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BAA Legacy Scholars: Corrie Coleman’s story

The BAA asked this year’s Legacy Scholarship applicants to reflect on what it has meant to be part of a Baylor legacy family and to grow up surrounded by Baylor traditions.  This week, we introduce Corrie Coleman, a freshman from Dallas, TX, who expects to graduate in May 2019 and listed Journalism, Public Relations, and New Media (as a concentration) as her majors and a minor in Entrepreneurship.  In the part of her application where she talks about his Baylor Legacy family members, she listed her maternal great-great grandfather Preston Blanton ‘1876; father Thomas (Scott) Coleman ’86, director of church planning for the Dallas Baptist Association;  stay-at-home mom Kristi Kuykendall Coleman ”87; uncle Jeffrey Coleman ’88; and cousin Karla Coleman ’13.

In 1875, my great-great grandfather, Preston Blanton, threw his feather bed and all his belongings on his horse’s back. He left the family farm in Red River and rode two weeks to attend Baylor University in Independence. After studying music at Baylor, he returned to start music schools in small towns throughout the Red River area. Fast forward 150 years: I ordered dorm supplies from a laptop in a coffee shop, and my move to Baylor took just 90 minutes. Although times have changed, I still feel that same sense of anticipation that Preston and the other Baylor Bears in my family must have felt.

The Coleman family with Robert Griffin III at the 2015 School of Nursing Gala: Dad Scott Coleman '87, Corrie, RGIII, brother Ben Coleman (a future Bear?), and mom Kristi Kuykendall Coleman '87
The Coleman family with Robert Griffin III at the 2015 School of Nursing Gala: Dad Scott Coleman ’87, Corrie, RGIII, brother Ben Coleman (a future Bear?), and mom Kristi Kuykendall Coleman ’87

Being a part of a Baylor legacy family has shaped me into the person I am today. I have grown up watching my parents and their friends use the knowledge and skills they acquired at Baylor to make the city of Dallas a better place. For example, during my childhood, my parents and a small group of other Baylor graduates began a church called “The Well” for the mentally ill and homeless in Dallas. Seeing how Baylor equipped them to serve their community has only heightened my anticipation. I am excited to attend Baylor to learn the same things that they did: how to use my passions and skills to better the community where God sends me. Seeing the Baylor tradition of serving others is probably the biggest reason I have chosen to attend Baylor.

Because my father was a member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce and was in charge of the homecoming parade, coming back to see the parade has been a meaningful tradition for our family. However, there is another tradition that is even more important to us. We live in a poorer part of Dallas called Oak Cliff. My mother, who graduated from Baylor’s School of Education, has always had a desire to see first-generation college students succeed. As a result we have hosted several official “send-off” parties for minority Baylor students in our neighborhood. We have been honored to have President and Mrs. Starr attend our gathering. Speaking Spanish to the parents, President and Mrs. Starr helped them feel confident that the Baylor family will take care of their children. The Baylor tradition of the “send-off” party is significant to me because it shows that Baylor welcomes students of all races and from all socio-economic backgrounds. Sic ‘Em!

The Baylor Alumni Association awarded scholarships to 54 Baylor legacy students for the 2015-16 school year.  Our goal is to give out more scholarships with larger amounts to help these students and their families pay for a Baylor education, and we hope to award more scholarships for the Spring 2016 semester.  If you’d like to make a donation, please go to this page.  We will send a pair of Baylor BattleHands spirit gloves to anyone who donates $100 or more toward Legacy Scholarships (or renews their annual membership for $100 or more).

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