About Baker Athletics
The Baker athletics program is steeped in history, and its future is bright. The Wildcats sponsor 19 conference sports, as many as any other member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, and consistently challenges for the HAAC All-Sports award. The program dates back to the 1890s with a win over the University of Kansas in the state's first intercollegiate football game and boasts more than 100 All-Americans and nearly 100 conference titles.
The program also thrives in academics and philanthropic endeavors. Athletes are involved in campus organizations as officers. More than 50 Wildcats annually are named HAAC Scholar-Athletes for their success both on the field and in the classroom. Baker was one of the first NAIA schools to take part in the Champions of Character program, which emphasizes respect, servant leadership, integrity, sportsmanship and responsibility.
Heart of America Athletic Conference
Baker has been a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference since the organization's inception in 1971. The conference consists of 11 schools in three states and sponsors 17 sports (eight for men and women apiece, and co-ed spirit squad). The schools are located in southwest Iowa, eastern Kansas and throughout Missouri. The conference has a website at HAAConference.com.
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Legendary Baker athletic figure Emil Liston, a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame, helped found the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to organize the first national collegiate basketball championship in 1937. The association now consists of more than 360 schools throughout the United States and in Canada and sponsors two dozen national championship events. Its home office is in Kansas City, Mo.
The NAIA has been on the forefront of social change. When it was still known as the National Association of Intercollege Basketball in 1948, the NAIA became the first national organization to offer intercollegiate postseason opportunities to black student-athletes. The NAIA made another unprecedented action in 1953 when historically black institutions were voted into membership. In 1980, the NAIA became the first organization to offer collegiate athletics to both men and women.
Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through Champions of Character, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five tenets: respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership and sportsmanship. This program educates and creates awareness of the positive character-building traits afforded by sports and returns integrity to competition at the collegiate and youth levels while affecting all of society.
About Baker University
- Baker was the first university in Kansas. It was founded in 1858 by what is now the United Methodist Church.
- Three Baker buildings are listed on the National Historical Register: Old Castle Museum, 1858; Parmenter Hall, built in the 1860s; and Case Hall, 1904.
- The University's science program offers students 600 acres of Baker-owned wetlands, woods, and prairie for outdoor laboratory experiences.
- Baker is one of only two universities in the country to have orange as a single school color. The other school is Syracuse University.
Liberal Arts Education
At a liberal arts university, students are required to take courses in many different fields. Studies show that today's college graduates will have a minimum of four careers in their lifetimes. Not just four jobs - but four distinct careers. A student entering college today will, upon graduation, likely take a job that does not yet exist. The times of training for a specific job and staying with that job throughout an entire career have passed.
As the world continues to change at a breathtaking pace, employers are turning to the workforce, looking for employees with the ability to adapt, integrate, and thrive. They're looking for liberal arts graduates; lifelong learners with excellent communication and leadership skills. They want employees who have learned to be inquisitive, analytical, creative problem solvers.
Many students elect to spend a semester or a year studying abroad and Baker offers a variety of ways for students to do so. The most popular choice is to attend Harlaxton College in Grantham, England. Each year, about 30 Baker students live and study for a semester in a Victorian manor where they pursue British history, literature, political theory and business. These students also have extensive travel opportunities during their time in Europe. Through affiliations with Central College and the Council for International Educational Exchange, Baker is able to offer a full range of study abroad programs worldwide in almost any discipline.
Baker believes that studying abroad is an important ingredient in individual development. Students learn about themselves as well as others when they are far from home. Baker strives to make the experience affordable and financial aid may be applied to approved study abroad programs.
Baker operates on a two-semester school year - spring and fall - plus an interterm in January. During interterm, students enroll in one class that meets Monday through Friday for three weeks. Unlike regular catalog courses, they involve special topics, travel, or internships.
All freshmen enroll in the First Year Seminar. Designed to help students with the transition to college, the course focuses on academic and personal skills. It covers a wide variety of subjects, from study tips to being comfortable in social situations. It also has a strong career development component.
The Baker financial aid package is typically a combination of University scholarships, state and federal grants, campus work, and student loans. Only loans must be repaid after graduation. More than 90 percent of Baker students receive scholarships and grants.
Baldwin City is a beautiful small town with brick streets and Victorian homes. Each fall, the city attracts 30,000 visitors to its famous Maple Leaf Festival. Always the third weekend in October, the colorful festival features crafts, food and entertainment.
Lawrence is 15 minutes north and Kansas City is 45 minutes to the northeast. Topeka is 45 minutes northwest and Wichita is 2.5 hours southwest.