Forever Orange Campaign Leadership

Forever Orange Campaign Leadership

Campaign CoChairs

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Murray Blackwelder, ’69

Murray Blackwelder is a 1969 Baker University graduate. During his undergraduate years at Baker, Murray was a member of Delta Tau Delta, the president of the Interfraternity Council and the senior class vice president. A professional fund-raiser by trade, Murray retired from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation in 2015 after joining the foundation in 2009. Throughout his career Murray has held leadership positions with Wichita State University, Iowa State University, Purdue University, Rockhurst University, and Baker University. In all, he has been involved in seven major capital campaigns that raised some $3.8 billion. Murray remains active with St. John’s United Methodist Church in Kansas City.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Diane Wilson Blackwelder, ’70

Diane Wilson Blackwelder graduated from Baker University in 1970 with a degree in elementary education. Throughout her time at Baker, Diane was a member of Alpha Chi Omega and the Future Teachers Association. In her professional career, Diane spent 18 years as an elementary classroom teacher; seven years as a foundation director with a human service agency; and five years at Purdue University as the assistant dean of students, student activities, and organizations. Diane has remained extremely involved with Alpha Chi Omega and served as the national president from 2012 to 2016.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Gary Sollars, ’71

Gary Sollars is a 1971 Baker University graduate. He studied business and was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Gary joined Charlton-Manley Insurance, Inc., in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1977 and retired from the company as CEO. Gary is a member of the Baker University Board of Trustees and also serves as the past president of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association. He is a member of the Bert Nash Mental Health Center Endowment Foundation, the Junior Achievement of Lawrence Advisory Board, and the Cottonwood Incorporated Foundation Board of Trustees.

Connie Mangun Sollars, ’72

Constance “Connie” Sollars is a 1972 graduate of Baker University. She majored in merchandising and secondary education. As a Baker student she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority. She is actively involved with Health Care Access, and is the founder of the Fairy Godmother Fund, an endowment that distributes funds to assist women with critical short-term needs. She has served on various church boards and was the Plymouth Congregational Church’s on-site coordinator for L.I.N.K, and cochaired a $3 million capital campaign for the church. She was a member of the Lawrence Arts Center Board of Directors for three years and twice cochaired its annual Art Auction fund-raising event. In 2004, she cochaired Cottonwood Inc.’s fund-raising event.

Committee Members

Spencer Breithaupt, ’83

Spencer Breithaupt is vice president of sales at MWI Animal Health, where he is responsible for the companion animal sales team and the inside sales team. He serves on the Baker University Board of Trustees and is on the editorial board of Veterinary Advantage, the only animal health publication focused on engagement, education, and information for animal health distributor sales representatives. He served on the American Veterinary Distributors Association Board in 2008 and 2009. Spencer graduated from Baker University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Joann Huyett Breithaupt, ’86

Joann Huyett Breithaupt is a member of Alpha Chi Omega and graduated from Baker University in 1986. Joann transferred to Baker as a sophomore, and not only did she fall in love with the university, but also fell in love with a 1983 BU graduate, Spencer Breithaupt. The couple was married two weeks after her graduation. Joann started her career as an accountant with United Telephone System, who later acquired Sprint. After working for five years she left her job at Sprint as a senior accountant in charge of lease accounting to stay at home with the couple’s first child, Lauren. Nine years later they welcomed their son, Carter. Both children are graduates of Baker as well. Joann and Spencer reside in Leawood, Kansas.

Dale Hawks

Dale Hawks became an honorary Baker University alumnus in 2011.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Tammy Spiva Hawks, ’72

Tammeria “Tammy” Spiva Hawks graduated from Baker University in 1972. During her time at Baker she was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She  is a member of the Baker University Board of Trustees. Tammy is retired from Wells Fargo Financial, Inc., and she and her husband, Dale, have two children, and recently moved to Kansas City from Dallas.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Ryan Kuhn, ’06

Ryan Kuhn graduated from Baker University in 2006. During his tenure at Baker, Ryan was involved with Kappa Sigma fraternity and was a University Admissions Assistant and a Baker Ambassador. Ryan is self-employed with Tri-plicity Marketing Solutions, a marketing and advertising firm in Kansas City that specializes in creative services, web development, and marketing strategy for small and medium-sized businesses. Outside of work Ryan is involved with St. Pauls United Methodist Church, the Kappa Sigma Alumni Board, and Johnson County Business Partners.

Click image above to see my yearbook photo.

Emilee Merry Kuhn, ’06

Emilee Merry Kuhn graduated from Baker in 2006. She was involved with the chapel, band, Student Activities Council, Student Senate, Alpha Chi Omega, Baker Ambassadors, parMentors, a business honor society, and Cardinal Key.  She studied abroad at Harlaxton. Professionally Emilee serves as the senior vice president for the Lender Products Division at Arch Insurance Group, a company that provides a wide range of property, casualty, and specialty insurance for corporations, professional firms, and financial institutions across the United States and Canada.

Emily Gibson, ’11

Emily Gibson is a 2011 graduate and was recently featured on Ingram’s magazine’s distinction lists as part of the 10th class of “20 in Their Twenties.” Employed as a benefits consultant at Bukaty Companies—an employee benefits and brokerage firm—Gibson is also a member of Baker’s Athletic Hall of Fame for her contributions as a center on the basketball team, and she serves on the Baker Alumni Advisory Council. Emily volunteers with the Catholic Education Foundation, Baker parMentors, and the Don Bosco Youth Committee.

Click image above to see our yearbook photos.

Honorary Committee Members

Dr. Janice DePalma Simpson, ’70

Dr. Janice DePalma Simpson is a 1970 Baker graduate and is an honorary campaign member. While she was a Baker student she served on the Baker Orange student newspaper and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the art league, Student Senate, and intramural sports. After graduating she earned a doctorate from the University of Kansas and is owner of RJS Consulting, where she consulted on psychoeducational cases. She serves as the president of the Alpha Chi Omega House Corporation Board, and on the executive board of the Baker University Alumnae Greek Council.

Dr. Richard Simpson, ’67

Dr. Richard Simpson was a 1967 Baker graduate and passed away unexpectedly Nov. 21, 2017. A member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Rich was professor emeritus of special education at the University of Kansas, retiring from full-professor status in 2016 after 42 years. He authored more than 25 professional books and published more than 180 articles that have guided teachers and other practitioners for the last 40 years. Rich recently served as the coclass representative for the class of 1967’s 50-year reunion.

Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Danielle Jones Rease

Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Development
djonesrease@bakerU.edu | 785.594.4599

Doug Barth, ’91

Director of Alumni Relations
doug.barth@bakerU.edu | 785.594.4799

Kathryn Clark

Constituent Relations Coordinator
kathryn.clark@bakerU.edu | 785.594.4555

Philip Hannon, ’86

Assistant Director of Special Gifts
phil.hannon@bakerU.edu | 785.594.8493

Lynda Lewis

Advancement Administrative Assistant
lynda.lewis@bakerU.edu | 785.594.4590

Cheryl Stefanik McCrary, ’87, MLA ’13

Development Officer
cheryl.mccrary@bakerU.edu | 785.594.8423

Rachel Hawkins Shuck, ’12

Annual Fund Officer
rachel.shuck@bakerU.edu | 913.344.6020

Honor Our Legacy. Build for the Future.