From the Arbor | News for November from Jerry Weakley

Fall at Baker

From the Arbor Now a Web Page

In an attempt to get the Arbor into more hands more easily, the Communications and Marketing Office has created this web presence for this University publication.

Begun over 11 years ago as a device to simply help keep alumni, former students, donors, faculty and other constituents updated on an array of campus and University-wide events and news, the Arbor has continued to evolve through the years in new and varied ways.

Originally, the Arbor was a one-page, (front and back, in black type) newsletter mailed through the postal system to CAS graduates. It contained only the briefest “bullet points” of news items for that month.

After about one year of being produced by former Advancement Vice President Bill McCollum, I assumed the responsibility for producing, writing and editing the monthly publication. During the next several months I enlarged the amount of content and sent the Arbor to a much wider readership that included graduates and former students of SPGS, SON and SOE.

Postal costs of that move quickly dictated that we move the Arbor to a mostly online publication, except in rare cases where individuals had no computer access. In the beginning, this proved to be a cost-efficient and effective method of distributing what had grown to a six-page publication full of color…which the current publication continues with to this day.

For as much good as technology does, it also throws us a few curves from time to time. Since we are now emailing to several thousand individuals every month, certain computers, servers and security software have begun treating us as a “spammer” and blocking delivery of the Arbor to hundreds of individuals’ in-boxes.

So beginning this month, the emailed cover letter you read has sent you to this web page where you can access the Arbor as you wish, when you want, with hopefully no interruption.

You may also download the PDF: icons-pdf-on November Arbor

Mehring Named Baker School of Education Interim Dean

Dr. Tes Mehring has been named to serve as interim dean of School of Education for the 2014-15 school year. Dr. Peggy Harris, the current dean of SOE, announced last month to the University community her upcoming retirement as of June 30, 2014.

Baker hired Mehring in August 2012 as associate dean and chair of the Graduate School of Education. During her time at Baker, Mehring has been instrumental in guiding the development of the Ed.D. in Leadership in Higher Education program, a distinction for the first university in Kansas.

“I am delighted that Dr. Mehring has agreed to serve Baker University as the interim dean,” Dr. Brian Posler, executive vice president for academic affairs, said. “She is an experienced, accomplished administrator who is a truly gifted academic leader.”

Congratulations and best wishes, Tes!

Host a Student at Thanksgiving?

Some Baker students may not be able to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. If you are interested in hosting a Baker student for a Thanksgiving meal, please contact Cassy Bailey, dean of students, at or 785.594.8431.

Wandering Wildcats 2014…New York and Bermuda!

For general information on our June 2014 trip call me (Jerry Weakley) at 1.785.594.8332 or our travel advisor, John Novotny at Travellers in Lawrence, Kan., at 1.800.382.6700 for specific questions, pricing and information regarding deviations from the set travel plan.

Dr. Pat and Dennis Long, along with my wife, Patti, and I certainly hope you will plan to join us for a wonderful and fun trip!

Responses to Previous Arbor Articles

“I’m always interested in all your articles. Maybe I have the time!” Larry McDonough, ’56

“I am a graduate of BU and taught in the elementary school there. Later, I taught higher education in Colorado, North Dakota, Texas and most recently Nebraska. It is always “funny” to get a reaction when I have told people in these states that the first battle of the American Civil War was fought near Baldwin, Kan. I tell them to go to the park and read the Govt. information board. Note: My name was Jehle when I graduated from BU. Also my mother, uncle and cousin graduated from BU. Their last name was Shover. My maiden name is Wilcox and I was the X-ray and lab tech at the medical clinic there while in school. I enjoy reading the Arbor,” Daryl J. Wilcox, Ed.D. ’61

“Jerry…so glad to see this in my mailbox again. For whatever reason, I have not received any editions of the Arbor for many months. Don’t know where it went, but I’m glad to see it back. Always enjoy it.” Carol Bartlett, ’65

(Editors note: We have had problems and are working on a solution to the situation…please let me know if the Arbor doesn’t come every month so I can keep apprised of our progress!)

“I’d love to come back down for the Maple Leaf Festival but I’ll be working. We’re converting a bank starting this evening so I’ll be here working through Saturday. I need to get back down for one as it has been a few years.” John R. (Bob) Selzer, ’84

“Jerry, thanks for the nice note re: the service for Carolyn.” Dan Lambert (Former President and Honorary Alumnus, ’63)

“I love the new layout of The Arbor. It is very easy to read. I love catching up on all the latest news. Thank you for all of your hard work.” Barbara (Boeshaar) Parks, ’76

Thanks one and all for the replies and comments on this page…Please keep them coming! (At least the GOOD ones! )

Baker Retirement List Gets Longer

In addition to Dean Peggy Harris and University Nurse Ruth Sarna, the University’s two longtime staff members who announced plans to retire last month, another longtime dean at the University has indicated plans to retire. Kathleen Harr, dean of the School of Nursing, now joins a growing list of University administration planning to join President Pat Long and University Minister Rev. Dr. Ira DeSpain, ’70, on the “retirement list” for 2014.

Dean Harr has indicated that she will remain in place until her successor has been named and is in office at the School of Nursing…most likely in the early fall.

Dr. Susan Lindahl and Dr. Brian Posler will be working to put in place an appropriate search process for each of these individual positions.

Best wishes to Dean Harr who has contributed so much to our students and to the overall excellence of our nursing program and University. You will certainly be missed by everyone connected with Baker.

How to Nominate an Individual for the Athletic Hall of Fame

Send nominations for individuals to the Athletic Hall of Fame to my attention at Jerry Weakley, Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006 or by email to Include as much biographical information on your candidate as possible, e.g., class in school, sports they participated in, records, honors, coaching records and teams/schools at which they coached. The more information the committee has, the better chance the candidate will have of being elected. We currently have more than 50 who have been nominated! Nominations must be received by Dec. 31 to be considered in 2014.

Common Reading Book Revealed

If you enjoy keeping up on what is being read on campus, get a copy of The Last Lecture. It has been named the common reading book for this year.

Baker Trivia Answer for October

The Question

Who is the person for whom the town of Baldwin City was named? What was the person’s relationship to the town?

The Answer

John Baldwin… Mr. Baldwin having founded Baldwin Institute and later Baldwin University in Berea, Ohio, (which eventually became Baldwin-Wallace College) came to the Kansas Territory in 1857 along with his son Milton from that state. During the mid- to late-1850s many persons relocated from Ohio to the Kansas Territory, some for the purpose of “insuring” that when Kansas eventually became a state (1861) that it would enter the Union as a “Free State” and not a “Slave State.” The people moving into the territory were mostly labeled “Free Staters.”

While in Palmyra (the city closest to the current city of Baldwin City), Mr. Baldwin established a grist mill for the production of flour and later a saw mill. He purchased the land upon which the city of Palmyra would move further to the west and south and also built the first building (Old Castle) of what shortly thereafter became Baker University.

Baldwin was in Kansas only for a short time when tragedy struck. On August 30, 1858, John’s son Milton died unexpectedly after having been sick for only three days. He soon decided to return to Ohio and turned over the town and college to the Methodist Conference. In his honor, the town fathers decided to name the new town Baldwin City and the leaders of the Methodist Church elected to name the new college for the first Bishop of the Kansas, Osmon Cleander Baker.

John Baldwin died in 1884 at the age of 85. A book by Baker graduate Virginia Gatch Markham, ’19, was published by the University in 1982, John Baldwin and Son Milton Come to Kansas: An Early History of Baldwin City, Baker University and Methodism in the State of Kansas.

Those with correct answers with varying amounts of detail included Jim Foreman, ’79, Linda (Carlson) South, ’72, Daryl J. Wilcox, ’61 (Jehle at graduation) and John R. (Bob) Selzer, ’84. Thanks one and all for the replies.

Kevin Mahogany, ’81, Returns and Performs

Internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany, a 1981 Baker graduate, will return to the Baldwin City campus at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 21, to perform in the 16th annual Baker University Jazz Festival at Rice Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

As a student, Mahogany formed a jazz choir and other music groups on the Baldwin City campus. He was a drum major, part of the jazz ensemble and sang opera before developing into what Newsweek called “the standout jazz vocalist of his generation.”

Fresh off a monthlong tour of Europe, Mahogany will sing standard favorites with the band, including “Satin Doll,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “A Foggy Day in London Town.” He will also be joined for a special combo set of some of his most popular tunes with Kansas City artists Ben Leifer (bass), Ryan Lee (drums) and Matt Hopper (guitar).

Led by J.D. Parr, professor of music, the Baker University Jazz Ensemble will be featured on Nov. 21, performing various big band swing, fusion, Latin and standard selections.

During the week of Nov. 18-22, Mahogany will serve as an artist in residence, working with Baker students focusing on jazz education, the life of a professional musician and rehearsing with the Jazz Ensemble. On Friday, Nov. 22, Mahogany will be the head adjudicator for a high school jazz band competition. Twenty-two bands from northeast and central Kansas will perform on the stages of Rice Auditorium and McKibbin Recital Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Friday performances is also free and open to the public.

I will be there on November 21. I hope you will be too!

Athletics Updates Can Be Found @…

There just wasn’t enough space left in this issue of the Arbor to bring you up to date on all the successes being enjoyed this fall by Baker athletes and teams. For a comprehensive look into all the victories I hope you will put this website in your browser and enjoy their success stories…

Alumni and Campus Activities

November 21…Kevin Mahogany…Rice…7:30

December 8…Christmas Vespers Programs…Rice Auditorium, Baldwin City Campus. 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Make note…these times are new.)

December 14 & 15…Winter Commencement

February 14-15…Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees and Board Retreat

April 12…The Annual Scholarship Auction Gala…The Sheraton Convention Center Hotel, Overland Park, Kan. 6 p.m.

May 2…Spring Meeting of the Board of Trustees

May 10, 16-18…SPGS and GSOE Commencement followed by Alumni Weekend and Activities

May 18…CAS, SOE, SON…Commencement

May 31-June 10…Alumni Travel with Wandering Wildcats to Bermuda and New York

Presidential Search Update

The Presidential Search Committee continues its important work and has narrowed the number of active candidates to three individuals from the original 72. The three finalists have all participated in on-campus interviews with members of the larger University community. Individuals who had the opportunity to meet with a candidate have been asked to fill out a questionnaire online that summarizes their impression of the candidate and enables them to express their thoughts relative to the candidates’ strengths and potential weaknesses. The committee plans to be in a position to send its recommendation on to the Board of Trustees Executive Committee by early December with a goal of having the University’s next president formally named by the end of that month.

If you know any of the members of the Presidential Search Committee, please thank them for the countless hours of time they have spent in this most critical of all University endeavors!

Trivia Question for November

The Question (A little more open-ended than usual, I think you will agree.)

Name all the various pizza restaurants or places that have served pizza in Baldwin City through the years!

The Answers

Will be revealed and detailed in the next issue of From the Arbor.

(And, for once…I don’t necessarily have all the answers…let’s see what you can come up with!)

Re-gifting Charitable Annuities and Trustspulliamlogo

I recently had the opportunity to receive as a gift to the University a deferred charitable gift annuity. Nothing unusual about this except for the fact that the donor who had originally taken out the annuity in 2001 with payments on that annuity that began in 2005 was returning the unused portion of it. Since the donor no longer felt that they needed the annual income, it was decided to re-gift the annuity back to Baker so that the charitable remainder that was in that account could fund an endowed scholarship.

In the 34+ years I have been here, this was the first time I had encountered that type of return of a charitable annuity of any type. After contacting our consultants on legal and tax-related issues on planned gifts, Crescendo Inc., I was directed to a program in the software we maintain that they produce that enabled me to make the calculations that would determine the immediate tax benefit to the donor from making such a gift.

In this particular case, the original annuity was in the amount of $10,000, which at the time of the original gift gave the donors an income tax deduction of $3,356. With annual payments on the annuity back to the donors beginning in 2005 (since it was a deferred type gift annuity), the donors had received nine annual payments of $860 (each payment included $337 that was free from income tax.) The total of payments was then $7,740.

Using the calculations provided in our software program I was able to discern that the donor was entitled to an additional $3,829 charitable deduction in this tax year for turning the annuity back to the University. Since the account holding the annuity had over $5,000 in it due to investment gains within the endowment, the University was able to add that amount to the endowed scholarship desired and designed by the donor. A real win/win situation for both the donor and the University.

If you have an annuity or charitable trust with the University and would like information regarding re-gifting it at this time back to Baker, contact me and I can show you the advantages in your particular case to making such a gift. You may reach me 785.594.8332, or by email at I look forward to speaking with you soon!

P.S. The above information is provided only for your consideration and should not be construed as “Legal or Tax Advice.” Always consult your own professional advisor before acting upon this or similar information.

As Dr. James Chubb, ’22, used to say when he visited classmates and alumni while on the road for Baker… “Please remember to leave something for Baker in your Will!”…and if you do, please let us know your plan!

Have a Great Month of November

I’ll write again in December. Jerry Weakley

Jerry L. Weakley, ’70, MBA ’92
Vice President for Endowment and Planned Giving
P.O. Box 65, Baldwin City, KS 66006
1.785.594.8332 | 913.449.9540

Baker is proud to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Categories: Arbor, News

2 Responses to “From the Arbor | News for November from Jerry Weakley”

  1. Jerry: Do you recall having a sandwich at my home in San Diego years ago? You said you were starving.I have outlived almost all of my contemporaries—at 94. I was delighted to greet Under the Arbor after an absence of several years. Thank You!!
    Interesting note: Palmyra was pioneered by settlers from Palmyra, NY, and understandably Union sympathizers. Down across several miles of prairie a small group of yellowish limestone buildings arose—called Weston. They were ardent Rebels. In Lawrence, John Brown learned of them. With twenty of his men, he rode into the nearest farm house, home of John and Frances Weston and their 4-year-ole daughter, Caroline. Frances was in the yard in preparation for ringing the dinner bell to call the men in from the fields. John Brown dismounted and approached Frances. She knew who he was and quickly invited him in to eat. He entered the tidy kitchen, ate three helpings of the
    savory meal, washed his hands and rode away. Meanwhile, the rebel farm men had seen the gathering near the house and hidden in one of the stone buildings, thus escaping death. I interviewed Caroline when she was about 75—a gracious lady, still smiling about her mother’s brief brush with John Brown.

    • Mary,

      I actually do…quite gracious of you! I also remember visiting with you in other locales as you moved around the country…weren’t you in Chicago and Rancho Bernardo in addition to San Diego and Riverside, perhaps among others at various times?

      Love the memories you shared and with your permission would like to extract them and use them in the next issue of the Arbor.

      We have had some problems getting the Arbor into everyone’s hands but hope that we are doing a better job now!

      Best wishes always!