July 21, 2006
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Sarah Osterhaus Neal, a 2003 Baker University graduate, has been awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship.

Neal was among 77 recipients selected from 1,100 nominees nationwide. The graduate scholarship covers tuition, room, board, fees and books – up to $50,000 annually – for up to six years.

“Our objective is to help high achieving students who have financial need, whether they are attending a middle school in rural Kansas or Harvard Medical School,” said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Program. “The graduate scholarship recipients know hard work and sacrifice.  These scholarships recognize their devotion to education, reward their efforts, and provide an incentive to continue excelling … and, we hope, to benefit society.”

While at Baker, Neal received a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship her senior year in 2002-2003 and majored in business and mass communication.

“Sarah was well respected by her peers and faculty,” said Karen Exon, director of the Baker’s honors program. “She typified the well-rounded liberal arts undergraduate we strive for at Baker.”

Neal will begin work this fall on a Master of Education degree at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo. She plans to pursue a career in elementary education.

“I believe a child’s potential and capacity to learn is shaped at an early age,” Neal said. “I want to encourage their creativity and educational interests and be a positive influence in these children’s lives.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private and independent foundation. It was established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.