Baylor University Celebrates First Cohort of Trailblazer Scholars

September 9, 2021

Baylor University's first cohort of Trailblazer Scholars pose with President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. (Matthew Minard, Baylor Marketing & Communications)

Media Contact: Eric Eckert, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1964
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 9, 2021) – Baylor University on Wednesday welcomed the inaugural cohort of 25 Trailblazer Scholars during a reception in the Barfield Drawing Room.

The Trailblazer Scholars Program is a scholarship program designed to recognize the importance of fostering diversity and mutual respect at Baylor University. The program emerged as part of Baylor’s commitment to listen, learn and take actionable steps regarding racial healing and justice in America. The inaugural Gilbert-Walker cohort of Trailblazer Scholars is named after Baylor’s first Black graduates Rev. Robert Gilbert, BA '67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, BA '67.

“It was a pleasure to meet and recognize this remarkable group of students who represent both incoming first-year students and upper-level students who are committed to advancing racial equality, diversity and a sense of belonging on our campus,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “I’m thankful to the many Baylor alumni, friends and parents who have committed to giving to this program. I am grateful to the faculty and staff who prepared and planned for these students, our future leaders who will drive critically important conversations about how we as a Christian community foster diversity and practice mutual respect.”

The University launched the program in July 2020 with an initial investment of $5 million in scholarship support. Since then, parents, alumni and friends have given an additional $2.2 million to support this important University priority.

Students in the Trailblazer Scholars Program participate in leadership and service opportunities through Baylor’s Department of Multicultural Affairs and through other groups and programs on the University’s campus. Scholarship funds are awarded annually and are renewable to students who maintain a 2.5 GPA and are actively committed to conversations and initiatives advancing racial conciliation on Baylor’s campus and throughout the nation.

Students in the inaugural Gilbert-Walker cohort are:

  • Anu Agbi, junior, Houston, Texas, majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Leadership
  • Erin Babatunde, sophomore, Folcroft, Pennsylvania, majoring in Public Health
  • Israel Beverly, sophomore, Beaumont, Texas, majoring in Public Health
  • Maddie Brenner, freshman, Corpus Christi, Texas, majoring in Business
  • Forche Bridges, senior, Fresno, Texas, majoring in Film & Digital Media with double minors in Creative Writing and Media Management
  • Tiera Cleveland, senior, Jacksonville, Florida, majoring in Psychology
  • Sophie Despres, freshman, Cypress, Texas, majoring in Pre-Nursing
  • Sophie Geiger, freshman, Dallas, Texas, majoring in Pre-Nursing with a minor in Business Administration
  • Morghan Golloher, freshman, Overland Park, Kansas, majoring in Medical Humanities and minoring in Business Administration
  • Simone Henry, freshman, Katy, Texas, majoring in Neuroscience
  • Logan Jackson, sophomore, Fairview, Texas, majoring in Psychology
  • Victoria Jackson, freshman, Grand Prairie, Texas, majoring in Business Entrepreneurship with a minor in Apparel Merchandising
  • Eric Jaramillo, freshman, Corpus Christi, Texas, majoring in Biology
  • Peyton Johnson, freshman, Lantana, Texas, double majoring in Physics and Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics
  • Berg Guillaume Jones, freshman, Dallas, Texas, majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in either French or Leadership
  • Dalshawn Jones, senior, New Orleans, Louisiana, majoring in Sociology with a minor in International Studies
  • Connie Mendoza, senior, McGregor, Texas, majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Stephanie Mendoza, junior, Waco, Texas, majoring in Accounting
  • Hailey Minn, freshman, Frisco, Texas, majoring in Business
  • Sam Onilenla, senior, Aurora, Colorado, majoring in Management and Marketing
  • Ana Robles, freshman, Maui, Hawaii, majoring in Pre-Med Biology with a minor in Child Development
  • Lydia Samuel, junior, Dallas, Texas, majoring in Nursing
  • Genesis Santos, freshman, Waco, Texas, majoring in Elementary Education
  • Makayla Williams, freshman, Humble, Texas, majoring in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and minoring in Corporate Communications
  • Lauren Young, junior, Atlanta, Georgia, majoring in Biology and minoring in French

More information about how to support the Trailblazer Scholars Program is available on the giving website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 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 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.