylor Players their senior
of the decision. The essays he received were unanimous in year. Julie Berke ’90 was one year behind them, and all of
their opposition to the move. “It boiled down to one thing,” them were stars.”
remembers Schaack. To a boy, they were concerned about Schaack’s biggest challenge when girls became part of the
giving up tradition. “One year program was to find roles for
later, there was a complete them. “Unfortunately, most
turnaround. They realized that playwrights are male, and they
their freedom was not restricted write mostly male roles. It’s a
and they did not have to change struggle to find plays with eq-
their ways.” uitable roles for both.” Schaack
While he notes that they did often rewrites characters to
not have to change who they make them female. Girls have
were, the presence of girls did played the roles of Puck in
change the way the boys “Midsummer Night’s Dream”
thought. “They had such weird and the clown Feste from
perceptions of girls when they “Twelfth Night,” among others.
didn’t know them. Once girls Other arts offerings also had
were part of their daily life, to be reevaluated when girls
that perception changed no- The cast of the first play featuring Baylor girls, “The Man Who came on board. Fine Arts Chair
ticeably.” Schaack, who at- Came to Dinner,” performed in 1986. Betsy Carmichael came to Baylor
tended Baylor when it was a in 1990, five years after girls
single-sex military school, calls had joined the student body.
today’s Baylor “so much healthier and so much saner.” But she had been teaching at McCallie School and was herself
For Schaack, the addition of girls meant major changes in new to coeducation. She had to change her approach to
the drama program. He used to select plays with as many teaching when her students included girls. “I noticed that girls
male characters as possible and then recruit girls from GPS, are more sensitive about their work,” she says. She knew, too,
Notre Dame, Central High and Red Bank for the female roles. that people often assume girls draw better. “But guys draw
“We had huge auditions and usually found girls who were just as well, and talent is pretty balanced at Baylor. Guys here
happy to be with cute boys.” Any unfilled female roles went don’t have those preconceived notions.”
to officers of the Baylor Players, who were less than thrilled Betsy appreciates the differences that result from teaching
to don wigs and dresses. both genders. She likes the lively discussion about art and the
The first play that featured Baylor girls was “The Man frequent debates, especially about chapel speakers, in her class.
Who Came to Dinner,” performed in 1986. A couple of GPS “I just enjoy teaching coed more,” she says. “It requires more
seniors who were veteran actors of Baylor productions were energy to work with both genders. It’s messier, but it’s so
allowed to participate for the last time on the Baylor stage. great to see how different perspectives influence each other.
The first Baylor girls were amazingly strong actors,” says This is more the way the world works.”
When Harry Met Sally
Blazing New Trails: Girls Join the Senior Trip
If there is any single quality that all great teachers and mentors of Walkabout and coordinator of the Senior Trip. “During
share, it is perspective. And as a classroom teacher of nearly that trip we gathered all of the female trip instructors and told
43 years, an alumnus who attended the school when it was them we needed to begin thinking about the class coming up
all-male and military, plus an outdoor enthusiast for more in a few years, which would be the first one to include girls.
years than he can recall, They had two pieces of
Bill Cushman ’59 is con- advice for us. The first was
sumed with it. It’s no great not to make the individual
surprise, really, that when groups coed. They thought
asked to think about how it was important to have
the Senior Trip changed seperate groups of girls
with the addition of girls, and groups of boys, and
Bill begins with a personal to match the groups for
story of the first trip in the various activities. Their
1976 and the perspective second piece of advice was
he gained from a woman simple: Don’t change
named Georgia. anything else. And I knew
“I vividly remember from my Outward Bound
my first free rappel on the experience, that made all
Senior Trip in 1976. The the sense in the world. I
person who helped me tie knew the girls would be
my knots, checked them, able to do the activities.”
and gave me no choice but “They didn’t think we’d be able to have it [the Senior Others weren’t so sure.
to step off a platform 40- Trip] anymore because of the girls. They were making There were a few times
feet above the ground was people stopped him in the
Georgia. She was an ideal the assumption that girls wouldn’t be able to handle summer of 1985 and said
teacher and a strong au- the strenuous outdoor activities. All I could think of “it was a shame” about
thority figure,” says Bill. was Georgia telling me to step off that platform.” the Senior Trip. “I thought
He also notes that by they were referring to the
the seventies, programs class of ’85 trip,” says Bill.
such as Outward Bound Puzzled, he would respond
and the field of outdoor that it was a good group
education in general was of kids and they’d had a
well ahead of the rest of great trip. “Then they got
the nation in hiring in- around to telling me they
structors and providing didn’t think we’d be able
leadership positions for to have it anymore because
women. As a result, when of the girls. They were
the first Senior Trip took making the assumption
place in 1976, it was that girls wouldn’t be able
Tim Williams (all on page)
staffed with a significant to handle the strenuous
number of talented female outdoor activities.”
instructors. Laughing and shaking his
When the decision to head, Bill deadpans. “All
go coed was officially I could think of was
ratified by the board of 2005 Senior Trip. Initial concerns about girls not being able to keep up on Georgia telling me to step
trustees in May, 1985, 122 the annual trip were quickly put to rest. off that platform.”
boys were about to embark Looking back, Bill says
on the school’s annual having girls on the trip
Senior Trip to Camp Chatuga in Mountain Rest, S.C. They was just another “facet of newness.” Having girls in the
would be one of the last classes to experience the trip without classroom was new, having girls in the dining hall was new.
the presence of females. “For us guys it was another consciousness-raising experience.”
“How it would change with girls coming along was on our And, perhaps, a new perspective.
minds,” says Bill, who at that time was the organizing director
When Harry Met Sally
Girls Join the Ranks of Boarders
When Baylor’s first girls’ dormitory, named in honor of Ruth Of course it took some time to reach the buddy stage. Sue
Lowrance Street, opened its doors in 1989, Spanish teacher Gawrys, who taught English, recalls the resentment her male
Mercedes Akers bravely applied to serve as its first head. students felt at times about going coed. In 1989, she taught a
Mercedes was well suited to the role since, having come from class of 17 boys who, at first, balked when told they’d be
Argentina, she too was far from her own immediate family reading the works of a number of female writers as well as
and home. studying literary criti-
“I moved to Low- cism that included
rance with my hus- feminist criticism. The
band and daughter, a good news was that
Baylor student. Our “the guys got great at
son was already in looking at how male
college,” says Mer- and female characters
cedes. Lewis Rush, were being portrayed,”
then head of Probasco says Sue. But still not
Hall, served as her fully convinced that
mentor that first year they could learn
and, “with his help, the Boarders at the home of dorm parents Matt and Catherine Moon Radtke ’93. alongside girls, “The
three other house guys were upset when
parents and I all learned together.” The shift to coeducation, a girl tried to join the class midway through the year. They told
Mercedes says, “worked out beautifully. Life is not made up me, ‘we don’t want anybody messing up what we have.’” They
of only guys. Life is coed.” insisted that Sue didn't count because she was “just one of us.”
But at Baylor, life had not been coed since 1911. To help Adults, too, had to examine their views of coeducation,
with the transition, Nancy Johnson was hired in 1990 as director according to Nancy. “It was not unusual then for a teacher
of student activities. It was quite a change for Nancy, now an to joke, ‘that’s pretty good for a girl,’ or for coaches to tell
alumni development associate, who went from being a single players not to run or throw like a girl.” Nancy is quick to
woman to sharing a home with 44 girls. Her courtship with point out that the atmosphere has changed, especially as it
her husband, maintenance foreman Howard Johnson, “took became clear that girls were excelling academically and ath-
place with all those girls watching,” she laughs. They married letically, and serving in leadership roles.
in Baylor’s chapel with Nancy’s advisees as junior bridesmaids. While it is often acknowledged that girls enriched the
“When I came, the Student Center was where boys hung campus for the boys, Elizabeth dealt with a reverse situation
out. The girls had their area in the dorm. Weekend activities last year. Her AP art history class happened to be made up
were very male-oriented; events were mostly ball games.” only of girls and “we had a great time but we really missed
Nancy soon discovered that she was most successful when she out on a guy’s input. This year, it’s half and half, and it’s
planned activities that appealed to the girls. “If the girls would definitely a richer experience.”
go, the boys would go.” Margaret Darby ’91, whose family had moved from Chatta-
Nancy points out the many changes in Baylor since then. nooga to Atlanta after she completed middle school at an all-
“There are more activities geared for girls’ interests, as well girls school, returned to Chattanooga as a boarder when
as activities that either gender would like.” She notes the many Lowrance opened. “I pretty much loved every minute of it,”
clubs, curriculum changes, and arts additions reflect a coed she says. ”What I value most having gone to a boarding school
population and provide opportunities for students to explore is that I got more of a sense of independence and a sense of
their many sides. myself without my parents there to tell me what I needed to
Today, of the six dormitories, three are all-girls. Fine arts be or do. I learned how to be responsible for things.”
instructor Elizabeth Ruffner ’88, who was among the first girls Margaret, now an attorney for the city of Nashville, is still
to attend Baylor as a day student, is now a dorm parent of in touch with many fellow boarders and remembers how, as
Riverfront — the other girls’ dorms are Hunter and Lowrance. a group, they felt special and different. “We were looked at
“I realize now that it wasn’t truly coed that I experienced,” as newcomers — something that the boys didn’t know what
says Elizabeth. “It’s truly coed now.” to do with. We came in and made Baylor our home too.”
Elizabeth is taken by how civilized the school has become. Elizabeth also emphasizes that the girls who blazed the
“The kids can’t believe what I tell them about how it used to coed path felt every right to walk it. “I do not remember ever
be.” She is particularly pleased to see how boarding relationships feeling intimidated in class because of guys and certainly don’t
have evolved over the years. “These kids really look at each see it now,” she says. “Everybody is confident about who they
other as brothers and sisters,” she says. “It’s neat to see them are and why they are here.”
hanging out, eating together at dinner, and just being buddies.”
When Harry Met Sally
Breaking Multiple Barriers
Unlike many of the first girls who were accepted in the fall of and all I wanted to do was pass geometry,” laughs Tara.
1985, Tara Wynn did not arrive with deeply entrenched con- Tara’s lessons at Baylor were not centered solely on race
nections to the school. In fact, she wasn’t even certain where and gender, but she did face her share of challenges. “In terms
the campus was located. But when she saw a newspaper ad of the coed environment, the guys thought we were invading
promoting the fact that Baylor was admitting girls, Tara told their territory and tradition, but I never had anyone mistreat
her mother she wanted to apply. “She told me if I could pass me. Change is inevitable, but initially when it happens it’s a
the test and the interview, I could go. I never thought I would shock. That’s where they were coming from. As for my race,
pass, but when the acceptance letter came in the mail, I was it was sometimes difficult. Certain jokes were made, but I never
like, ‘wow – this should be took it personally. You just
really interesting.’” kind of consider that it’s their
The first “interesting” ignorance and you just go
moment came when she met “...she [my mom] wanted me to on. I can imagine it was hard
the other girls on campus be Rosa Parks and all I wanted for the African American
prior to the opening of to do was pass geometry.” males who were there, too.”
school for a Baylor Notes Tara admits that things
publicity photo. “I realized eventually got easier. “The
I was the first black female days got better and the years
when we came to take the picture for the school newspaper. got better and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Baylor prepared
I was sure some of the other girls were just late. I started me for college. I also learned how to interact with non-minority
counting everyone and saw the gang was all there. My mom versus minority issues, how to interact with people and handle
picked me up and I told her I was the only one. She said, ‘the high pressure deadlines. The teachers were great – they prepared
only one what?’ When I told her I was the only African me for life. I learned that no one is going to give you anything
American female she thought I was kidding.” for free, that you have to work at it. And that’s a great lesson
Tara didn’t dwell on the fact that she was earning a unique to learn.”
place in Baylor’s history as the first African American female Today, Tara works as a trust officer in the Client Services
member of the student body. As a 14-year-old, she was simply Division of Chevy Chase Trust Company in the culturally
trying to overcome her own personal anxiety one day at a diverse area of Washington, D.C., and credits Baylor for giving
time. “The first day I was so intimidated. There were all these her a solid foundation for success. “Being in a coed environment
boys and I could count the African American males on one makes you well-rounded, especially if it’s a boarding school
hand. I was wondering how I could relate to anyone and who where you get to meet people with different backgrounds,
could relate to me. I remember I didn’t want to go back. religions, views, ideas, and cultures. You need to know how
“My mother told me I didn’t understand what a wonderful to interact with all types of people, not just people who act
chance this was. She would tell me I was making history. I like you or look like you. You need that experience because
used to joke with her that she wanted me to be Rosa Parks, that’s the world – that’s reality.”
Thirty-five of the “Fab 41” are pictured left to right. First row: Nicole Russo, Tori Crawford, Audrey Buhrman, Kelly Reisman, Eunice Hong
and Jennifer Fischer. Second row: Kathleen Patten, Jamie Siskin, Beth Hodges, Jeannie Raines, Ramona Franks, Stacy Oxenhandler, and
Niki Sorrow. Third row: Lynn Dicks, Alexis Castagnaro, Deborah Herring, Angie Rotroff, Meg Gossett, and Bebe Temple. Back row: Mary
Beth Cox, Melissa Gilbert, Mary Johnson, Lisa Robbins, Katie Darraj, Jennifer Clower, Shana Packard, Mimi Tin, Ashley Randolph, Beth
Maxwell, Tara Wynn, Kathy Lewis, Cathy Fullerton, Holly Haskew, Meredith Monroe, and Miriam Street.
When Harry Met Sally
Student Voices Then...
A May 11, 1985 Chattanooga Times article quoted Baylor students’ reaction to the decision to go coed:
They’ll have to get a lot of new magazines in the library, like It’ll hurt the athletics. The Lower School teams are hurting
Seventeen, Glamour, Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes for players as it is, and now they’ll be cut even more if we
and Gardens.” have to let girls in.
~ Eighth grade ~ Class year not given
It’s a pretty radical change and it means I won’t get to graduate Not only will the school become more strict, but the boys will
from “The Baylor School for Boys.” have to tone down some of their class and lunchroom discussions.
~ Junior ~ Class year not given
I don’t like it. That’s just not what Baylor is. There’s a spirit The first girls that will get in will be real smart, and some of
now, and they’re breaking that tradition and what Baylor’s the guys who barely got in may not be quite so smart, and
all about. I’m glad I’m going to be able to say I was in the last since a girl is a girl, they will want to beat her and do better
senior class to graduate before they admitted girls. than her.
~ Senior ~ Eighth grade
Yeah, well I’m glad I’m going to be able to say I’m in the first It’ll increase the competition among the boys to impress the
class to admit girls. girls both in and out of the classroom. Also, it may straighten
~ Class year not given some things out manner-wise in places like the lunchroom.
~ Class year not given
I like the changes and I think it’s a good idea. I just wish they
wouldn’t do it right now.
Current students responded to the question: “How would Baylor be different if students were all one gender?”
I went to an all-girls school before Baylor, and it’s pretty One of the things that is great about Baylor is an atmosphere
sheltered. You’d think everyone would get along really well where we can work and be friends with the opposite sex. It
if it were all girls, but there are twice as many problems. With strengthens Baylor to be coed because we are about diversity.
just girls you don’t get to hear another point of view and you ~ Lauren McCarter, Junior
don’t learn how to act around guys. It’s just a different mindset.
All-boys wouldn’t be as fun because it would be more strict.
~ Emily Lea, Junior
It would still have that atmosphere of a military school.
If I were surrounded by men, I would think that only boys ~ Jimmy Caldwell, Seventh grade
could compete with me and do the things I do. I also think
We’d probably think of girls differently and would not be used
we would lose the ability to be gentlemen. Boys act different
to them in a social environment other than dating.
when there are no girls around.
~ Brian Epps, Eighth grade
~ Mahmethan Shadid, Sophomore
It would just be guys hanging out. They wouldn’t care about
I think that boys might act out more if there were no girls.
their appearance, teachers would be more strict, and it would
And girls would get so used to being around girls, they might
be less fun. Girls add more laughter.
act weird around boys.
~ Harrison Tyner, Sophomore
~ Logan Davis, Sixth grade
Having friends of the opposite gender takes off some of the
You really wouldn’t have the experience for college. It wouldn’t
stress. I can be more myself around guys. They are more
be interesting with just boys; you need the experience of coed.
accepting and don’t stereotype the ways girls do.
~ Will Crimmins, Sixth grade
~ Brandi Angel, Sophomore
We wouldn’t get to see boys as friends, only potential dates.
It helps us for college to be in a coed school. There are not
With girls you’d have problems with jealousy.
that many colleges that are one gender. There would be more
~ Megan Thompson, Seventh grade
wrestling and roughhousing — guys act different around girls.
It would be horrible because you wouldn’t be able to associate ~ Vince Conley, Senior
with the opposite sex. It would be boring to be around your
Girls have different views on things. If we were one gender,
own gender all day. You wouldn’t see both sides or get different
we’d be more close-minded as a school.
~ Daniel Hooks, Sophomore
~ Alexis Toney, Freshman