Baker's Union, the Hub of Campus Life

drawing-of-new-unionThis rendering from the late 1950s shows Baker’s vision of a home for its diverse campus community.

Shortly after becoming president of Baker University in 1956, President William Scarborough went to work selling his vision for a vibrant student facility to serve as a hub of campus the video to see students' reaction to their first breakfast in the dining hall.

He began formulating a plan for the Baker Student Union in anticipation of the growing enrollment after the addition of a new men’s residence hall. The purpose of the building to be constructed on the north side of campus between Sixth and Eighth streets was threefold: to create a campus community, to support the students’ academic experience and to provide a center for student development and leadership.

Board of Trustees President Hugh Hartley broke ground on the half-million dollar Student Union on August 31, 1958. The building delivered on President Scarborough’s vision of complementing Baker’s academic experience through cultural, educational, social and recreational programs. By the time the facility opened the following year, more than 900 students enjoyed a TV alcove, rooms for listening to music, table tennis, a billiard table and a bowling alley in addition to a large dining hall and snack bar.

Nearly 60 years later, that vision continues: to develop a modern facility for Baker students, staff, alumni and friends of the University — a place for meeting, dining, snacking and having fun.

From the Yearbook

The 1960 yearbook featured the student body officers around the newly completed student union.

 freshmen-class-officersFreshmen Officers, Class of 1963, (L to R) Gary Burke, Ann Clatworthy, Sharrie Farrar, Mike Elder


sophomore-class-officersSophomore Officers, Class of 1962, (L to R) Tom Hedges, Linda Norris, Shane Spray, Clarence Abel

 junior-class-officersJunior Officers, Class of 1961, (L to R) Mel Chastain, Emmalie Gessner, Linda Goode, Lloyd Baumwart

senior-class-officersSenior Officers, Class of 1960, (L to R) Jody Wilhelm, Yat Hoong Phang, Jim Kean, Charlene Lewis