News for December

News for December

Baker’s 29th President Named

Upon conclusion of the campus visits and interviews conducted with the three individual candidates that the Presidential Search Committee ultimately identified from the original 72 individuals who had applied for the position, the committee met one final time to forward to the Board of Trustees their recommendation for the next University president. The Board of Trustees then met in special session on Monday, November 25. to discuss and ultimately vote on that recommendation. At a specially called press conference on the Baldwin City campus on Thursday, Dec. 5, Board Chairman Rich Howell, ’74, made the announcement and named the 29th president of Baker University, Dr. Lynne Murray. LynneMurray

Dr. Lynne Murray at her press conference and announcement ceremony[/caption] Dr. Murray currently serves as vice president of development, alumni and international relations at Gallaudet University, the world's only university for deaf and hard of hearing people. As vice president she has been instrumental in setting the strategic direction for the university, fiscal management and securing private support for the institution. She has worked intimately with the board, president and community to raise more than $79 million to support scholarships, faculty excellence and academic programs. Dr. Murray has also worked at Georgetown University, where she was a key leader in the development and implementation of the 1789 Scholarship Imperative to raise $500 million by 2014. As a senior director for advancement, she was instrumental in raising $317 million in total gifts from 2008-2010. As the senior officer, she worked closely with deans, the president and vice president of advancement to develop a comprehensive engagement strategy for the Mid-Atlantic region and worked closely with university leadership and board members on implementation. Early in her administration she has expressed the desire to meet as many former students, alumni, donors, parents and friends of the University that she can. Numerous opportunities for such social occasions will be organized. A list of the activities planned will be available in this publication, on the Baker website and through individualized emails and postcard announcements. I hope you will make every attempt to meet and welcome Dr. Murray at a time most convenient to you.

Wandering Wildcats...2014...New York and Bermuda

For general information on our June 2014 trip call me (Jerry Weakley) at 1.785.594.8332 or 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. Dr. Pat and Dennis Long, along with my wife, Patti, and I certainly hope you will plan to join us for a wonderful and fun trip! We had several individuals make a deposit in November and are up to 14 on the trip at this point.

Candlelight Vespers Held

In spite of bone chilling temperatures and light freezing rain that threatened to turn into snow, the “show went on” as the Baker University Department of Music presented the 83rd Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers at two special performances the second Sunday of December. The program was held for the second consecutive year in Rice Auditorium and included performances by the Baker Concert Choir, Baker Chamber Singers, Baker Speech Choir, Baker Orchestra, Baker Percussion Ensemble, Baker Brass Quintet and the University Community Choir. Cathy Crispino, interim director of choirs, conducted the choruses. Other conductors were Susan Emel, director of the speech choir; Ray James, director of bands; Mark Pretzel, director of orchestras; and Steve Riley, percussion instructor. In spite of the threatening weather, hundreds of alumni, parents, students, faculty and community members enjoyed the programs presented that truly brought the entire University community into the season of Advent!

Did You Know?

Baker Alumni include four Rhodes Scholars, a Pulitzer Prize winner, entrepreneurs, educators, nurses, writers, artists, doctors, explorers, entertainers, sports greats, politicians and trendsetters who have literally shaped our world.

Response from a Previous Arbor (Regarding Snow)

“My snow story dates back to WWII. They didn't clear the streets of snow in those days. I found a toboggan at our house and found a willing faculty member here at Baker with a car that was apparently willing to "waste" some 15 cent per gallon gas on me and a few other fellow students. We had an hour or so of sliding around town behind her car. I never had a chance to do that again. Seems the cities clear off the streets so soon now that the current generation of kids don’t stand a chance. Isn't that sad?” Thanks to Paul Coole, ’47, for this marvelous memory.

Last Month to Nominate for the 2014 Athletic Hall Of Fame

December is the cutoff month for nominations to be received for individuals who are to receive consideration for induction to the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. Send nominations to the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, Attn: Jerry Weakley, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City KS 66006 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Include as much biographic information on your candidate as possible, e.g., class of graduation or years of attendance, sports in which the nominee participated, records or honors received or currently held; for coaches, records and teams or schools at which they coached. The more information the committee has, the better the chance the candidate will have of being elected. The committee currently has over 50 individuals who have been nominated! Nominations must be received by December 31 to be considered in 2014. Please consider taking the time to nominate a teammate or someone of whom you are aware that is deserving.

Baldwin City Campus...Rice Auditorium…An Historical Note

Built in 1955 and renovated in 1983, Rice Auditorium is the venue used by most of Baker’s visiting lecturers and performing artists. Rice is also the stage for Baker’s largest plays, performed and directed by the Theatre Department. The Music Department also uses Rice Auditorium to perform a variety of concerts. The auditorium, which seats approximately 880 people, is a great location that hosts a variety of intellectual and enjoyable events for students and the communities near Baldwin City. Rice Auditorium is handicap accessible. It was named through a financial gift of the Kresge Foundation for Dr. Merton S. Rice, a United Methodist minister, and not as some have thought or conjectured, for former Baker Professor of Music, Dr. William C. Rice.

Baker Trivia Answer for November

The Question

Name all the various pizza restaurants or places that have served pizza in Baldwin City through the years. Thanks to all who responded.

The Answer(s)

From Jim Foreman, ’79: “The Pizza Place (next to the 4 Winds Motel). Wheat State, Pizza Hut (on the Hwy near east end of town). I think there was (or is) one located in the old Robinson Hardware store. I can't remember the name.” From Linda (Carlson) South, ’72: “I worked at the Pot Pourri for a year or so in 1966-67 located downtown in the old hardware store. The name of the proprietor escapes me now, but he was a former Baker professor, in English I believe. Pizza, sandwiches and salads were served.” (I can’t remember the owner either!) From Andrea Burrows Bresee, ’02, 1998-2002: “Gambino's, Walt's (the best!), Pizza Hut and Wheat State.” From Paxton Williams, ’72: “Okay, Jerry, you've thrown down the gauntlet. I had to put my people on it. After some deep brain calisthenics the following is the result: I do not believe the following ever served pizza: Audrey's, Chandelier, Black Jack Cafe, Allen's. Please send prize money to my account in the Caymans.” 1) Wheat State 2) Antonucci’s 3) Vichee’s 4) Casey's 5) OK Corral 6) Flipper Dipper 7) Pizza Hut 8) Quick Shop 9) JD's Pizza 10) Pizza Corner 11) House of Pizza 12) Trail House From me: 1):  The Baker Union (it’s VERY good) 2). If you would have come by our home on a Sunday night just about the time that Mission Impossible came on TV in the winter/spring of 69-70, the chances are good that you could have had a piece of “Chef Bo-yardee” box pizza that Patti and I made almost every week! (As I recall, we helped the dough rise by placing it on top of our old television set!) $2 w/added ingredients! If we missed any, feel free to respond on into January. (I know what I’m having for dinner!)

Teams and Individual Athletes Close Out Remarkable Fall

Baker athletes and teams had tremendous results this fall! Exciting competition was held every week and at times it seemed like virtually every day! Here’s a quick recap of some of the highlights of the fall of 2013:

Bowling...Finished the season ranked #16 in the International Bowling Media Association’s Top 20 Poll.

Women’s Cross Country…Finished first at the conference meet and 17th at the NAIA National Cross Country meet.

Men’s Cross Country...Finished fourth at the conference meet.

Football...11-2, finished tied for first in the HAAC, made the NAIA playoffs and won their first-round game against Sterling (Kansas). Coach Mike Grossner was named the HAAC Coach of the Year.

Women’s Soccer…7-6-6. rated #23 in the nation at one time during the season.

Men’s Soccer...15-6-2. rated as high as #3 in the nation, made it to the NAIA playoffs winning a first-found match against Midland Univ. (Nebraska)

Volleyball…Finished tied for second in the regular season of the conference and second in the HAAC tournament.

Numerous individual athletes representing every sport also won designation as NAIA Scholar-Athletes, All-Conference designations, Player of the Week or national NAIA All-American status. Now, at the conclusion of completion for these fall sports, the Wildcat coaches and assistant coaches are out combing the high schools and junior colleges for the next group of outstanding student-athletes that we will cheer on to victory next fall. If you know of an outstanding athlete, please contact the Department of Admissions or the Athletic Department. They would need to know the student’s name, the name of the school they attend, their current class in school, their sport and any other information such as phone number, email address or home address so that a Baker representative can contact them. Thanks for your help. Congratulations to all the athletes and coaches.

Alumni & Campus Activities

December 14 & 15...Winter Commencement

December 20 (noon) through January 2 (8 a.m.)...Christmas Holidays..the University is closed.

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

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

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

May 10, 16-18...SPGS/GSOE Commencement followed by Alumni Weekend activities

May 18...CAS/SOE/SON Commencement May 31-June 10...Alumni travel with Wandering Wildcats to Bermuda and New York

Kevin Mahogany Returns to Perform

Internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany, a 1981 Baker graduate, returned to the Baldwin City campus the week of November 18-21 to serve as an artist in residence, working with Baker students focusing on jazz education and the life of a professional musician and to rehearse with the Jazz Ensemble. On Friday, Nov. 22, he was the head adjudicator for a high school jazz band competition. Twenty-two bands from northeast and central Kansas performed on the stages of Rice Auditorium and McKibbin Recital Hall. The evening before, he performed in the 16th annual Baker University Jazz Festival. Led by J.D. Parr, professor of music, the Jazz Ensemble joined with Mahogany to perform various big band swing, fusion, Latin and standards Even though Kevin attempted to lure me onto stage to engage in a duet on “Satin Doll” (my favorite jazz standard), I gracefully declined and stayed firmly planted in my seat…much to the relief of my wife, Patti, and President Long! The entire performance by Kevin and the Baker Jazz Ensemble was warmly received by everyone in attendance.

Trivia Question for December

The Question

Who/what are Toby and Frankie...and Luke and Cassy?

The Answers

Will be revealed and discussed in the next issue of From the Arbor. (You will have had to have been paying close attention for the past few years and again, just recently, to get the complete answer to this question!)

Qualified Retirement Plan Gifts to Charity pulliamlogo

Each year, IRA, 401(k)s and 403 (b)s are subject to required minimum distributions (RMDs). Because the distributions start at just under 4% at age 71 and then slowly increase, many IRA and 401(k) plans will continue to grow. While the distributions will eventually become larger, most individuals will eventually pass away with an IRA etc. balance reasonably close to, if not actually above, the value of their plan at age 70. For this reason, the eventual distribution options for such retirement plans are quite important. In many cases an IRA, 401(k) or 403 (b) may be the largest asset in an estate. (In this discussion, IRA will from this point on stand for all qualified retirement plans.) IRAs etc. are transferred through a designated beneficiary that you select on your custodian's form. The five common choices for designated beneficiary are the surviving spouse, children, charity, a trust for children or a trust for spouse and children. You can designate percentages or amounts to each and everyone of the above beneficiaries. For the purpose of this discussion, I will deal strictly with option 3, designation of beneficiary status to charity Charity... For the IRA owner, the qualified plan is a wonderful benefit and a very good asset. However, for children, the IRA is transferred with a large "you owe the IRS" tax bill attached (with the exception of a Roth IRA, which is income tax free). For the vast majority of qualified plans, the child will pay income tax. Worse yet, the IRA distributions may even push the child into a higher tax bracket, further complicating their immediate and future tax situation. With the income tax on the IRA and no income tax paid on the home, land or stocks, for children the IRA is a less desirable asset. In fact, many will consider this a "bad asset" because of the income tax on most IRA payouts to children. For this reason, children would far prefer to receive a home, land or stock because there is no income tax bill attached, and gifts of such items receive a step-up-in-basis that helps defray/offset potential future capital gains upon the sale of such an asset. The wise planning decision is to transfer the home, stocks or land (the good assets) to children and the IRA to charity (the bad assets due to the income tax bill to children). Because charities are tax exempt, there is no payment of income tax or estate tax. The charity receives the full value tax free. By transferring the IRA to charity, it is possible to turn a bad asset into a good asset. Another benefit of transferring an IRA (or portion thereof) to a charity is that the donor has the opportunity to work out in advance exactly how the charity will use the asset being transferred, i.e., create an endowment, use for a capitol building project, fund a chair in a specific subject area, support of athletics/theater/music/speakers series...the choices are almost endless. Please give me a call if you would like to further investigate the gifting of a qualified retirement plan to Baker. You may reach me at 1.785.594.8332. (Certain individuals may make a tax-free donation to Baker before December 31). *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 December and a Very Merry Christmas

I’ll write again in January. Jerry Weakley

Download the PDF: icons-pdf-on December 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.