News

NEWS RELEASE
March 11, 2014
Contact: Tyler Price, Baker University assistant director of athletics/communications, (785) 594-8495 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Baker senior named Dr. Leroy Walker Character Award Winner

Kansas City, Mo. – Katie Thurbon, a track and field student-athlete at Baker University, has been named the 2013 Dr. LeRoy Walker Character Award winner, the national NAIA office announced Tuesday.Katie-Thurbonforweb

Created in honor of Dr. LeRoy Walker, former NAIA president and president emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee, this award annually recognizes a junior or senior student-athlete who has embraced the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character program and demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, campus and community leadership, athletic achievement and future ambition.

Thurbon, a senior from Topeka, Kan., will be formally recognized at the 73rd Annual NAIA Convention Awards Luncheon on Saturday, April 12, in Kansas City, Mo. A seven-time Heart of America Athletic Conference champion and seven-time national qualifier in the pole vault, Thurbon has certainly achieved athletic success at Baker.

She has finished as the national runner-up twice at the NAIA Outdoor national championships and has earned NAIA All-America honors on four occasions.

But, as Baker Professor of Economics Alan Grant states, "Katie is a scholar-athlete, but it is clear that she is a scholar first."

She has accumulated a 3.95 grade-point average while double majoring in international studies and economics with a minor in Spanish.

"Katie's deep involvement in academics and athletics, and her ability to achieve balance in her life is clear evidence that she understands the importance of developing her whole person — that her academic growth is fueled by her physical development, and her physical development is fueled by her intellectual growth," Grant said. "Intercollegiate athletics has been a wonderful vehicle to overall success for Kate, and I can testify that she is a better student in my classroom because of the things she learns in athletics — discipline, and teamwork, and most of all, how to manage success with humility."

Thurbon's success both on the track and in the classroom has enabled her to earn three NAIA Scholar-Athlete Awards and to be named a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-American in 2013.

Thurbon has served on the Baker student senate, including a term as student government executive president, and has also written for the student newspaper, The Baker Orange. She has played both a "vital" and "inspirational" role on the Baker campus, according to Baker track and field coach Zach Kindler.

Thurbon has spoken at numerous elementary schools about the true definition of a student-athlete and the importance of this distinction.

"I am very honored to be selected as the 2014 Dr. Leroy Walker Award Winner because this award encompasses more than just academic and athletic results," said Thurbon. "While good grades and high rankings are certainly something to strive for, I have found that involvement in things outside of the usual student-athlete responsibilities, and your attitude throughout it all, is what makes a college experience special. I have been extremely lucky to have had ample opportunities at Baker University to demonstrate this and am very grateful that the Dr. Leroy Walker Award recognizes it."

-NAIA Sports Information contributed to this release

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

 

NEWS RELEASE
March 11, 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

IraforwebMinister to deliver 'Last Lecture'

Baldwin City, Kan. — Ira DeSpain, the Minister to Baker University since 1992, will deliver his "Last Lecture" at 9 p.m., Wednesday, March 26, at Rice Auditorium. The event is part of a series hosted by Baker's Student Activities Council. The public is welcome to attend.

DeSpain, a 1970 Baker graduate, is retiring at the end of June after serving as an ordained minister for 42 years. A third-generation minister, DeSpain, 65, began his career in ministry at Edgerton United Methodist Church. His retirement will mark the first time in more than 100 years in which there isn't a DeSpain clergy.

DeSpain's lecture will focus on living a life of moderation and balance.

"The life you live will not be the life you plan," he said. "Balance and moderation will help you navigate uncharted waters."


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

 

NEWS RELEASE
March 5, 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 places third in creative nonfiction essays at national event

Baldwin City, Kan. — Katelin Colby, a Baker University senior from Paola, Kan., placed third in creative nonfiction essays at Sigma Tau Delta International 2014 on Feb. 26-March 1 in Savannah, Ga. More than 1,000 students and faculty attended the English honors society event featuring the best student writers in the country.Katelin-Colbyforweb

Colby is majoring in English and sociology. Her concentrations are creative writing and literature.

The third-place finish comes a year after two Baker students — Teresa Morse and Parker Roth — placed first and second, respectively, in the poetry division.

"The odds against any school winning multiple awards in two consecutive years are astronomical," said Marti Mihalyi, the Sigma Tau Delta chapter sponsor for Baker and manuscript adviser. "The odds against a school the size of Baker are even greater."

Multiple rounds of national judges worked for months to select the three top creative nonfiction essays. In the end, Colby was awarded third place for "It Began with a Car." The essay, written for a creative nonfiction class and later revised for competition, chronicles the early relationship of her father and mother by focusing on another subject entirely: her father's cherished Chevy.
Other students who represented Baker at the convention were Carly Berblinger, Lauren Jaqua and Morse.

Sigma Tau Delta is the international English honor society. With more than 850 active chapters in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean, there are more than 1,000 faculty sponsors and approximately 9,000 members inducted annually.


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

 

NEWS RELEASE
March 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

Kansas City junior named Student Leader of Month

Baldwin City, Kan. —
 Tyler Sloan, a junior exercise science major from Kansas City, Kan., has been named Baker University's Student Leader of the Month for February.Tyler-Sloanforweb

Sloan serves as president of Mungano, a student-run diversity organization, and is the treasurer of the Pi Sigma chapter of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. She also performs as a praise dancer during university worship services at Osborne Chapel on the Baldwin City campus.

A standout track and field performer, Sloan was a three-time All-American at the 2013 NAIA Women's Outdoor Track and Field National Championship in Marion, Ind., where she placed third in the 100-meter hurdles, third in the 400-meter hurdles and fifth in the 4x100-meter relay.

The nomination for the leadership honor stated: "Tyler is an awesome Baker Wildcat who enjoys helping others, and by doing so she is a already a successful, confident, competent and responsible contributor to our community."


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