From the Arbor | News for June from Jerry Weakley

Greetings once again from beautiful Baldwin City, Kansas.

June is unfolding as I begin this most current issue of the Arbor. I hope that wherever you are it is as gorgeous a day as it is here . . . and, it’s about time. It seems that we have had an unusually long and severe winter, followed by a cool and overly wet spring with numerous storms and severe weather. Now at the end of the first full week, we have a full-blown heatwave!

I continue to think of the individuals and families, whether connected to Baker or not, who lost lives or property in the terrible tornado in Joplin, Mo. Such devastation and loss of life in a single weather-related tragedy is just so difficult to image. The thoughts and prayers from all of us at Baker go out to those who are experiencing loss from this or other similar events right now.

Alumni Weekend 2011

Just prior to that terrible storm in Joplin we dodged a storm of major potential in Baldwin City just as our annual Alumni Day events concluded and STAG evening was well under way. A significant storm carrying heavy rain and wind, some hail and lots of lightening and thunder descended upon the Baldwin City STAG activities scattered about town. Television stations and weather personnel in Kansas City and the surrounding area carried ongoing reports of the storm as it moved up 1-35 toward Kansas City and beyond. A small after-hours party I was attending south of Baldwin mostly dissolved into two groups, one out on the porch keeping a personal watch over the developing weather while the other group elected a somewhat more secure roost to ride out the storm in the basement of the house.

Before the storm’s arrival, Baker enjoyed a wonderful weekend of activities that were all well attended. Beginning with the Friday golf tournament with 177 players (that was interrupted for a couple of hours by a nonsevere rain storm), a Friday-evening reunion party at the Double Tree hotel in Overland Park with nearly 300 in attendance, and the Annual Alumni Awards Banquet with right at 180. We welcomed back 800 to 1,000 former students and alumni for one or more for those events or other activities on the Baldwin City campus and for the annual Greek dinners at the individual houses.

Commencement Sunday

The storms of Friday and Saturday subsided by commencement on Sunday, and both services were held on a beautiful spring day with near-record crowds in attendance! The Scottish Pipers did their job of getting the graduates across campus and into their places. Smiles were much in evidence on everyone’s faces . . . and some tears too.

Throughout the weekend I was reminded of my own graduation (year unimportant) as I vividly recalled similar strong storms, lightening, thunder and lots of rain. Our commencement ceremony that had been scheduled for the football field was moved into Rice Auditorium, which quickly overflowed with graduates, faculty, guests and family. Thankfully, the George F. Collins Jr. Sport and Convention Center continues to serve all of our schools well both for athletics and certainly at commencement time!

Moving on, there seems to have been an unusually large number of activities and items to report from the past month and as we head into the first of two summer sessions on the Baldwin City campus. I look forward to bringing reports of these activities and other items of potential interest to your attention in this issue of the Arbor.

You will find a recap of the details on the June 2012 Greek Isle Cruise that was discussed in the last issue of the Arbor. To date 11 couples have made deposits and about 14 other couples and individuals have requested additional information or expressed sincere interest. I hope you will plan now to join us too!

Access the current issue of the Arbor. I hope you will find something in it that will inform, entertain or further engage you with our University!

Jerry Weakley, 1970/MBA 1992

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