Baylor Graduate Named a Lilly Graduate Fellow

June 8, 2017
Shannon Sandridge

Shannon Sandridge, B.A. ?17, has been selected as one of only 10 Lilly Graduate Fellows. The program supports outstanding students who want to explore the connections among Christianity, higher education and the vocation of the teacher-scholar as they pursue graduate degrees in humanities and the arts.

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WACO, Texas (June 8, 2017) – Recent Baylor University graduate Shannon Sandridge, B.A. ’17, who earned her degree as a University Scholar with concentrations in philosophy and German, has been selected to participate in the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program.

Sandridge is one of only 10 Lilly Graduate Fellows, which is a part of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts that supports outstanding students who want to explore the connections among Christianity, higher education and the vocation of the teacher-scholar as they pursue graduate degrees in humanities and the arts.

Previous Baylor graduates and Lilly graduate fellows include Amanda Weppler, B.A. ’07, Sarah Berry, B.A. ’10, Gideon Jeffrey, B.A. ’10, Adam Urrutia, B.A. ’11, and Stephen Margheim, B.A. ’12.

At Baylor, Sandridge was the 2017 Philosophy Student of the Year recipient and editor on The Pulse: Undergraduate Research Journal. She is from Flower Mound, Texas.

“Shannon's award is richly deserved,” said Todd Buras, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “I had the pleasure of teaching her during her freshman year and then supervising her senior thesis. She worked very hard to get the most out of her time at Baylor, and I have no doubt that she will do the same in graduate school. She will make an excellent Lilly fellow.”

“I am very pleased that Shannon has been chosen for this honor,” said Michael Beaty, Ph.D., professor and chair of philosophy. “She is a bright, hard-working and humble student. She is serious about the importance of philosophy in a university education, and I am eager to follow her development as a Christian scholar-teacher.

“She is eager to continue to explore the ways in which faith and a university education are mutually enhancing spheres of existential engagement.”

Sandridge will join two experienced Christian educators – Lisa DeBoer of Westmont College and John Ware of Xavier University in Louisiana – and fellow graduate students from various disciplines in the arts and the humanities to explore the connections of the Christian faith to higher education and to the vocation of Christian educator.

“Those of us who teach and work at Christian colleges and universities remain grateful to the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts for the many ways they support Christian higher education, both in its present form and its future prospects,” Beaty said.

The fellows were selected by an eight-member selection committee who interviewed 16 finalists during the spring. The fellows will meet together at an inaugural conference from July 31-Aug. 3, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana, with their mentors, DeBoer and Ware. They then will embark on a long-distance colloquium, engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships and participate in three additional conferences. All 10 fellows are pursuing terminal graduate studies in humanities or the arts.


The Lilly Graduate Fellows Program is funded by a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Thus far, the program has selected a total of 10 cohorts of graduate fellows from 100 schools that make up the Lilly Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities. Lilly graduate fellows participate in a three-year program in which they meet regularly with a mentor, attend four conferences, participate in a long-distance colloquium and receive three annual stipends of $3,000 ($9,000 total) to use at their discretion. For more information on the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, visit

Founded in 1991, the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts seeks to strengthen the quality and shape the character of church-related institutions of higher learning through three programmatic initiatives. In addition to the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program, it offers postdoctoral teaching fellowships for young scholars who wish to renew their sense of vocation within a Christian community of learning in order to prepare themselves for positions of teaching, scholarship and leadership within church-related institutions. It also maintains a collaborative national network of church-related colleges and universities that sponsors a variety of activities and publications designed to explore the Christian character of the academic vocation and to strengthen the religious nature of church-related institutions. The national network represents among its membership of 100 schools a diversity of denominational traditions, institutional types and geographical locations.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.