News for February

News for February

Letter from Dr. Pat Long

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your continued support of Baker! Your generosity has helped make some big dreams become reality for this University.

Chief among all our projects over the past year has been the renovation of the cafeteria and the further plan to renew and enlarge the Student Union lounge. In the summer we completed construction of the incredible new dining hall. Just recently, Baker received a wonderful holiday gift (yes – there is a Santa Claus – actually, an angel!). My sincere thank you goes out to our angel donor, Martha Hardy Mather, ’49, for the $1 million gift that has allowed us to begin construction of Phase II. The Student Union project touches all of us: It is the heart of the campus for our current students as well as the “living room” when alumni come back for visits. The impact this renovation will have on enrollment, retention, and the overall student experience will allow Baker to continue to provide the academic and cultural environment its founders promised 156 years ago.

At present, from the complete project total of $5.8 million we are just $1.3 million short of finishing Phase II. This phase includes a coffee bar and cafe, three new student collaboration study rooms, an entertainment space, significant energy efficiencies, a gorgeous outdoor veranda extending to the south with views across campus and the renovation of our Student Affairs offices on the second floor.

We began construction on February 3, so the building will be ready to host the Baker family during Alumni Weekend May 16-18. Personally, it would be a dream come true to see our students eat, work and play in this vibrant center before my retirement at the end of this school year . . . and, this is my stated goal!

Next month we will approach a national foundation that has on several other occasions supported similarly important capital projects at Baker through a matching grant. We know we will have a very good chance of receiving a positive response to the request that we will make as the momentum in donations continues from our alumni and donors.

I ask that you consider making a commitment to this project. If so, you may send your check or pledge to Union Project, Baker University, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006. To explore the many avenues available to participate in donating to the Union Renovation Project, please do not hesitate to contact me at 785.594.8311. I would love to visit with you. Thanks so very much in advance!


Dr. Pat

Help Baker Recruit Its Next Class

Please consider those among your family, friends, church or social activities who have a student that would benefit from and find future success through enrolling at Baker in Baldwin City. Thanks in advance for your help in this most important activity. For questions and further information, call Angela Martin Butell, ’93 and MBA ’99, Director of Recruitment at 785.594.4569.

Homecoming Dates Set for 2014

Write it down now as it is early this year: September 26-27. The Annual Sports Banquet and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction is the 26th and the Homecoming football game is the 27th.

The earlier date will allow for October to be the month in which the University holds its fall meeting of the Board of Trustees, Baldwin City holds its annual Maple Leaf Festival and Baker holds the inauguration of its 29th president, Dr. Lynne Murray.

A History of Excellence & Support

Baker University was chartered on February 12, 1858. Named for Osmon Cleander Baker, a distinguished scholar and bishop of what is now the United Methodist Church, the school holds the honor of being the first four-year university in Kansas.

Wandering Wildcats | Still Time to Get on Board

For general information on our June 2014 trip to New York and Bermuda call me (Jerry Weakley) at 1.785.594.8332 or view the info here. Call our travel advisor, John Novotny at Travellers in Lawrence, Kan., at 1.800.382.6700 for specific questions, pricing and information regarding deviations from the set travel plan. Time is running out for making reservations . . . so do it today!

Dr. Pat and Dennis Long, along with my wife, Patti, and I certainly hope you will consider joining us for this fun adventure!

Alpha Chi Omega House Director Retiring

After 18 years as Alpha Chi Omega’s house director, Kathleen Thomas, or “Mom K” as she known to her “girls,” is retiring. Through these many years the chapter has greatly benefited from Mom K’s compassion for Alpha Chi’s leadership on campus and in the community. Her mother, Vivian Courtney, also served as housemother for several years in the 1980s.

The chapter and house corporation plan to honor Mom K at Stag in May. The Alumnae Board is hoping that alumnae will make an effort to attend and thank her for her years of service and dedication to Alpha Chi Omega. (Look for updates on the chapter Facebook page, website and in the upcoming Omicron Observer newsletter.) The chapter is taking applications for a new house director and inquiries may be sent to Co-Chapter Adviser, Lindsay Vise, ’03, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Response 1 From a Previous Arbor

“Yes, Jerry, I have a heat (related) story. The heat loss was not to a building but to the room where I stayed. My sophomore year at  Baker, 1955-56, I was house boy at Wood Hall (a girls dorm) and there was a room in the SE corner of the basement for the house boy. Actually, I had the run of the whole unfinished basement, but the room in the SE corner was somewhat finished, i.e., the walls had long before been painted and it had some kind of material tacked to the ceiling joist. It also had a radiator on the ceiling. That was a very cold winter and with a radiator on the ceiling, where heat rises, and being about as far from the heat plant as any building on campus, that room was cold. I would study with my heavy coat on. However, I liked sleeping in a colder room, so I moved my bed across the hall to where the shower, sink and stool were and where there was no heat. At night I would let the water run in the sink to keep the pipes from freezing and in the morning would let the hot water in the shower run until the room would warm up a bit and then I would shower. I think I was the last person to ever occupy that basement. My roommate and I did enjoy living there, however, as the girls were friendly (they never visited us but we could visit with them through their outside window) and, as the basement was a storage area for dorm mattresses, we had plenty of space and beds for our friends from KU to come for a visit on weekends.” Dick Anderson, ’58

Thanks, Dick, makes me really appreciate my warm dorm rooms as a freshman in North Hall and, later, East Hall.

Response 2 From a Previous Arbor

“Yes, I do have warm (pun intended) memories of the steaming sidewalks of Baker, the occasional odd geyser and even warmer memories of the steam plant. I think the kind old gentleman's name that ran the plant may have been Clyde . . . can’t remember for sure, but we did have quite a few conversations back in the late '60s. Seems he was maybe as old as 80 because he could regale me with stories of my father as an adolescent, born in 1905, while this old gentleman was working on our family farm as a hired hand. It was always wonderful to come in a little early from working on the campus crew, clearing snow and ice from the sidewalks and building steps on campus, to stand near the large boilers that he kept roaring with both natural gas and campus trash. The surge of heat was welcomed after risking near frostbite for an entire shift, especially during those vicious cold snaps over the Christmas vacation week, when the buildings were locked up and no refuge from the cold was to be had. I seem to recall that the steam went to the Methodist Church, the Old Gym, Parmenter, Case and the Science building. Not sure about the others, since they were newer. And, while some of the sidewalks had steam lines under them, I can attest to the fact that not all of them did. I spent many an hour, day after day, chipping ice and snow off of them. Fond memories . . . sort of. I think the steam plant went away shortly after Clyde departed from that duty. Now must turn up the heat and warm my soul.” Paxton Williams, ’72

Thanks, Paxton, for that great stroll down a part steamy and part snow-covered memory lane!

Athletic Hall of Fame Committee Selects 2014 Inductees

The Athletic Hall of Fame committee met to consider and make final its selections for next fall’s induction ceremony that will be held in conjunction with Homecoming, September 26-27. Results will be published following the notification of the inductees. Nominations for the Athletic Hall of Fame for 2015 may be made anytime before Dec. 31, 2014.

Send nominations to Jerry Weakley, Athletic Hall of Fame, Baker University, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006. Include in the nomination as much information on the proposed nominee as possible, including sports, number of letters, honors, records, coaching positions or other pertinent and ultimately important related information.

Board of Trustees to Meet, President-Elect Murray on Campus

The Board of Trustees will hold its annual winter meeting on Friday, Feb. 14, with a follow-up half-day retreat the next day. Agenda items include progress reports on the University’s Strategic Plan, the 2014-15 budget, the current-year budget and updates on new programs and fundraising. President-Elect Murray will be on campus that week and will observe the proceedings of the meetings.

Baker Trivia Answer for January

The Question

Just a few years after the turn of the 20th century a two-person “Ferris wheel” type of apparatus was constructed on the Baldwin City campus. What was it called and what was its purpose?Binger

The Answers

According to the 1911 issue of the Orange Blossom (the yearbook that preceded the Wildcat), this apparatus was known as the Binger and, in fact, it was a two-person Ferris wheel. I  received only one guess, and though incorrect, thank you very much, Jim Foreman, ’79. Jim’s answer: “I'm going out on a limb, but here goes. The apparatus was called the (insert synonym for 'bottom') Blaster and was a type of exercise equipment.” Editor’s note: In fact, it may have very well have been both.

From the 1911 Orange Blossom

“One day when the sun was blistering hot and the dust filled the air with clouds, nine dirty and raw-throated surveyors began to long for shade and parks and determined upon the erection of the Binger. On the next day, by purchase and forage, the necessary materials were brought together, and the Binger was made and installed upon the campus just north of the gym. It arrived just in time to help the girls make a success of their Summer School "phantom" party, and from that time forth was the most popular institution on the campus. Girls rode on it; boys rode on it. It went forward or backward, fast or slow, according to the desires and energy of the “propeller.” Faculty members enjoyed it, and time after time the small boys of the town broke the restraining chain to steal an evening whirl. If you are an average person, your first ride on the Binger furnishes you with quite a sensation. On the way up you begin to wish you could stop, but you are utterly helpless. When you get to the top your eyes and mouth open a little wider, and your grip on the iron bar over your head tightens like a vise. As you start down your heart comes up into your throat, you gasp, unconsciously you elevate your shoulders and draw your feet up close under the seat. You seem an age in descending — you fear the machine will break — if it should, you would fall, and then perhaps the other person riding would be killed, too! Oh, what a relief! You are going up again, and it isn't so bad this time. After two more "bings" you say to the “propeller” as you pass him at the top, "A little faster, please." And after you have made your allotted fifteen rounds you can hardly be forced to give up your place to the one next in line. You have the mania. It's great sport. Long live the "Binger"! If nowhere else, let it live long in the memory of those to whom it has offered so much pleasant diversion.”

The “bing” was the sound it made on every rotation. In the picture you can see two riders and the person, the propeller, who pushed it.

Baker’s Accreditation History

In last month’s issue of the Arbor I listed several organizations and boards that accredit Baker for various types of educational programs. I received a note from classmate, Judge Ed (Sneezie) Schneeberger, ’70, that pointed out that I should have included the accreditation that the University receives from the Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church. Indeed, I should have!

Thanks, Sneezie, for reading critically through the Arbor! I can see that your .01 GPA advantage over me our first semester at BU was actually deserved!

Alumni & Campus Activities

February 14-15...Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees and Board Retreat

February 23...President’s Club Donor Dinner…Social at 5 p.m., Dinner at 5:30 p.m. (by invitation only)

April 12...The Annual Scholarship Auction & Gala...The Sheraton Convention Center Hotel, Overland Park, KS, 6 p.m.

May 2...Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees

May 10...SPGS/GSOE Commencement

May 16-18...Alumni Weekend and Activities

May 18...CAS/SOE/SON Commencement

May 31-June 10...Alumni Travel with Wandering Wildcats to Bermuda and New York

Trivia Question for February

The Question

What is the historical significance of Robert Hall Pearson Park? Where is it located? If you have a question that you think would be suitable as a monthly trivia question, please send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charitable Unitrust Lets You Avoid Capital Gains & Provides Retirement Income


Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities and built a sizable portfolio. While their investments increased substantially in value, their potential capital gains tax bill was rising. Now with retirement on the horizon, they were looking for a way to sell their highly appreciated stock, generate income for their future and avoid paying high capital gains tax.

For many years, they had been supporters of the University. Through an earlier issue of the Arbor they learned that they could make a gift of appreciated stock and bypass the potential capital gains tax cost that they would ultimately face. They learned that after transferring a stock portfolio to a Baker charitable remainder trust, the trust would sell the stock tax free.

They liked the fact that the trust would provide them with income for their retirement years. If something happened to Peter, Gail would still be taken care of for the remainder of her life. So, they decided to make a gift of their appreciated stock to establish a charitable remainder unitrust. They were thrilled at the prospect of creating future income while bypassing capital gains taxes.

When they were advised that in addition to these first two benefits that they would additionally receive a charitable deduction for their gift, it was just icing on the cake! This is the reason why so many savvy folks who are nearing retirement set up a similar charitable trust at universities and charities across the country.

For more information on how this type of planned giving instrument might potentially benefit you and your family, contact me at 785.594.8332 (office), 913.449.9540 (cell) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note: The names above are representative of typical donors and may or may not be an actual donor to our organization.

To view more articles dedicated to the latest news from Washington, savvy living, health, personal planning, gift stories, finance news, and timely articles related to business and taxes visit this webpage.

*This information is provided only for your consideration and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Always consult your own professional advisor before acting upon this or similar information.

As Dr. James Chubb, ’22, used to say when he visited classmates and alumni while on the road for Baker, “Please remember to leave something for Baker in your will!” And if you do.please let us know your plan.

Have a Great Month of February

I’ll write again in March. Jerry Weakley Download the PDF: icons-pdf-on February Arbor

Jerry L. Weakley, ’70, MBA ’92
Vice President for Endowment and Planned Giving
P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006
1.785.594.8332 | 913.449.9540
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baker is proud to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.