New student center to be named for Baker president
Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University announced on Tuesday during the Founders Day celebration at Rice Auditorium plans to renovate and expand Harter Union with the addition being named in honor of Baker President Pat Long.
Renovations to the cafeteria are scheduled to be completed by the time students return for the fall 2013 semester. A coffee bar and café, meeting spaces, billiard tables, computers and a multipurpose event center with the capacity for 400 people will form the two-story addition, which will be named the Pat McCaslin Long Student Center. Nearly $2 million has been raised for the renovation and addition.
Baker Trustee Susanne Richardson Teel, the lead donor for the project, received the naming rights to the new facility and wanted to recognize President Long for her commitment to students. Dr. Long announced on Feb. 8 her plans to retire in June 2014, also the projected time for the final phase of the addition to be completed.
"When the University granted me the naming rights for this beautiful new student space, I began thinking about all the amazing leadership at this institution," Teel said during the Founders Day ceremony. "For 155 years, visionaries in education have shaped Baker University into the premier private university in the state of Kansas. Each one has put his or her own stamp here, excelling in teaching, guiding and caring. One among those, though, in my opinion, stands a bit taller, reaches a bit further and gives a bit more freely.
"This person has made the difficult decisions required of a president while remaining grounded in the University's mission and values for seven years. She has grown programs and developed cutting-edge initiatives that have positioned Baker for the most sustainable of futures. Her commitment to her students is unparalleled, and she has set a new precedent for engagement. Most of all, she has done so in the only way she knows how – completely true to herself."