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

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

"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."

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


March 28, 2014
Contact: Kyle Davis, Baker University marketing and communications office, (785) 594-8399 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Alumnus to return to Boston Marathon for sixth time

Baldwin City, Kan. — Bruce Gilbert, a 1971 Baker University graduate, was wearing his gray Baker track T-shirt as he ran mile after mile through the streets of Boston during the 1969 Boston Marathon.Bruce-Gilbert-forweb

Strangers were cheering him on by name as he took part in what he calls the "granddaddy" of marathons for the first time. It was the same race, but the scene was far different than it is today. Gilbert was one of 1,051 runners — just a fraction of the more than 27,000 runners last year — participating in '69. The field was so small Gilbert's name was in that morning's edition of the Boston Globe along with his number, which is how the strangers knew his name as he passed.

The runners met in a gym and passed a physical, which amounted to a doctor
listening to each runner's heart for three to four seconds. There were no qualifying times, and anyone who paid the $2 entry fee could run.

And there was Bruce Gilbert with his Baker track shirt. It was the University that allowed Gilbert to experience the Boston Marathon while wearing his Baker shirt. Gilbert was a sophomore cross country and track athlete for the Wildcats and was preparing for this new concept called Interterm between the two semesters. At the time, students
could create their own course with the help of a faculty member as long as
it was approved.

"They said, it's almost limitless what you could dream up for your
project," Gilbert said.

Gilbert and two freshmen decided to create an Interterm class based on
training for the Boston Marathon. The runners approached coach James
Irick, who agreed to teach the class and named it "Social Dimensions
of Physical Activity."

"I thought this would really be perfect because we would have all month
open to training," said Gilbert, who completed his first marathon in 3
hours, 43 seconds. "We would just get ourselves so well prepared and then
we maintain that until April and we would go run that marathon and that
would be like our final exam."

Baker not only gave the three students a method in which to train, but
Baker President James Doty, whose family Gilbert had known growing up in
Indiana, also arranged for a $100 scholarship to fund the students' trip.
The other two students' fathers were airline mechanics and could fly for
free, so Gilbert used the remaining $94, after entry fees were paid, for
his plane ticket. Doty also connected the students to alumni in Boston who
gave the runners a place to stay.

While he continued running marathons, Gilbert didn't return to race in the
Boston Marathon until 15 years later in 1984. Gilbert returned a third
time in 1994, 25 years after the initial race, and was back again in 2004
and 2009. Gilbert's 2009 race goal was to be within 30 minutes of his 1969
race time 40 years earlier and to break 3:30. He finished 3:31:05, which
he happily accepted.

This year will mark 45 years since that initial marathon, and Gilbert will
again be back in Boston. If the weather is perfect on April 21, his goal
again will be 3:30. It will be special for him due to the anniversary, but
it will also be emotional and historic for everyone involved being the
first Boston Marathon since last year's bombing near the finish line.

"It's going to be really, really special because it does mean a lot to
almost everyone that's there and it's a show of resilience by the runners
and all the people, spectators, everybody, to come back from that," said
Gilbert, an Overland Park, Kan., resident, who owns Regarding Kitchens &
Home with his wife, Beverly.

Along with being Gilbert's sixth time at the Boston Marathon, this will
also mark the 73rd marathon he has raced, and he¹s not looking to hang up
the shoes any time soon.

"Now I kind of figure I'm on a five-year cycle for however long it will
take me," he said. "I'd love to go 50 years apart."

It all started with that run through Boston in 1969 in the gray Baker track shirt. Gilbert credits that Interterm class for catapulting him into marathon running and doesn't know if he would have completed all the races if it weren't for that first one.

"It's special for everyone and everyone has their own marathon story of
how they decided to do it and how they accomplished what they had to do in
order to get there," Gilbert said. "To me, it is real special or more
meaningful to me in that I did do it way back in 1969, so I've got that
link to the old way that a lot of people don't."

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


March 28, 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

Community Wellness Festival set for April 12

Baldwin City, Kan. — The 13th annual Community Wellness Festival, sponsored by the Baldwin City Recreation Commission and Baker University, is scheduled for 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 12, at the Collins Center on the Baldwin City campus.Helmet-fitting-4forweb

A 5-kilometer run/walk will kick off the event at 8 a.m. at the Collins Center. The entry fee is $10 for individuals and $25 for families. Registration forms are available at the Baldwin City Recreation Office at 705 High Street or

Approximately 70 exhibitors are expected to participate in the free health fair, which annually attracts more than 300 people.

At the festival, free screenings for blood pressure, posture check, body fat, hearing, vision and dental will be provided.

Additional screenings through Lawrence Memorial Hospital are available, including a total lipid profile with a prostate specific antigen test and several other blood tests to assess healthy body functions. By pre-registering no later than April 4, the lab tests are available for $30 ($40 with PSA test). The day of the festival, lab tests will be $40 ($50 with PSA test). Anyone interested in the tests should not eat or drink anything — water and medications are exceptions — after midnight before having blood drawn. A registration form can be found at

Registration forms for lab tests are available at Baldwin City Recreation Office, Baldwin Athletic Club, Santa Fe Market, Baldwin City Market and Baker University Student Health Center.

There will be drawings for prizes throughout the event, including bicycles for an adult and for two children. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 200 attendees. All children will receive a free bicycle helmet as long as supplies last.

For more information, contact Sherri Pahcoddy, coordinator of health and counseling services, at (785) 594-8409 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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


March 27, 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

Folk and jazz singer Erin Bode to perform April 7

Baldwin City, Kan. — Folk and jazz singer Erin Bode will return to the Baldwin City campus for a free concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 7, at McKibbin Recital Hall. Joined by Adam Maness (keyboards and guitar), Syd Rodway (bass) and Tara Santiago (cello), Bode will sing many songs from her latest and recent
album, "Be Still, My Soul."ErinBode2008forweb

Based in St. Louis, the Erin Bode Group has entertained and thrilled audiences at Baker on two previous occasions. In addition to the Monday night event, the quartet will perform an informal concert, including a question-and-answer session, at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 7, for the Baker Jazz Ensemble at the Owens Musical Arts Building, Room 108. The educational concert is open to the campus and public. The group will meet with Baker theory and composition students at 1:30 p.m. and the Baker Concert Choir at 4:30 p.m.

The Erin Bode Group has performed on the popular NPR show "A Prairie Home Companion" and numerous news and entertainment television shows in the St. Louis area.

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

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