Year in Review | 2011-2012

Baker Community



Students in the Summer Bridge program

Developed in collaboration with the Kauffman Scholars, Baker participates in the five-week Summer Bridge Program for the first time, better preparing recent high school graduates for the college life. Sixteen students enrolled in the residential program, receiving six credit hours and academic support to jump-start their college experience.


The School of Professional and Graduate Studies is host to financial expert Dave Ramsey’s “EntreLeadership: Building Leaders, Growing Businesses” at its Overland Park campus.

Susan Wade, director of career services, receives the Midwest Regional Educator of the Year honor at the INROADS Midwest Region awards banquet in Kansas City, Mo.

G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, awards Baker the designation of Military Friendly School.

University Advancement moves into the Alumni Center, the former Phi Mu house.


Author and Baldwin City native James Houston Turner, a 1969 Baker graduate, returns to campus to sign copies of his latest suspense thriller, Department Thirteen, at the Collins House.

Marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. President William Howard Taft’s visit to the Baldwin City campus, Baker celebrates its fall convocation at Rice Auditorium. John Richards, assistant professor of history, and Leonard Ortiz, assistant professor of history, speak at the event.


Baker nursing students at Community Wellness Festival

A King James Bible from the University’s William A. Quayle Bible Collection is highlighted on the cover of National Geographic magazine for the story “The King James Bible: Making a Masterpiece,” to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the treasured book.


Former Trustees chair and current board member Susanne Richardson Teel is recognized in Denver as District VI Conference Volunteer of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.


Jim Richardson, the photographer whose image of the University’s King James Bible graced the cover of the December National Geographic magazine, speaks at the Baldwin City campus.

More than 300 people attend the 11th annual Community Wellness Festival, sponsored by the Baldwin City Recreation Commission and Baker. It is is held at the Collins Center.


Baker hosts the third annual Undergraduate Art History Conference, featuring students from across the country.

For the second consecutive year, The Arbor Day Foundation names Baker University a 2011 Tree Campus USA in honor of its commitment to effective community forestry management.

Baker celebrates Arbor Day with the planting of three trees to honor retiring professors Gary Giachino, Preston Fambrough and George Wiley.

Joyce Moore-Stovall, a medical doctor and entrepreneur, is the keynote speaker at Baker’s 32nd annual candlelight vigil, which honors those who fought for justice and equality during the Civil Rights Movement.

Rachel Lusk, a junior from Overland Park, is honored with the annual Milan-Harris Award for promoting diversity.


Mark Kabban, a 2008 graduate, is selected as a CNN Hero for providing free tutoring and soccer training to 200 young refugees through his YALLA program in the San Diego area.

Mulvane Transformation

Science faculty break ground for Mulvane project.


The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., commits $750,000 toward the Mulvane Transformation Project.


Baker celebrates the groundbreaking of the addition to Mulvane Hall as part of the $10.3 million Mulvane Transformation project. President Pat Long announces the naming of the Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education, highlighted by an anonymous $3.5 million gift — the largest in Baker’s history.


The steel framework of the Mulvane Hall addition, the Ross C. and Christine Hartley Hall, takes shape.


The Goppert Foundation of Kansas City, Mo., awards a $100,000 grant to benefit the Mulvane Transformation Project.


President Pat Long announces at the Scholarship Gala and Auction a $1.6 million gift from Baker University alumnus Ross Hartley and his wife, Christine Hartley, toward the Ivan Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education. It was also proclaimed that the 9,000-square-foot addition will be known as Hartley Hall.

The Arts & Performances


The Department of Music and Theatre presents Impolite Comedy at Rice Auditorium.

The 14th annual Baker University Invitational Jazz Festival is held at Rice Auditorium.


The Department of Music presents the 81st Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers at First United Methodist Church. “Sounds of the Season,” composed by Mark Hayes, makes its world premiere. A generous donation by Susanne Teel, a member of Baker’s Board of Trustees, commissioned the work.


The University of Kansas School of Music and Reach Out Kansas Inc. presents “The Creation of West Side Story” as part of the 2011-12 Kansas Partnership for the Arts series.

Athletic Achievement


Four former Baker standouts — Greg Mohns, ’72; Bobby Bates, ’82; Carl Danzig, ’87; and Patti Phillips, ’88 — are inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Overland Park. The event also salutes current Baker scholar-athletes.

In her first year as director of athletics, Theresa Yetmar, ’02, is recognized as Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, joining six other recipients from all levels of collegiate competition.


Baker is selected by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics as a Five Star Champions of Character institution, which focuses on instilling an understanding of  values in sport and provides practical tools for student-athletes, coaches and parents to use in modeling exemplary character traits.

The Wildcat athletic program caps a successful fall season as the men’s soccer team wins the conference regular-season crown and reaches the NAIA semifinals, the women’s soccer team wins HAAC regular-season and conference titles and advances to the NAIA quarterfinals, the men’s cross country team wins the conference and finishes 25th nationally, the volleyball team finishes undefeated in the conference, and the football team ends the season ranked 21st nationally.
More Sports Highlights


Baker ranks No. 1 in the NAIA with 28 NAIA Scholar-Athletes.


Baker’s wrestling team captures the Kansas Cup at the Collins Center by winning the tournament featuring all the  Kansas schools that offer collegiate wrestling.


Baker’s wrestling program places 11th at the NAIA national championship and produces four All-Americans: Brandon Gebhardt, Jarell Price, Robert Shadrach and Jarid Price.

The Wildcat men’s basketball team, runner-up at the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament, qualifies for the NAIA tournament in Kansas City, Mo., for the first time since 1941.

Baker is ranked No. 18 nationally in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup through the winter athletic season. The honor ranks schools based on their performances at national events.

The men’s and women’s track teams both win titles at the HAAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Baker University sophomores Stephanie Nelson places seventh in the shot put and Katie Thurbon eighth in the pole vault to receive All-America honors at the 2012 NAIA indoor track and field national championships.


The Baker University small dance team claims its second consecutive national title at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics/National Dance Alliance Small Dance National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.


The men’s and women’s track and field teams sweep the conference championship meet.

Sophomore Stephanie Nelson wins the javelin at the NAIA outdoor track and field championships, becoming Baker’s first national champion since 1953. Teammate Katie Thurbon places second in the pole vault.


Enjoying the best overall athletics year in program history, Baker University is named the top-ranked Kansas and Heart of America Athletic Conference school in the final 2011-2012 NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings for its performances at national events.

Academic Achievement


Dr. Pat Long and Alex Bulk, top BOOK award winner

Baker is the highest-ranked Kansas university in the Midwest Regional category of the 2012 edition of the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges.


Sophomore Nancy Delgado, a pre-med and Spanish major from Emporia, is named one of 52 Merit Award recipients from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

2011 Phi Beta Delta inductees

Six students are recognized for their involvement in the Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge (BOOK) program, which helps enhance students’ internship experience. Alex Bulk, a senior from Wamego, received the top $1,500 award after interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Baker is named one of the top 100 Best Values in Private Universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for combining outstanding quality with affordability. The University is the lone Kansas institution listed in the 200-school rankings and the highest ranked school in the Kansas City metropolitan area.


Mass media students place in the top 10 in two categories at the Associated Collegiate Press Conference in Orlando, Fla., featuring a national competition for universities and colleges of all sizes.

Eight students, a faculty member and administrator are inducted into Baker University’s Delta Pi chapter of Phi Beta Delta, an honor society for international scholars. Students inducted are Kayla Anderson, Sydney Doster, Parker Duncan, Kathryn Fritz, Mejalli Al-Kofahi, Sarah Pembrook, Blake Stanwood and Warren Swenson. Brett Knappe, assistant professor of art history, and Rand Ziegler, vice president and dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences, are also inducted. 

The School of Nursing receives from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education the maximum 10-year accreditation for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The reaccreditation visit from the Higher Learning Commission results in a positive review for the University and a recommendation for the highest level of reaccreditation: 10 full years.


Baker receives approval from the Higher Learning Commission of Colleges and Schools to launch an Early Career Master of Business Administration (EcMBA) program.

Cynthia Johnson speaks at winter commencement 2011.

Baker honors more than 700 graduates with three commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center. Commencement speakers are Susan Lindahl, executive vice president of administrative services and chief operating officer at Baker; Cynthia Johnson, a consultant for the National Middle School Association and Staff Development for Educators; and Dan Harris, a former coach and athletic administrator at Baker.


The Baker University Master of Business Administration program is ranked No. 1 in fall enrollment for Kansas City area universities, according to a survey conducted by the Kansas City Business Journal. Baker recorded a fall 2011 enrollment of 542 MBA students.

Baker University announces the development of a concentration in health care administration.


Roger Boyd, ’69, director of natural areas and professor emeritus of biology, is honored as the Conservationist of the Year at the Kansas Wildlife Federation’s 2012 Conservation Achievement Program awards banquet in Salina.

Roger Boyd, Conservationist of the Year, and Greg Kramos, ’89, Wildlife Conservationist of the Year

Baker University faculty were honored at a reception. Baker President Pat Long announced that Bill Neuenswander has earned the title of Dean Emeritus of the School of Education for his years of valuable and meritorious service as a member of the education faculty, department chair of education and as both an assistant dean and dean of the School of Education. Another highlight was the announcement of the new chair in the humanities at Baker created in honor of Walt Bailey, ’62, retired professor of art. Rick Schaffer ’70, a former student of Bailey’s and a longtime supporter of Baker art programs, provided funding for the chair. Other announcements included the approval of the tenure and promotion for the following faculty effective the beginning of the 2012-2013 academic year:

College of Arts and Sciences: Robin Liston, assistant professor of music, granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Leonard Ortiz, assistant professor of history, granted tenure; John Richards, assistant professor of history, granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor.

School of Education: Carolyn Doolittle, assistant professor of education, granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Amy Wintermantel, assistant professor of education, granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor.

School of Nursing: Deborah Agnew, instructor of nursing, promoted to the rank of assistant professor.


Quest is launched.

Baker celebrates the official launch of Quest, the new liberal studies program on the Baldwin City campus. The development of the program was funded by a generous gift from the Hall Family Foundation. Dr. Jared Grantham, ’58, a member of the Board of Trustees, and his wife, Carol, ’58, provided a $1,000 cash prize for  naming  the program. Cheryl McCrary, ’87, administrative assistant, and her daughter, Baker student Kaylin McCrary, won the naming contest with their Quest entry.

Senior Will Duncan is accepted to Oxford University in England.

Following a national search, Brian Posler, associate provost for academic affairs at the University of Southern Indiana, is named the University’s executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Baker announces plans to expand its Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program with a concentration for higher education administrators.

The Baker Orange, the student newspaper, receives the Kansas Associated Collegiate Press’ All-Kansas Award for four-year, private-college newspapers. It marks the 13th time since 1998 that the Orange has received the All-Kansas newspaper award. Rachel Hawkins, Olathe, served as the newspaper’s editor in the fall and was the first runner-up in the Four-Year Newspaper Journalist of the Year competition at the conference.

Broadcast students and associate professor Joe Watson

Baker’s student-led radio and television stations receives 10 awards, including four first-place honors from the 2012 Kansas Association of Broadcasters in the annual student broadcast awards competition.

Junior Lauren Breithaupt, of Overland Park, Kan., is selected to participate in the American Psychological Association’s Summer Science Fellowship, which begins on June 16 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Faculty have their works published in more than 20 scholarly publications for the year and more than 50 students are honored for their regional and national presentations.


Two May graduates are recognized as the 2012 Fran Jabara Leadership Award recipients during spring commencement ceremonies. Alex Bulk, Wamego, and Lee Ann Michel, Downs, received the honors, which were presented by Gary Irick, assistant professor and chair of the business and economics department at Baker University. The Fran Jabara Leadership Award Endowment recognizes the leadership potential of outstanding young men and women as they graduate.

Susan Emel, professor of communication, receives the Jennie Howell Kopke and Verda R. Kopke Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award recognizes a faculty member, without regard to rank or years of service, who has a record of excellence in teaching and in transforming students into scholars, who brings honor to the University and who exhibits good moral character.

Baker ‘s student-run is selected as the Great Plains Student Website of the Year for promoting the highest standards of journalism.

Four Baker University School of Education alumni—Chris Crawford, Lachelle Sigg, Pam Tate and Mike Wolgast—are inducted into Baker’s Wall of Honor.

Baldwin City Campus Life


Zeta Phi Beta turns five.

Cornelia Flora, distinguished professor of agriculture and sociology at Iowa State University, discusses climate change, food security and food sovereignty as part of Baker University’s participation in the Real Food Challenge National Food Day.


Baker honors 26 first-year and transfer students for graduating from the 2011 Emerging Leaders Summit.


The Pi Sigma chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority celebrates its fifth birthday.

Devan A. Taylor speaks at Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.


Devan A. Taylor, senior pastor of Beyond the Four Walls Church International, speaks at Baker University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

More than 20 Baker students and staff members participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, volunteering at Baldwin First United Methodist Church, the Lumberyard Arts Center and Vintage Park in Baldwin City and Harvesters Community Food Network in Topeka.


Students volunteer at the Lumberyard Arts Center.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs, the student-run diversity organization Mungano and Dining Services coordinate several events for Black History Month.

Rachel Dannen, a senior from Olathe, is selected to receive the National Association for Campus Activities Heart of America Region Scholarship for student leaders.

The Office of Student Life wins the Innovative Program Award for the Serve 2 Succeed mentoring program at the National Orientation Directors Association Region IV Conference in Oklahoma City.

Service Learning & Community Service


Social Justice and Service in Haiti Interterm class

The Office of Student Life launches Serve 2 Succeed, a new program funded through AmeriCorps Kansas and Kansas Campus Compact.


The School of Professional and Graduate Studies in the Kansas City metro area and Topeka deliver more than $2,000 worth of supplies to school districts in Kansas City and Topeka.

Students volunteered at Harvesters Community Food Network in Topeka

More than 100 Baker University students, faculty, staff and community members volunteer to package 22,264 meals for the Numana SWIPE Out Hunger event. The meals were delivered to the Horn of Africa for relief.


Twenty-five volunteers from Baker University’s Wichita campus help with Operation Holiday. The program provides coats, blankets, food and toys to more than 12,000 families, including 6,700 children, in a three-day period. Baker’s students, faculty and staff bagged groceries and toys, and helped escort the recipients to their car after they received their gifts.

Baker University faculty and staff on the Baldwin City campus adopted seven families, providing gifts for 28 individuals in the Salvation Army’s annual Adopt-A-Family program in Douglas County.


Lauren Williams, 2012 Newman Civic Fellow

Jake Bucher, assistant professor of sociology, and 10 students spend 12 days in Haiti as part of a Social Justice and Service in Haiti Interterm class. The students worked directly on earthquake restoration, helped build a school, taught English and computer literacy and worked with orphans.


The Office of Student Life sponsors a volunteer trip to Harvesters Community Food Network in Topeka, as part of the Souper Bowl Weekend of Caring Service Blitz. The group packages 2,145 backsnacks for Topeka-area youth.


Lauren Williams, a Baker University sophomore from Olathe, has been named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.

Silent auction during the Scholarship Gala and Auction



More than $10,000 is raised at the fourth annual Marc C. Roudebush Memorial Scholarship golf tournament, a benefit for student scholarships at the Wichita campus.


The Scholarship Gala and Auction raises a University-record $250,000 for student scholarships.

Campus Improvements


Welcome Center

The University unveils the Janice and David Von Riesen Welcome Center and Donald R. and Martha Mather Admission and Financial Aid Suite, which are housed in Denious Hall, formerly a residence hall.

Office of Admission

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