News

NEWS RELEASE
Sept. 10, 2013
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

Peterson/Hayes Duo to perform on Baldwin City campus

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University's Department of Music and Theater will host the Peterson/Hayes Duo in a guest recital at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24, at McKibbin Recital Hall on the Baldwin City campus. Admission is free and open to the public.Peterson Hayes-duoforweb2

Eric Peterson, percussionist, and Kristin Hayes, flutist, comprise the duo and perform contemporary music written specifically for flute and percussion with many of the works having been commissioned by them. Peterson is a freelance musician and educator in San Antonio, and Hayes serves on the faculties at the University of Texas at San Antonio, St. Mary's University and Our Lady of the Lake University. They have performed throughout the United States and South America, and were recently featured at the National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans.

While on the Baker campus, Peterson will work with and instruct Baker percussion students. Hayes will conduct a workshop on somatic-based philosophies of music performance, including body mapping and Dalcroze eurhythmics. For more information about the recital or the workshop, call the music office at (785) 594-8478.

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

 

NEWS RELEASE
Sept. 10, 2013
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 is top-ranked Kansas university in U.S. News & World Report's Midwest Regional category

Baldwin City, Kan. — For the third consecutive year, Baker University is the highest-ranked Kansas university in the Midwest Regional category in the latest edition of the U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges, released today.Parmenter Hall

Baker was among universities ranked in the 12-state Midwest region in the 2014 edition. Regional universities were defined as schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors and master's programs but few, if any, doctoral programs. The region covers schools from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

"Our faculty and staff continue to create an engaging academic environment and provide a well-rounded education for our students to thrive," Baker President Pat Long said. "Baker has a reputation of offering educational programs of the highest quality. We are committed to developing leaders who are capable of enacting positive change in their organizations and communities."

The U.S. News & World Report's rankings are based on peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student-to-faculty ratio, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance. The magazine collects its data from the universities and several other sources.


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

 

NEWS RELEASE
Sept. 9, 2013
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 collects nearly 3,000 items for food pantry

Baldwin City, Kan. — The Baker University and Baldwin City community collected 2,916 items for the Baldwin City Food Pantry to win the "Tackling Hunger Food Drive" over Ottawa University.Tackling-hungerforweb

The College of Arts and Sciences, School of Professional and Graduate Studies, the Baldwin schools and local residents contributed to the food drive.

"I am incredibly grateful to all who donated goods, supported the efforts financially and served as a drop-off location," said Laura Jacob, graduate assistant for student life at Baker. "It was our goal to involve the community in the Tackling Hunger Food Drive this year. We forged great connections and partnerships that will carry through the year."

Also on Saturday, Baker defeated Ottawa 25-24 in the football opener at Liston Stadium.

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

 

NEWS RELEASE
Sept. 4, 2013
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 alumnus transitions to director of facilities position at Kauffman

Kansas City, Mo. — Bill Miller, '90, felt right at home at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in May, when country band "Restless Heart" performed alongside the Kansas City Symphony in the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall.Bill-Miller-outsideFORWEB2

A native of Mustang, Okla., in the land of country and western, Miller is most comfortable wearing Wranglers and cowboy boots. As the director of facilities at the world-class venue known more for hosting premier symphony, Broadway, ballet and opera performers, Miller rarely gets to kick up his boots.

Aside from deciding on clothes for the Kauffman events, Miller has adjusted quite well to life in the 285,000-square-foot facility with two main performance halls. With nearly a half million visitors and several hundred events in the first year, his new job is far from routine.

"I come in and turn on the lights," he said. "After that, it's a different challenge every day. The symphony, ballet and opera performers all have different needs. I have to listen and determine how best to meet their needs."

Positioned between downtown and the Crossroads Arts District, the Kauffman Center has revitalized a downtown section of the city.

"This facility has had a tremendous cultural and economical impact on the community," Miller proudly noted. "Once we settled into a groove and reached our second season we are really thriving. We were coming off the completion of a huge construction project when I arrived. My background in leadership has been a good fit here. We needed someone to pull things together with facilities and operation."

Transferable skills

Despite the cultural shift, the Baker University graduate and former football player has successfully transferred the array of skills he developed throughout his 20 years in education as an English teacher, football coach, activities director and director of operations for Gardner Edgerton USD 231.

"I am a novelty here," admitted Miller, who lives in DeSoto, Kan., with his wife, Tammy, and sons, Jackson and Carson. "There aren't any former college football players on our staff, and all of my analogies are about athletes while other members of the leadership team use Yo-Yo Ma."

In nearly two years overseeing facilities at the Kauffman Center, Miller has learned a lot about the arts and production. When he was a high school football coach, his main focus on the arts was making sure his players who had the lead in the school play would arrive at rehearsal on time. Now his responsibilities include managing physical plant operations, utility consumption, contracted maintenance and engineering. He also coordinates facility operations with theater operations staff, performing artists and production staff. "I handle anything that is operational and not artistic."

The son of two high school teachers, Miller was raised with education emphasized. He is completing his doctoral degree at Baker and enjoys sharing his Baker story with student groups touring the Kauffman Center.

"A liberal arts education allows a kid from Oklahoma who played football and was an English teacher to work in an environment like this," Miller said. "I tell them not to limit yourself. You'll never know where things will lead."

Longtime Baker connection

Miller has been familiar with Baker University since 1986. He knew he wanted to play football in college. When he and his parents visited the Baldwin City campus during his senior year of high school, they immediately felt a connection with the surroundings and the people they encountered.

"The trip convinced my folks that Baker would be a good place to be," he said. "I had no idea at the time how competitive we would be in football."

A two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete at defensive back, Miller played on some of the finest Wildcat teams in program history. The Wildcats compiled a 37-7 record from 1986 to 1989, including three appearances in the national semifinals and a spot in the championship game his freshman year.

Through football, two of the first people Miller met were Dan and Peggy Harris.

Dan, an assistant football coach for Baker at the time, and Peggy, an education professor, were part of a volunteer group that served as "adopted" parents to out-of-state players.

Peggy and Miller also connected in the classroom, and Peggy supervised his semester student teaching English at Baldwin High School.

Peggy Harris, vice president and dean of Baker's School of Education, is not surprised by Miller's success or ability to lead and transition to a new career.

"He worked hard on the football field, in the classroom as a student and later as a teacher, and as an administrator," she said. "I expect he brings this same level of commitment and pride in a job well done to his job at Kauffman Center. Bill is also very level-headed and doesn't rattle easily. These skills combined with his problem-solving focus serve him well in his new position."

Miller plans to participate in Baker's commencement ceremony in May, when he receives his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership. Nearing completion of his dissertation on constructing environmentally sustainable schools in a challenging economy, Miller refers to Peggy Harris as his "lifetime mentor" for "guiding me through education."

After knowing Miller and his family for more than 25 years and closely watching his emergence as a leader, Peggy eagerly awaits spring commencement at the Collins Center.

"I look forward to congratulating Dr. Miller when he walks across the stage," Peggy said.

No word on whether Dr. Miller will be wearing cowboy boots on that stage.

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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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