Year in Review | 2012-2013


Sean Webb

Sean Webb

Sean Webb, a junior from Wamego, Kan., becomes the first Baker student to be accepted into the Scholars in Rural Health Program.

For the second consecutive year, Baker University’s Office of Student Life participates in Serve 2 Succced, a mentoring program funded through AmeriCorps Kansas and Kansas Campus Compact.

The University reports an overall fall enrollment of 3,208 students.

Six new faculty members begin teaching on the Baldwin City campus.


The School of Professional and Graduate Studies hosts Dave Ramsey’s “EntreLeadership: Building Leaders, Growing Businesses” one-day simulcast at its Overland Park campus.

Baker students visit with several local and area agencies to learn more about community service opportunities at the Volunteer Fair.


Mulvane Transformation is complete

Mulvane Transformation is complete

Baker celebrates the completion of the Mulvane Transformation outside the $11.3 million Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education, which houses the renovated Mulvane Science Hall, the 9,000-square-foot addition of the Ross and Christine Hartley Hall and a relocated greenhouse.

Martha Harris, professor of business and economics, is named the new assistant dean for academic affairs for Baker’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Alan Grant, professor of business and economics, places first at the Economist Educators Best in Class Teaching Award competition for his presentation, “Using Game Theory & Collective Action Experiments to Teach Economics of Social Issues.”

Author Warren St. John discusses his book Outcasts United, selected as the University’s common book, and signs copies of the bestseller at Rice Auditorium.

An exhibition of original artwork, “Out of Fifty: Walt Bailey Retrospective 1962-2012,” opens at Holt-Russell Gallery at Parmenter Hall.

Two former Baker standouts, a former Wildcat coach and current coach who starred in football and baseball are inducted into the University’s Athletic Hall of Fame at the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction and Student-Athlete Awards Banquet at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center. Honorees are Taylor Gill, ’83; Phil Hannon, ’86; Liesel Kirk-Fink, ’02 and former football coach Joe Girardi, inducted posthumously. Also at the event, more than 80 student-athletes are recognized, including 56 NAIA Scholar-Athletes for excelling in the classroom and in athletics.


Leigh Anne Neal

Leigh Anne Neal

Jesse Green, a biology education major from Baldwin City, and Tiffany Steinbacher, an elementary education major from Erie, Kan., are honored as Teachers of Promise at the Kansas Teacher of the Year banquet in Wichita.

Leigh Anne Neal, a student in Baker University’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program, is named an American Association of School Administrators Educational Administration Scholarship winner.

Baker celebrates International Education Week, focusing on the theme Striving for a Healthier Future Worldwide.

Ten Baker University students and three Baker faculty members are inducted into the Delta Pi chapter of Phi Beta Delta, an honorary society for international scholars.

Baker Orange Online is recognized with its first national Pacemaker Award at the Associated Collegiate Press and National College Media Convention in Chicago. The website,, is one of five to be recognized in the category for schools with an enrollment of 5,000 or fewer students. The Pacemaker is regarded as the Pulitzer Prize in student journalism.

Baker Orange Online staff with Pacemaker Award

Baker Orange Online staff with Pacemaker Award

Baker honors 22 first-year and transfer students for graduating from the 2012 Emerging Leaders Summit, which challenges students to develop their leadership skills by learning styles to enable others to act, develop teamwork and establish values and respect.

Jeanne Mott, director of financial aid, is honored with her induction into the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Hall of Fame. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant difference for the profession, students and colleagues. Also at the conference of the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, Mott receives a regional leadership award — one of six presented nationally — from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

The University receives accreditation from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.



Dr. Lowell Jacobsen, Rhodes Professor of International Business

The Eta Kappa Chapter-at-Large of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nursing, inducts 16 Baker University School of Nursing students and two Baker alumni during a ceremony at the Pozez Education Center.

Dr. Lowell Jacobsen, the Rhodes Professor of International Business, receives the Mike Wood Presidential Citation of Merit at the 2012 Eliot S. Berkley Lecture.

Baker recognizes 350 undergraduate students and 330 graduate students during winter commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center. Keynote speakers are Brian Posler, executive vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Rusty Meigs, the senior Web architect for the Olathe (Kan.) School District and a 2010 EdD; and Trustee Richard Howell, a 1974 Baker graduate and 30-year veteran of the oil and chemical industry. Howell receives an honorary doctorate.

Rice Auditorium is filled to capacity for the two performances at the 82nd annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers.



Students and Dr. Lee Green visit Washington, D.C., for a 16-day interterm trip that included the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.

Senior Lauren Amrein, a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, is honored as the St. Jude Collegiate Ambassador of the Year at the Tri-Delta’s St. Jude Leadership Weekend for her involvement with the Up ’til Dawn campaign, a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and to a Tri Delta who “goes above and beyond philanthropy events to support St. Jude.”

The Associated General Contractors honors Baker’s Mulvane Transformation in the Kansas State Building Awards Program during its annual convention at the Marriott Wichita.

Wallace Hartsfield, Pastor Emeritus of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo., is the keynote speaker during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at the Osborne Chapel.

Led by Lee Green, professor of business and economics, six students visit Washington, D.C., for a 16-day trip, including the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama as part of the interterm “Washington, D.C: The History of Our Nation’s Capital City.”

Seven Baker students are studying at Harlaxton College for the spring semester and other students abroad are in Ireland, Mexico and Italy.


Katerra Shackelford

Katerra Shackelford

The Arbor Day Foundation honors Baker as a Tree Campus USA, a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Baker is the only university in Kansas recognized.

Prospective students attend Celebrating Science Day on the Baldwin City campus to learn more about biology, chemistry, math, physics and computer science.

The Board of Trustees announce that University President Dr. Pat Long will retire on June 30, 2014 at the completion of her eighth year leading Baker.

Senior Katerra Shackelford, a Kansas City, Kan., senior majoring in business, is a presenter at the 36th annual Big XII Conference on Black Student Government at Kansas State University.

Baker announces on Founders Day plans to renovate and expand Harter Union and to name the addition in honor of Baker President Dr. Pat Long.

The Delta Tau Delta fraternity wins the Hugh Shields Award at the Western Plains Division Conference in Oklahoma City for being one of the top 10 chapters nationally.

The University announces the following faculty promotions: Mr. Dave Bostwick, assistant professor of mass media, was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Dr. Jacob Bucher, assistant professor of sociology, was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Dr. Sara Crump, assistant professor of psychology, was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Dr. Brett Knappe, assistant professor of art history, was granted tenure; Dr. Erin Morris, assistant professor of biology, was granted tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor; Dr. Leonard Ortiz, assistant professor of history, was promoted to the rank of associate professor; and Dr. Anne Daugherty, associate professor of education, was promoted to the rank of professor. The following professors received emeritus status: Ms. Judy Ackeret, Dr. Preston Fambrough, Dr. Gary Giachino and Dr. George Wiley.


Live from the Orange Carpet gala and auction

Live from the Orange Carpet gala and auction

Baker’s student-led radio and television stations, KNBU-FM and KNBU-TV, receive five second-place awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in the annual student broadcast awards competition.

Baker’s history is featured in The Way We Worked Kansas tour as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street program at the Lumberyard Arts Center in Baldwin City.

Baker’s Speech Choir receives a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council to make four presentations on the Civil War in locations along the Kansas and Missouri border.

Two School of Education students — Mariah Barnett, a music education major from Lawrence, Kan., and Haley Epperson, an elementary education major from Eudora, Kan. — are recognized by the Kansas State Department of Education in Topeka as Teachers of Promise.

Colleges of Distinction, a guidebook highlighting four-year institutions that are considered “hidden gems” recognizes Baker in its 2012-2013 publication for its commitment to engaging students, excellent faculty, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.

Baker student Billy Wicks, a senior from Princeton, Kan., is elected to the position of State Collegiate President for the Kansas Music Educators Association.

The “Live from the Orange Carpet” gala and auction raises a record $306,000 for student scholarships, including a lead gift of $150,000 from Andrew Cherng, ’68, and Peggy Cherng, ’70.

Former Baker baseball standout Vidal Nuno receives the James P. Dawson Award, given annually to the outstanding New York Yankee rookie in spring training. He was the opening day pitcher for New York’s AAA team.


Teresa Morse and Parker Roth

Teresa Morse and Parker Roth

For the 12th consecutive year, Baker and the Baldwin City Recreation Commission partner for the Community Wellness Festival, a free health fair at the Collins Center, with more than 70 exhibitors and 300 attendees.

Two Baker students — Teresa Morse, a junior from Gardner, Kan., and Parker Roth, a senior from Minneapolis, Kan. — place first and second, respectively, in the original poetry competition at the Sigma Tau Delta International convention in Portland, Ore.

Kyle Baum

Kyle Baum

CNN Hero Mark Kabban, who has gained national attention for developing a program in California that uses soccer to motivate young immigrants and survivors of war to help transition to a better life, is announced as Baker’s commencement speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences ceremony.

Commencement speakers for the School of Professional and Graduate Studies ceremonies are Dr. Jackie Snyder, Chancellor Emeritus of Metropolitan Community College, and Dr. Anne Daugherty, Associate Professor and Chair of Liberal Arts at SPGS.

The University announces that Andrea Cooper will receive an honorary doctorate at the May commencement.

The Baker Orange, the student newspaper at Baker University, claims Kansas Associated Collegiate Press’ All-Kansas Award for four-year private colleges at the Kansas Collegiate Media Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. It marked the 14th time since 1998 that the Orange received the All-Kansas honor. Chris Duderstadt, a senior from Overland Park, Kan., and the editor of the Orange, is the first runner-up for Four-Year College Newspaper Journalist of the Year.

Kevin Mahogany

Kevin Mahogany

Kyle Baum, a senior biology major from St. Louis, places first in the undergraduate oral presentations at the annual meeting of the Kansas Academy of Science at Johnson County Community College. His presentation, “Characterizing the Function of DAWDLE Interactors,” summarizes some of his plant genetics research with Dr. Erin Morris, assistant professor of biology.

Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Kappa Sigma fraternity are recognized as 5-Star Chapters during the annual Greek Awards ceremony.

Sponsored by the Greek organizations and the Health Center, 150 Baker students sign up as donors for the Bone Marrow Drive

Renowned jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany, ’81, participates in a weeklong artist-in-residence program, capped by performances at the Chris Grubb Memorial Jazz Ensemble and Spring Choral Concert at Rice Auditorium.

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s College Completion survey lists Baker as the top university — private or public — in the state for the four-year graduation rate of 59.1 percent.


Brian Messer

Dr. Brian Messer

Dr. Brian Messer is named vice president and dean of School of Professional and Graduate Studies. He most recently served as vice president for online studies at Ottawa University and earned a Ph.D. in higher education administration from St. Louis University.

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

Senior Sydney Doster, Gardner, Kan., receives a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year to teach English in Nepal.

Jeremy Gathright

Jeremy Gathright

Two May graduates are recognized as the 2013 Fran Jabara Leadership Award recipients during spring commencement ceremonies. Josh Rydberg, Olathe, Kan., and Rachel Strecker, Ellinwood, Kan., 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.

Sara Crump, associate professor of psychology, 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.

Senior Jeremy Gathright wins the 400-meter dash at the NAIA outdoor track and field championships. Twelve Wildcats achieve All American status.

The women’s team competes in the NAIA golf championships.

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