Lamberts to serve as parade Grand Marshals
Baker University President Dan Lambert and wife Carolyn are spending their last year with the Baker and Baldwin City communities, so it only seemed fitting to honor them at the Maple Leaf Festival.
For 19 years of service to the city and university, the Lamberts have been chosen as the Grand Marshals for the Maple Leaf Festival.
"I am not sure what that entails, but I think we ride in a car that says Grand Marshals," Dan Lambert said. "That's all I know about it. We are glad to do it and it will be fun."
Carolyn said she is ready to accept the role of Grand Marshal this year.
"It makes me very proud," Carolyn said. "I was pretty surprised about it. It is wonderful and I am very excited about it."
During the summer the Lamberts received news about them being chosen as Grand Marshals of the parade.
Dan said he figured it was because they were entering their final year of service at Baker.
"My guess is because this is our last year," Lambert said. "We have only missed on Maple Leaf Festival in our time here."
Each year the Lamberts take part in the parade, which is something Carolyn could do without.
"I love the parade," Carolyn said. "I can't wait for the end of it, so I can go back and watch the rest of it. I don't like how phony I feel in it though."
The Lamberts also love walking around the festival and enjoying the various crafts and eats.
"We often have guests that come in from Kansas City and others that park in our driveway," Lambert said. "It's a great part of being in Baldwin City. We do the rounds each year and I eat my self into oblivion."
Even though the Lamberts were chosen as Grand Marshals, they know it is their role to represent Baker.
"We understand it's about what the university means to Baldwin City, not the Lamberts," Dan Lambert said. "Though we represent the university."
Dan came to Baker in 1987 and has left a mark in his 19 years as president. Lambert's tenure saw the founding of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies in Overland Park in 1988 and the founding of the School of Nursing in Topeka in 1991.
Baker also brought the 19th-century Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel from Sproxton, England to Baldwin in 1996, which was dedicated with Margaret Thatcher.
The university also made more than $20 million in improvements to buildings and grounds, including a renovated library, sports complex and student union.
Dan said they might have someone ride in the car with them during the parade, whether it is a relative or the Baker mascot.
"We are absolutely honored to do this," Lambert said. "We are going to try and talk at least on of our grandchildren in riding with us. We have also had the Wildcat with us before."