Long makes Baker graduation debut
Baker University honored more than 700 undergraduate, graduate and nursing students with two ceremonies during Winter Commencement Sunday at the Collins Center.
It marked the first graduation proceedings for new Baker President Patricia Long. She took over July 1 for the retired Dan Lambert and became the first female president in the nearly 150 years of Baker's existence.
"We're in this together," Long told graduates during her address at the second ceremony Sunday. "This is my first graduation at Baker University, too."
Undergraduate students from Baker's College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing and School of Professional and Graduate Studies were recognized at 1 p.m. Graduate students in the School of Education and School of Professional and Graduate Studies were honored at 4:30 p.m.
During both commencements, the Collins Center was packed with families and friends of the 700-plus graduates.
There were a total of 746 candidates for degrees. Those broke down into 467 in the School of Professional and Graduate Studies graduate degrees; 205 in the School of Professional and Graduate Studies undergraduates; 46 in the College of Arts and Sciences undergraduates; and 28 School of Nursing undergraduates.
Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Sutherland, a 1981 Baker graduate, spoke at the 1 p.m. ceremony. Sutherland has a law degree from Washburn University.
Long spoke at the 4:30 p.m. ceremony, in her first commencement at Baker. She previously was Acting Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Before that, she was Dean of Student Services at Johnson County Community College and served as an educator in the Kansas City, Mo., school system.