Honoring Maya Angelou, Acclaimed Writer Dies at Age 86


Back in 1997, a group of Baylor chaplains, physicians, social workers, nurses, and other staff from various faiths gathered to explore ways to contribute to our founders’ mission for a great humanitarian institution where people of all faiths and those of none could come with equal confidence.

One of the main visions of this Interfaith Task Force was the creation of a sacred place of beauty and serenity where patients, their families, staff, and visitors could come for prayer and meditation.

“As we proudly unveil The Interfaith Garden of Prayer, it is more glorious than we ever imagined and we are indeed grateful to all who contributed to making this dream a reality,” said Chaplain Jann Aldredge-Clanton, Pd.D., Interfaith Task Force chair. “As a chaplain, I see people every day facing tremendous challenges, and I’m so grateful that we have the Interfaith Garden to help them find solace and spiritual blessing.”


In 2003, Maya Angelou joined in Baylor’s 100th birthday festivities by participating in the Oct. 16 dedication ceremony for the Interfaith Garden before addressing 1,100 attendees of Baylor’s 39th Annual Powhatan W. James Lecture.

“Those at Baylor continue striving to be more than they have ever been. Baylor has been a rainbow in the clouds for many … Each of us has the power and responsibility to become a rainbow in the clouds.” – Maya Angelou



She commended Baylor’s founders “for pursuing the dream of building a place where poor people could come … and would received first-class care.” One of the foremost women of our time, Dr. Angelou was a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, and film producer and director.


In commemoration of the acclaimed poet, we’d like to share this special poem titled Alone by Maya Angelou, that was written for the Interfaith Garden of Prayer ceremony back in 2003:

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
                Alone, all alone
                Nobody but nobody
                Can make it out here alone.
There are some millionaires
With money they can’t use
Their wives run around like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They’ve got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But, nobody
No nobody
Can make it out here alone.
               Alone, all alone
               Nobody, but nobody
               Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely
I’ll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
               Alone, all alone
               Nobody, but nobody
               Can make it out here alone.

In honor of the memory of Maya Angelou, and her part of Baylor legacy, we bid farewell to one of the most influential and powerful figures of our time.

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Megan McCook
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Honoring Maya Angelou, Acclaimed Writer Dies at Age 86