Remembering Judge Joy Reynolds: Joy Memorial Sept. 1-2 at Williams Bear Habitat

August 31, 2022
Remembering Joy

Media Contact: Shelby Cefaratti-Bertin, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-327-8012
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WACO, Texas (Aug. 31, 2022) – The Baylor University Family will join together this week to celebrate and remember the life of beloved Baylor Bear mascot Judge Joy Reynolds, simply known as “Joy,” at the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat on the Baylor campus.

On Sept. 1-2, the Bear Habitat will feature a walk-through memorial to Joy. In addition, the McLane Carillon in the tower of Pat Neff Hall will ring its bells during a recital on Sept. 1.

A North American black bear, Joy passed away peacefully July 18 at age 21, surrounded by her loving and dedicated caregivers, staff and veterinary team. She will forever be remembered as an enduring symbol of Baylor’s spirit and tradition.

Thursday, Sept. 1

  • Noon – McLane Carillon Recital, Pat Neff Hall: Remembering Judge Joy – The Baylor community is welcome to bring a picnic lunch and lawn chairs while listening to University Carillonneur Lynnette Geary perform Beethoven’s “Hymn to Joy,” as well as “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” “It Is Well with My Soul” and Kurt Kaiser’s “Baylor Blessing,” among other selections. The best places to listen are on Founders Mall or the covered walkway along the front of Draper Academic Building. The special recital is sponsored by Student Activities.
  • Noon to 6 p.m. – Judge Joy Memorial Exhibit – The self-guided Judge Joy Memorial Exhibit opens at the Williams Bear Habitat, which includes photo panels remembering Joy’s first days on campus, her favorite things and highlights from her 21 active years at Baylor. The display also features a special wooden box made by a former Bear caregiver that encases Joy's ashes. The box was fashioned from a Habitat tree that did not survive the freeze of February 2021.

The memorial recognizes the Bear Habitat’s mission of stewardship, education and conservation, and shares the vision of the future of the Bear Habitat, as well as a state-of-the-art retirement facility for Joy’s sister, Lady.

Friday, Sept. 2

  • Noon to 6 p.m. – Judge Joy Memorial Exhibit at the Williams Bear Habitat continues, along with an interactive student memorial, where Baylor students will have an opportunity to share their favorite memories of Joy.

Memorial contributions to honor Joy’s memory and legacy can be made to the Bear Habitat/Mascot Fund.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 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.