Alumni and friends enjoy trip to London and Harlaxton
Director of Alumni & Corporate Relations
In late June, Baker President Dr. Pat Long, Dennis Long, Lyn Lakin, vice president for University advancement, and I hosted 20 Baker alumni and friends for a beautiful, eight-day adventure in England, creating lasting memories for our entire traveling party. We checked into our hotel on June 21 on Westminster Bridge before exploring London, getting something to eat or heading off on a Taste of London excursion, which included dining at a traditional English pub and then a nighttime cruise on the River Thames.
On Saturday, our sightseeing tour took us past the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horse guards, the prime minister’s residence on Downing Street and Piccadilly Circus. We went inside St. Paul’s Cathedral and witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. After a free afternoon on Saturday, we had “Dinner with Dr. Long” in the hotel restaurant, the Brasserie Joel. The fantastic meal, laughter and conversation provided a perfect end to a great day.
On Sunday morning, six of our alumnae traveled to Paris, where they enjoyed shopping and amazing food, taking Paris by storm for the next day and a half. An alumna and her mother flew to Germany to visit family and friends for a few short hours before returning to London for the rest of the trip.
On Monday, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Martha Harris, a proud Baker graduate, escorted 10 of us to King’s Cross Train Station where we traveled a little more than an hour to Grantham, England — home of Harlaxton Manor, the site of our most popular study abroad program. Incredible hosts, the Manor staff took good care of us. One alumna on the trip had attended Harlaxton for a semester as an undergraduate student. For the rest of us, the trip to Harlaxton was a new experience. The Manor and its grounds were absolutely picturesque. We quickly understood why our students speak so highly of it. After lunch, we enjoyed cream tea in the conservatory, celebrating Martha Harris’ 39th??? birthday, and toured the manor. The next morning our tour guide shuttled us to Sproxton, England, where we visited the original site of our beloved Osborne Chapel. A plaque in a beautiful garden notes Baker University’s connection to Sproxton. After returning to the manor, we headed to the train station and back to London, where we had the rest of the day to explore.
On Wednesday, the group traveled by coach to Windsor Castle for an afternoon, and that evening several of us gathered in the hotel lounge and talked about our day.
On Thursday, some of us traveled to see Stonehenge and Bath, while others took in a show, the “Lion King,” or saw the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.
All in all, it was a great trip, and I believe we created some great memories with some wonderful people.
Callie (Stiles) Ballenger, ’02
Doug Barth, ’91
Robin Crawford, ’99
Roxy (Hey) Heffner, ’72
Rodna (Grimm) Helvick, ’72
Anita (Miller) Hempy, ’72
Sandy (Villa) Kelly, ’72
Dr. Pat Long
Linda (Carlson) South, ’72
Jo (Bigley) Spear, ’77
Betty Jo Stiles
Susanne Teel, ’69
Alexis Wood, ’99
Pat Wooster-Jackson, ’71