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University Advancement

  • Office of Alumni Relations
  • P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065
  • 785.594.4528
  • 888.781.2586
  • alumni@bakerU.edu
  • Office of University Advancement
  • P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006-0065
  • 785.594.4555
  • 800.726.1554
  • fax: 785.594.8331
  • advancement@bakerU.edu
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University receives property, football team earns record number of Scholar-Athlete awards, and more in the January edition of the Arbor.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 28, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University earned two top honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 5 competition Jan. 18-24 at Minnesota Normandale Community College, winning the Golden C Wrench as Stagecraft Showdown champions and the Stagecraft Spirit Trophy.Kennedy-Center-group2forweb

Competing against schools of all sizes, the winning technical theater team from Baker was Ryan Bearrick, Chanute, Kan., senior; Emi Kniffin, Wichita, Kan., sophomore; Joey Majchrzak, Olathe, Kan., senior; Cheyenne Queen, Derby, Kan., senior; and MacKenzie Sammons, Wellsville, Kan., junior. The competition included stage weight/furniture and prop placement, border tie and hang, costume quick-change, light hang/focus and knot tying.

Region 5 covers schools of all sizes from Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 23, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Six Baker University students traveled to Atlanta during the holiday break to learn more about event operations and strategies connected to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and other organizations as part of an interterm course titled "Bowl Game Extravaganza: Sport Public Relations in Action."Jan15 Interterm-trip BU-at-Hall-of-Fame

Drew Huttinger, Austin Johanning, Tye Hughes, Cooper Johns, Nick Patterson and Austin Keberlin joined Ron Christian, assistant professor of sport administration, the final week of December for the weeklong trip. The course was designed to provide the students in-depth analysis of public and media relations theories, strategies and applications within the context of the sport industry. Throughout the course, the students examined and applied the concepts of public relations, communications, corporate social responsibility, and media relations strategies to the problems of sport organizations.

"The interterm experience at Baker is so unique, and that's the foundation that made this class trip possible," Christian said. "The connections we have made are opening doors to a number of opportunities. Atlanta is a model sport community with a great support system. We had quite an experience seeing the different facets of public relations and event operations. We hope to continue providing this opportunity for students."

In addition to attending the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Texas Christian and Mississippi, the group visited officials with the Atlanta Hawks, the Georgia Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame, CNN and the World of Coke.

"The Hawks welcomed us and provided an in-depth Q & A about their operations, as well as public relations and marketing strategy," the Baker professor noted.

The College Football Hall of Fame recognized Baker University, one of the winningest NAIA programs. Charlie Richard, who compiled a 123-28-1 record in 14 seasons coaching the Wildcats, was inducted posthumously into the hall in 2004.

"One of the coolest things about the trip to Atlanta was walking into the College Football Hall of Fame and seeing the Baker University helmet on the wall along with all the other college football teams in the nation," Huttinger said. "I also thought the College Football Hall of Fame was one the most incredible places I've ever been too. The virtual experience of the whole place is unreal."

The students embraced the experience to interact with professionals in sport administration.

"Hearing tips and advice from senior VP's was an amazing learning opportunity," Hughes said. "It was unbelievable to work with and be a part of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, seeing firsthand many behind-the-scenes operations and gaining work experience with such a renowned sporting event."

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 22, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Best College Reviews has compiled a list of the most desirable study abroad opportunities, and the British campus of the University of Evansville, Harlaxton Manor, a popular destination for Baker students, tops the rankings.Harlaxtonforweb

Since 1989, Baker has had 499 students study abroad at Harlaxton, including nine students this semester. The students abroad for the spring are Keaton Anchors, Kansas City, Mo.; Laura Price, Frisco, Texas; Paige Meader, Waverly, Kan.; Sarah Baker, Wellsville, Kan.; Brianna Garza, Austin, Texas; Shannon Bond, Olathe, Kan.; Hali Wimbush, Paola, Kan.; Stephanie Skedel, Garnett, Kan.; and Kaysha Green, Lawrence, Kan. Dave Bostwick, associate professor of mass media, is the faculty member at Harlaxton.

The rankings were based on the following criteria:

• The program is open to a limited number of students, 500 or less, providing a more intimate experience while abroad.

• The program is at least a semester long.

• Faculty from the university are involved with the students internationally, either traveling with the students, teaching abroad, or overseeing the program in the country.

• The university has a specific location internationally, students are not simply enrolling at international universities.

"This has been a life-changing experience for an entire generation of Baker students," said Martha Harris, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of business and economics. "This program's ranking is an indication of the quality of instruction and experience that our students have enjoyed and helps to explain why our students are such enthusiastic supporters of the program when the return. It has been a privilege to be associated for this program for over 25 years."

The Victorian manor house with over 100 rooms in the picturesque English countryside is located just one hour north of London. Students spend a semester studying an interdisciplinary introduction to British life and culture, including literature, art history, economics, history, and political science. Each course contains a combination of lectures, seminars and travel.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 21, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — The Baker University Community Choir will begin rehearsals for its spring season on Thursday, Jan. 29. The weekly rehearsals are held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at McKibbin Recital Hall in the Owens Musical Arts Building, 408 Eighth St., on the Baldwin City campus.Community-Choir

New members are welcome, and no audition is required. A $20 semester participation fee is charged for all non-Baker students.

Cathy Crispino, interim director of choral activities, directs the community choir, which was formed in 2010. The ensemble performs repertoire from the history of all choral traditions and selections from contemporary composers.

On May 1, the University Community Choir will join other Baker choirs to present Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem." The event is at 7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church, 704 Eighth St.
For more information, contact Crispino at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

History of the Wildcat

When Baker's football team made history in 1890 by winning the first intercollegiate sporting event in Kansas, the name didn’t reflect the team’s ferocity. “The Methodists,” as Baker athletic teams were known in the early days, demonstrated tenacity and acumen in defeating the University of Kansas 22-9. In response to the overwhelming promise of the earliest football team, newsmen and spectators alike couldn’t stop talking about how the Baker boys played like “wild cats,” said former Baker University Archivist Brenda Day, recounting the legend behind Baker’s current-day mascot. Four years after Baker defeated the University of Kansas, Baker’s Board of Trustees brought the game of football into question. A debate about whether to continue the game focused on several points. The first was academic.

Birth of the Wildcat

“Apparently, there was a lot of anxiety on the part of church that the emphasis on sports was interfering with the academic mission of the University,” said Harold Kolling, former university historian. The second was a question of well-being. “In those days, football was not played with the protective gear there is today, so that led to a lot of injuries,” Kolling said. In an effort to stop the distraction and the danger of football, leaders of the university and of the Methodist Episcopal Church worked to ban the new sport. They had the support of women of that day who were concerned about the well-being of the players. In  1894, the Baker Trustees voted to banish football. Despite the ban, Baker student interest in the sport was great, and football was popular at area institutions. It took some coercing on the part of students and several prominent faculty members to bring the sport back to Baldwin. William Alfred Quayle, who had left his post as university president more than a decade earlier and was on his way to the episcopacy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, spoke in favor of a reinstatement. Students petitioned to the Board of Trustees, and in 1908, success once again was found in picking up the pigskin. The football team gained ground as a mainstay at Baker, and students of the university made it their initiative to give a name to their promising squad. Drawn from history, the winning 1915 team was ordained the “Wild cats” by the Baker Orange, but it wasn’t until another publication took the name that the mascot became a bastion of Baker pride.

Justifying the Name

In 1921, the university yearbook officially adopted the name The Wildcat, with the editor explaining in the foreword the justification: “The K.U. Jayhawk, the Princeton Tiger, and the other animals of the college menagerie must . . . realize that now Baker has a 'pet' just as many other schools have,” explained James S. Chubb, 1921 Wildcat editor. “It is the hope of the makers of this book that Bakerites will yield this adopted kitten the place he deserves; not merely that of our athletic figurehead but as the sign of every student enterprise.” While the wildcat is a firmly imbedded icon of athletic success, its look has changed with the times. At the football home-opener Sept. 8, 2007, in honor of the university’s sesquicentennial, a new Wildcat mascot was unveiled along with a unique name: WOWzer. The new costume was made possible by a donation from Baker friend and benefactor Jan Schroeder. Reina Murphy, a freshman from the Kansas City area, won the university’s name the Wildcat contest. “I like school spirit a lot,” she said. “I always joke that if I was coordinated enough and was a good dancer, I’d be a cheerleader. Having named the Wildcat, makes me feel like I’m a part of that.”

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.MLK-speaker

Baldwin City, Kan. — Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president for student life and special assistant to the president for community outreach at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., will be the guest speaker at Baker University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. The event, part of Baker's first worship service of the spring semester, is set for 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Osborne Chapel on the Baldwin City campus.

Pleas-Bailey coordinates year-round partnerships with middle schools, high schools, community colleges and nonprofit organizations in Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., to provide college preparatory training for students from first generation, ethnic minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

With a natural affinity for college students, she has served in various capacities at the college for the past 20 years, including roles as the dean of students, associate dean and assistant dean of students before being promoted to her current post. She has twice been named Southwestern College Student Government Outstanding Administrator of the Year.

Pleas-Bailey has spoken extensively regarding leadership development, conflict resolution, individual motivation, academic success, female empowerment and faith-based learning to organizations and educational institutions. She has done extensive research on the first African-American graduates of the college.

She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the higher education management. She received her master's in education from Newman University in Wichita and bachelor's degree from North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

Mungano, Baker's student-run diversity organization, assisted in the planning of the MLK Jr. celebration.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Spring Hill Elementary School teacher Haley Epperson, a 2013 Baker graduate, has been recognized as a Horizon Award recipient for her first-year teaching excellence.Haley-Eppersonforweb

The Kansas State Department of Education annually recognizes 32 educators — 16 elementary teachers and 16 secondary teachers — in the state. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers are selected for the award from each U.S. Congressional District.

Epperson, a fourth-grade teacher, joined the Spring Hill district in 2013-2014.

In a release posted on the Spring Hill website, Epperson said of her students, "My goal is to keep their curiosities high and create fun, hands-on experiences for them so they learn concepts. I hope that all of them maintain a desire for learning as they grow."

As a district-level winner, Epperson has the opportunity to compete in the Kansas State Department of Education's 2015 Kansas Cable Telecommunications Horizon Award Program. The initiative provides each Kansas school district with the opportunity to encourage, recognize and reward new members of the profession. The mission of the program is to honor exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 19, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Instructed by faculty with legal expertise and a well-rounded liberal arts education, students interested in law have thrived in small classroom settings at Baker University for more than a century. Lee Green, a faculty member for nearly 30 years, believes he knows the reason behind the success of the students before they embark on a career in the legal field.2014-Winter-PROUDcoverforweb

"The liberal arts focus on developing critical thinking, writing and oral communication skills is a big part of the reason that so many Baker graduates have had success in law school and in their careers as practicing attorneys," says Green, Juris Doctor, and professor of business and economics.

With the recent addition of a pre-law interdisciplinary minor at Baker, current students continue to be coveted by prestigious law schools as they prepare for a distinguished career. Six Baker graduates — Dale Werts, BA '84; Pat Hulla, BS '90; Anji Gandhi, BA '93; Kate (McGrath) Ellis, BS '93; Kendra Hanson, BA '10; and Katie Sellers, BS '11 — recently reflected on how their Baker experiences contributed to their success. Regardless of the stage in their profession, all of the alumni conveyed common threads leading to a gratifying career: critical thinking and excellent communication skills, inspiring faculty and valuable mentors.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 16, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, director of public relations, (785) 594-8330, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ryan-Gibbforweb1Ryan Gibb, assistant professor of international studies and political science at Baker, has traveled four times to Uganda to volunteer with the Awava, witnessing the positive effects of the socially conscious business practices on producers in East Africa that the organization's founders intended. Gibb first went to the African county to teach at a high school before returning a couple of years later to conduct dissertation research. For his most recent trip this past summer, he traveled to Gulu in northern Uganda to complete research, deliver supplies and visit friends.

In particular, Gibb has become close to Lucy, an artisan who has benefitted from the program. He makes sure to visit with her to learn more about the success of her business. 

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 16, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — John Robbs, a senior from Baldwin City, Kan., has been selected for the 2015 National Small College/Community College Intercollegiate Band. Robbs is an art history major with a double minor in business and music.

JohnRobbsforweb

Robbs, a drummer, will perform with the band March 25-28 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he will have an opportunity to collaborate with peers throughout the United States and Canada under the direction of Ray Cramer, professor emeritus from Indiana University.

The Baker student was selected before many other highly skilled and competent performers, based on his application and his director's recommendation and evaluation.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 15, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since graduating six months ago from Baker University, Bryan Williams, a member of the Class of 2014, has found a place educating others on an island in the South Pacific.Bryan-Williams

Williams, an English and secondary education major at Baker, has embraced serving as a WorldTeach volunteer in American Samoa, 6,000 miles from the comfort of Baldwin City. WorldTeach partners with governments and other organizations in developing countries to provide volunteer teachers to meet local needs and promote global citizenship. The organization works with the American Samoa Department of Education to place volunteers at schools that need assistance. For the first three weeks, he and 20 other volunteers lived together in a classroom for orientation.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 12, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

QuinnsforwebOverland Park, Kan. — While attending weekly classes from January 2013 through December 2014, the Quinn brothers relied on each other for inspiration to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from Baker University.

John and Ryan Quinn completed 43 credit hours at Baker's Overland Park campus, 7301 College Blvd. On Sunday, the brothers will be among 140 MBA graduates honored during a commencement ceremony at the Collins Center on the Baldwin City campus. Ryan (on left in photo) took the first step in applying to Baker's program, attending an information meeting two years ago. The more John heard about the coursework the more he wanted to join his sibling.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 12, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kenya-Emilie-DurganforwebTopeka, Kan. — Baker University School of Nursing faculty, alumni and students continue to assist 2008 School of Nursing graduates Ephantus Kimori Mwangi and Hottensiah Kimori in delivering on their medical mission of promoting health care in Kenyan communities through Streams of Hope International.

In July for the organization's sixth medical mission, nursing professor Ruth Ohm and assistant nursing professor Marlene Eicher, a 2005 graduate, joined a team of volunteers, including nursing students Alexandria Clark, Cierra Clark, Emilie Durgan and Erin Stephan. Two Stormont-Vail HealthCare nurses Mercedes Eicher, Class of 2012, and Lorin Feiden, Class of 2014, also made the 12-day trip, including days spent housed in living quarters with mosquito nets.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 10, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aubrey-Jamesforweb-2Topeka, Kan. — A former pastor with a background in medicine, James Aubey began thinking about pursuing a nursing degree during a faltering economy in 2008. After his first wife, a registered nurse, passed away a couple of years later, he followed his heart and enrolled in the Baker School of Nursing.

On Friday night, Aubey will join 31 classmates during a special pinning ceremony at Grace Episcopal Cathedral. Two days later, he will walk across the stage at the Collins Center as a Baker nursing graduate after earning a bachelor's degree in nursing.

Presidential installation held, administrative changes announced, Athletic Hall of Fame nominations due and more in the December edition of the Arbor.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 8, 2014
Contact: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics – Communications, (785) 594-8495, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. – Baker University's men's athletic program finished the 2013-14 academic year with the highest overall GPA of all 10 institutions in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, announced by the conference office.

Final inaugural events canceled, Wildcats at Arrowhead, Baker Orange awards and more in the November edition of the Arbor.

Baldwin City, Kan. — The Baker University Community Choir will begin rehearsing on Thursday, Aug. 28, for the fall season. The weekly rehearsals are from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at McKibbin Recital Hall in the Owens Musical Arts Building, 408 Eighth St., on the Baldwin City campus.

Athletic Hall of Fame, new online courses and more in the Summer edition of the arbor.

Each fall alumni don their orange and return to Baldwin City to stroll across campus, reconnect with old friends and cheer on the Wildcats.

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Baker University Director of Athletics Theresa Yetmar announced today that the University has put the head baseball coach search on hold for one year.

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