News

NEWS RELEASE
April 4, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Colleges of Distinction recognizes Baker University

Baldwin City, Kan. — Colleges of Distinction, a guidebook highlighting four-year institutions that are considered "hidden gems," has recognized Baker University in its 2013-2014 publication.Parmenter-flagforweb

Founded in 1858 and the first college in Kansas, Baker was honored for its commitment to engaging students, excellent faculty, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. Colleges of Distinction is designed to provide students, counselors, and parents with information about schools that excel in these key areas. It describes schools that take a holistic approach to admission decisions, consistently excel in providing undergraduate education, and have a truly national reputation.

Colleges and universities are nominated for consideration in Colleges of Distinction by high school college counselors. The selection methodology is a mix of qualitative and quantitative information. Its qualitative information is collected from college admission experts around the country. Feedback is gathered from administrators at other colleges and high school counselors across the country.

The guidebook also uses a range of quantitative data such as graduation rates, classroom size and other key stats. It highly regards schools whose students are valued by graduate schools and employers for their outstanding preparation.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 

NEWS RELEASE
April 1, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hopkins embraces 'calling to serve God'

Baldwin City, Kan. — As a baritone bugler for the Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps from Hutchinson, Kan., during his youth, Kevin Hopkins always enjoyed attending music camps at Baker University. Those fond memories have remained for more than 30 years as Hopkins, now known as RevKev, prepares to return to the Baldwin City campus this summer.Kevin-Hopkinsforweb

Hopkins, the senior pastor at Leavenworth (Kan.) First United Methodist Church since 2009, was announced in January as the minister to the
University, effective July 1. He will succeed the Rev. Ira DeSpain, a 1970 Baker graduate, who announced last year his plans to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year after serving his alma mater for 22 years.

"I have been affiliated with several private colleges in Kansas, and Baker has always been the school that is highly respected by other regional schools," Hopkins said. "For the past several years now, I have felt God calling me to return to campus ministry and when this position became available I knew I wanted to apply. Based on my memories of Baker, my higher education experience, and my passion for campus ministry I thought it would be a good fit."

His experience in campus ministry includes stints at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield, Kan., on Southwestern College's campus and as dean of students and campus pastor at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina, Kan. He previously held faith-based leadership positions at Southern Illinois
University in Carbondale, Ill., and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

"I greatly look forward to watching Rev. Hopkins connect with our students," said Brian Posler, vice president for academic affairs and dean
of the College of Arts and Sciences. "This University has a great history of outstanding ministry, and I am confident Rev. Hopkins will continue
that tradition."

Hopkins, who earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in
Evanston, Ill., is eager to return to a campus setting.

"I embraced my calling to serve God because of my involvement in campus ministry," Hopkins said. "I have always felt called to serve on a campus
and give back. Hopefully I can help students juggle academic and social expectations while at the same time encourage them to grow in their faith.
For those students who have a faith background, I hope to encourage them to continue to grow in their faith. And for those students who are
seeking, I hope to create an open welcoming environment to ask questions."

In his role at Baker, Hopkins will lead weekly services at Osborne Chapel, the University's place of worship since 1996.

"It is vitally important to have many students involved in campus ministry," Hopkins said. "Campus ministry is their program — it is for
them. I can plan all kinds of activities and spiritual opportunities, but I value their ideas and vision for campus ministry through chapel, Bible
studies and whatever other opportunities are there for their spiritual growth. I want to build a program based on what they feel is meaningful
for their lives. I hope that through campus ministry we can equip and send graduates back into local churches as dedicated, passionate clergy and lay
people. I do feel that campus ministry can strengthen the local church."

Hopkins and his wife of 24 years, Joni, who works for the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, have six children. The Hopkins family plans to move
to Baldwin City. Kevin's interests include running and playing basketball, Ping-Pong and racquetball. He has served as a chaplain with the Kansas Air
National Guard for 14 years and recently completed a six-month deployment to Dover Air Force Base, where he worked with Air Force Mortuary Affairs
Operations, welcoming home fallen soldiers and working with their families.

Hopkins plans to use his first month at Baker to visit with the campus community.

"I anticipate I will wear out the sidewalks on the campus as I try to meet as many faculty and staff as possible before school starts," he explained.
"I also hope to meet as many students as possible during the summer. I plan to meet with the Ambassadors and do a lot of planning and programming
for fall semester for chapel and campus ministry programs."

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 

NEWS RELEASE
March 31, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Senior biology major named Student Leader of Month

Baldwin City, Kan. — Sierra Wallace, a senior biology major from New Cambria, Kan., has been named Baker University's Student Leader of the Month for March.Sierra-Wallaceforweb

Wallace is president of Delta Delta Delta on the Baldwin City campus and president of the Student Activities Council.

The nomination for the leadership honor stated, "Sierra is the most selfless leader I have worked with and it's been a gift to see her grow. Sierra leads an organization that has already broken previous year's attendance numbers, and she continues to push the organization to be the best. Through union renovations and lack of programmable space, Sierra has motivated the group to be innovative with programming and find new ways to use the spaces available. She maximizes her efforts every day, which shows through the dedication and respect her peers give her."


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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 

NEWS RELEASE
March 31, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker experience helped prepare Lansford for new CEO position

Baldwin City, Kan. — Founded in 1924, JE Dunn is known as a leading provider of construction management services, design-build and integrated project delivery. Two of
its recent projects include the renovation and expansion of Mulvane Hall to form the Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education and the Student Union renovation on the Baldwin City campus.GordonLansfordforweb

Since his promotion at the first of the year to chief executive officer
and president at JE Dunn Construction Co., Gordon Lansford III, '93, still
maintains the corner office from his previous role with the business. He
never tires of the view from the fifth story of his company's building
overlooking the skyline in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

"I will not be changing a lot," said Lansford, who has worked for JE Dunn
for 18 years and has been the firm's chief financial officer since 1998.
"I have been a part of the strategic direction of the company and plan to
follow the strategic plan we set the last couple of years. I will have
more direct contact and engagement with our clients. I have been involved
with developing strategy, and now I will be responsible for the execution
of our strategy. We have a great leadership team with a lot of continuity.
I want to make sure I do everything I can to help our people accomplish
our goals."

When Lansford was announced in December as the new CEO, he became the
first non-family member to run the company in its 90-year history.

"I never imagined a few years ago that I would be in this position,"
Gordon said. "I have worked closely with the family and they have trust in
me."

Terry Dunn, the previous chief executive, will continue to serve as the
CEO of the JE Dunn Construction Group. Steve Dunn will remain chairman of
the JE Dunn board, and William H. Dunn Sr. is chairman emeritus of the
firm.

"It is important to our culture to have members of the Dunn family to
continue to serve in leadership positions," Lansford said. "Relationships
are always our utmost priority."

After graduating from Baker in 1993 with an accounting degree, Lansford
worked for KPMG for three years and became a certified public accountant.
He developed an interest in the construction industry after working with
construction and engineering clients before becoming director of internal
audit at Dunn.

"The company was really growing and going through acquisitions at that
time," Lansford recalled of joining JE Dunn in the late 1990s. "It was a
great opportunity to learn more about the business."

The 12th largest general contractor in the United States with 20 offices
in four regions, JE Dunn employs more than 1,000 in Kansas City, including
its office headquarters and on-site personnel. The company reported
revenue of $300 million in 1996 with a peak of $2.8 billion in 2008 before
the recession. Lansford said the revenue for 2014 will be $2.5 billion to
$2.6 billion.

While holding true to the company's values and policies established for
nearly a century, Lansford plans to "enhance the culture."

"I want JE Dunn to be a more attractive place for the millennials," he
noted. "We will want to be more flexible and allow our employees to be
more empowering. We need to be more adaptable. Millennials are looking for
more of a work-life balance and the ability to provide input."

Lansford plans to stress transparency with the leadership team and all
employees across the country. Four years ago, he drove the initiative for
the company to be partly employee-owned. About 10 percent of the firm¹s
stock is now owned by employees.

"We are embracing continuous improvement and expect feedback from our
employees," Lansford said. "We want to create a culture where our
employees act like owners because they are. Creating the partly
employee-owned structure has paid off because we are really seeing the
engagement of all of our team."

Lansford has been connected to Baker since the late 1980s when his sister
Leslie (Lansford) Harris, '90, was a student on the Baldwin City campus.
His sister Rebecca (Lansford) Wylie, '99, is a graduate of Baker's School
of Professional and Graduate Studies campus in Topeka.

"Through Leslie I found Baker," Gordon said proudly. "She got really
involved in all Baker had to offer. My parents and I saw the value of
Baker through her."

Gordon, a member of Delta Tau Delta, reflects fondly on his days as a
student. Business courses taught by Lee Green, Martha Harris, '79, and
Gary Irick, '79, resonate with him two decades later.

"Becoming involved and having personal connections with faculty and staff
provide a great learning experience and opportunities for personal
development," he said. "The quality of education is outstanding. I
continue to benefit from it today."

The walls in Lansford's office are coated with family portraits and
snapshots from vacations. Gordon and his high school and college
sweetheart, Marti (Stowe) Lansford, '93, celebrated their 20th wedding
anniversary in August. They live in Overland Park, Kan., with their
children, Jake, 16, Brooke, 13, and Luke, 11.

Despite the demands of his new position, Gordon plans to put family first.

"Marti and the kids have always been supportive of me," Gordon said. "I am
a huge believer in work-life balance and I will continue to live that way
and stress how important family is."

Lansford will also remain committed to serving on Baker's Board of
Trustees. He has served eight years on the board of his alma mater.

"It has been a real honor to serve as a trustee and work with Dr. Pat
Long," he said. "She is one of the best leaders, if not the best leader, I
have been around. I will apply a lot to my new role from what I've learned
from her about thinking strategically, creating a strong vision and
balancing that with a great deal of caring and compassion."

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

 
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