Baker University recently awarded the second Ada Hopkins Lake Endowed Scholarship to Sidney Alaimo, from Bolivar, Missouri. The scholarship provides full tuition, fees, on-campus housing, meals, and books.
The Ada Hopkins Lake Endowed Scholarship was established in 2019 with a $2 million gift from Baker alumnus Joseph Lake, who graduated from Baker in 1941. He met his wife, Jan (Cutter), at Baker and they had three daughters: Sally, Margaret and Nancy. Lake established the scholarship to honor his mother, Ada Hopkins Lake.
“Baker University is so grateful to the Lake family for their incredible generosity and true commitment to our university. They are continuing the Lake’s legacy of providing an education to future generations of Baker students,” said Baker University President Lynne Murray.
Throughout his life, Lake knew that he wanted to help students not just attend college but also focus on their education without having to work while in school like he had. He arrived at Baker with $8 in his pocket and worked several jobs while he was a student.
After graduating from Baker and serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp, Lake’s fascination with the new medium of television led to a lifelong career. He started by selling TV advertising and retired as the general manager of the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, California. His professional success and deep appreciation for education led him to fund a scholarship at Baker University to honor his mother, who had been a teacher and stressed to Lake the importance of an education and attending college.
“He wanted to give the gift to students so they wouldn’t have to worry about meals and food and where they were going to sleep at night,” said Lake’s daughter Margaret. “He wanted them to have a chance to just be students, to benefit from just being students.”
The inaugural scholarship was awarded last year. The second student to benefit from Lake’s vision and generosity is Sidney Alaimo. She was selected after participating in Baker’s Scholarship Competition Day in December and was chosen for this need-based scholarship on the strength of her leadership qualities and academic accomplishments.
“When you are trying for something but don’t expect anything, that’s when you get the results you want. Winning the Lake Scholarship was the opportunity of a lifetime that I really needed,” said Alaimo.
Showing her initiative and diligence, Alaimo graduated from high school a semester early, making it possible for her to start her college career a semester before the scholarship takes effect. Earning the Lake scholarship will allow Alaimo, who plans to major in Spanish and minor in art and history, to stretch her educational dollars to be able to earn a master’s degree in art therapy and graduate with little to no debt.