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Nov 15, 2021 | Alumni, News

$2 million gift will transform campus hall

exterior of building

Baker University’s Department of Applied Health Sciences will get a new home thanks to a $2 million gift that honors Joanne M. Howard, PhD, who graduated from Baker in 1962 and passed away in 2018. The gift was made by her husband, Cleve Howard, and son, Nathan Howard.

The funds will be used to renovate Jolliffe Hall, which was built in 1940 and served as a residence hall until the summer of 2008. The Joanne M. Howard Hall for Applied Health Sciences will house classrooms, labs, meeting spaces, and faculty offices for one of the most quickly growing departments on campus. Students in Applied Health Sciences major in either public health or exercise science.

“Baker University is so grateful to the Howard family and their incredible generosity and commitment to our university. This gift will provide students who aspire to careers in public health, research, biomechanics, physical and occupational therapy, and exercise science the physical resources to prepare for jobs in these important fields. This state-of-the-art facility will be a fitting tribute to Dr. Howard, who maintained strong ties to Baker and forged an impactful career mentoring medical students,” said Baker University President Lynne Murray.

Joanne Howard earned a master’s degree in anatomy in 1966 and a doctoral degree in anatomy in 1970 from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She became the first female faculty member at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, where she was a member of the Department of Anatomy in the Dental School and Medical School. From 1976 to 2006, she taught at the University of Miami School of Medicine, where she was a member of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. At the University of Miami she received the George Paff Teaching Award several times.

Because of Howard’s devotion to Baker and her long career as an educator, her husband and son want to honor her legacy by supporting students at the university that laid the groundwork for her many professional accomplishments.

“On several occasions Joanne shared her experience of entering the Baker campus and seeing the science building for the first time, suddenly realizing that the building would be her first step toward the goal of becoming a scientist, which was her intellectual passion all her professional life,” said her husband. “She always looked back at her time at Baker as a very deep and important part of her adult life, with the friends that have bonded for a lifetime of shared memories and experiences.”

Design work on the Joanne M. Howard Hall for Applied Health Sciences will begin soon. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2023.

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