The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation on behalf of an anonymous donor, gave $1.25 million to Baker University to fund biology and chemistry research, new technology for students and faculty, and an endowed professorship.
“This donation will provide Baker students with new state-of-the-art lab equipment and provide funding for independent research projects,” said Dr. Erin Morris, chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry. “This improved laboratory experience will make Baker students more competitive when applying for graduate programs, medical school, and biology and chemistry job.”
A portion of the gift creates the Biology Research and Technology Fund to improve the research experience for biology students and faculty. The donation has provided for a field research van and mobile lab trailer, which will allow students to conduct vital field experiments. In June, students used the van and trailer during a two-week trip from Florida to Maine, researching the habitats and organisms found along the Atlantic Coast. Additional funds will be used to update costly laboratory equipment that familiarizes students with modern research techniques used in scientific research.
“Baker University is so grateful for the financial support and commitment of alumni and friends to the university who wish to enhance our students’ experience,” said Baker University President Lynne Murray.
The donation will also fund the Biology and Chemistry Student and Faculty Research Endowment that supports student and faculty research projects. The endowment will fund $1,000 grants to juniors who have declared biology or chemistry as their major. It will also fund the $300 research stipend provided to biology and chemistry students. The endowment will also fund grants of up to $1,000 for faculty in need of assistance with research and grant writing for projects involving students or assistants as collaborators.
A final portion of the gift will establish the Dr. Roger Boyd Professorship to attract educators who encourage excellence and challenge students to analyze issues affecting the environment. The Boyd family has been instrumental in developing and operating the Baker University Wetlands, a natural wildlife habitat in Lawrence, Kansas, since 1968, when the university obtained the land. The professorship will pay the salary and benefits for a biology professor as a means to continue Dr. Boyd’s legacy in preservation and research.