Campus traditions have evolved throughout Baker's history, fostering a close-knit sense of community. From naming the many squirrels who also call BU home to yanking down your roommate at the Homecoming Tug of War, Baker is full of entertaining customs for everyone!
Legend of the Grape Arbor
According to Baker legend, couples who kiss under the grape arbor in the center of campus are destined to get married. Scores of couples over the years have professed their love with a kiss under the arbor. Campus Minister Ira DeSpain, who often performs wedding ceremonies for Baker couples, is a product of the myth himself. He and his college sweetheart, Barbara, were married after they graduated from Baker in the '70s.
A Spiritual Fixture on Campus
The spiritual center of campus, the Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel was moved stone by stone to Baldwin City from Sproxton, England. Former British Prime Minister Lady Margaret Thatcher, whose father preached at the chapel in the mid-1930s, spoke at the chapel’s dedication in October 1996. R.R. Osborne, an Olathe philanthropist, provided a $1 million gift to move and rebuild the chapel, which is named after his late wife.
Today, a weekly chapel service is optional, and no classes or meetings are scheduled during that time. Osborne Chapel is a popular spot for weddings of couples who have fallen under the spell of the grape arbor.
Ivan L. Boyd Arboretum
A large contributor to the beauty of Baker's campus is the numerous trees that flower in the spring, provide a shady canopy in the summer and turn brilliant gold, orange and red in the fall. The Ivan L. Boyd Arboretum is graced by more than 110 species and varieties of trees, many of them planted by professor emeritus Ivan Boyd, who served as longtime professor and chair of the biology department. The trees also house Baker's large population of friendly squirrels.