In Baylor University’s storied history, few professors or campus leaders have been more beloved — or admired — than Tommye Lou Davis, who will soon step down from her vitally important leadership role and return full-time to the classroom and to the students she loves. As vice president for constituent engagement since 2010, she has led the exponential growth of the Baylor Alumni Network and Parents Network, besides enhancing Baylor’s community engagement, institutional events and continuing education and planning hundreds of special events and programs each year.

Tommye Lou was the first person I met when visiting the Baylor campus in early 2010. She was gracious and warm and her love for Baylor came shining through. I had an opportunity to get to know her well in my capacity as first lady of the university. Her can-do attitude and outstanding rapport with faculty, staff, students and parents was helpful and much appreciated.

Tommye Lou is a woman for all seasons. Not only is she a master Latin teacher (and will continue as such next fall), she served diligently as a member of the Faculty Senate and on the Faculty Athletics Council. She also was a longtime member of the Baylor Round Table and Baylor Bear Foundation.

Many will recall her remarkable role in helping Baylor seek the Bush Presidential Library beginning in 2000, even before George W. Bush — who by then lived on a ranch just outside Waco — became president in January 2001. In 2003, Tommye Lou assumed overall responsibility as chair of Baylor’s presidential library efforts. And in 2005, she made the presentation to the White House on behalf of Baylor.

Her herculean efforts did not go unrewarded, even though the presidential library went to Southern Methodist University. The land that was purchased and set aside for the library became the perfect location for an on-campus football stadium. Today, thanks to Tommye Lou’s foresight to secure land along the Brazos River and Interstate 35, we are blessed with the state-of-the-art McLane Stadium.

Baylor students adore Tommye Lou, especially members of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority where she has served as faculty adviser for more than 20 years. In fact, she was selected the Outstanding Adviser on two occasions. She also had the privilege of serving many years as adviser to Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Tommye Lou was indispensable as chief of staff to my husband in the president’s office from 2014 to 2016. As a member of the Executive Council, she helped guide Baylor with a firm but loving hand. She enthusiastically attended many campus events while also planning for the future. A visionary, Tommye Lou Davis is responsible for much of what is great about Baylor today. She has pursued excellence but has never forgotten to promote its Christian mission.

Thank you, Tommye Lou, for your many years of exceptional leadership and care for Baylor. We are proud of your accomplishments and know you will continue to inspire all whom you meet as well as shower your affection on students for many years to come.

First lady of Baylor University from 2010 to 2016, Alice M. Starr is president of Starr Strategies Co., which helps nonprofit organizations and start-up companies strategize in public relations, marketing and fundraising.