By Avery Ballman | staff writer
The Texas Collection, located in the Carroll Library, is home to “Becoming the Bears: A Snapshot of Baylor’s Mascots” through the end of this semester. Students, faculty, and visitors can travel back in time with the bear mascots through photographs, memorabilia, and visual aids.
When viewers enter the library, they will be greeted by a large image of what is supposed to be Abner, one of Baylor’s mascots, sitting in President David E. Garland’s chair.
“Bear mascots used to walk around Waco and on campus,” said Jacqueline Devereaux, staff archivist for the Texas Collection. “So this is just an experience of hanging out in the president’s office.”
Devereaux, who helped design the exhibit, said he chose photos from the collection, some of which were provided by the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. The exhibit includes images such as one of Abner capturing the spirit of the Baylor Bears.
“It was a great collaboration to ask different people’s perspectives and toss out ideas to figure out what would be fun and engaging,” Devereaux said. “For us, within our own collections, try to provide a variety of materials.”
Along the display cases are commemorative bottles of Diadeloso Dr Pepper from the ’70s and ’80s, Baylor-branded belt buckles, and a vintage teddy bear never before on display. Roundup Yearbook photographs also show the bears drinking Dr Pepper.
“I think for this exhibit we really want it to be fun and accessible,” Devereaux said. “For those of you who are from Waco, it’s a fun way to quickly relate to ‘oh, I remember seeing that,’ which is why I like to do displays like this.”
Former Texas Collection Special Events Coordinator Kristen Jones is a Baylor alumna who grew up in Waco. As a child, she remembers the bears that came to soccer games and the stories her grandfather told her about her pets.
“I was able to capitalize on all the growth stories and I wanted it to feel like I was going back in time as much as possible,” Jones said.
Makerspace manager KJ Mikulencak taught Jones how to bring woodcuts to life. The Makerspace houses equipment called the Glowforge, a laser cutter, used to engrave wood.
“Mainly what we [The Makerspace] What I want to do is teach and train people so they can use all this equipment by themselves,” Mulencak said. “Because it’s a really easy piece of equipment to learn and understand, at least at a beginner level.”
After collaboration and a workshop by Mikulencak, Jones was able to take the lead and create more woodcuts that are seen in all the display cases.
“I thought it would be a really cool visual that would be a different kind of material than his normal books,” Jones said. “We wanted something different.”
Mikulencak had a part of his own to contribute; she designed a 3D bear footprint to make it look like the bear had just left her footprints. This model is displayed on top of the cases for viewers to see and reference.
“Visual aids are more memorable than just text on a page,” Mikulencak said. “What he will remember are those lovely wooden brackets and the cool vinyl paw prints on the floor and this big paw print that helped him visualize what his hand looks like next to one of our pets.”
While there are many different visual aids, there are categories that break up the exhibit, such as history, talents, sports, habitat life. These sections have photos and memories as relevant as Joy and Lady’s recent birthday and stories from when the bears came to the football games.
Devereaux and Jones created collages of photos, signs, and details down to the trail of paw prints that take the viewer through bear history and culture. This exhibit was an interdepartmental effort and will be held during the fall semester.
“You see the photos of the bear habitat and how they interact with humans. They are so sweet and cute,” Jones said. “I feel like in the craziness of campus life, sometimes you just need something healthy and that’s just what they are.”