Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ceremony for Long is looming

October 19, 2006

Patricia N. Long, president of Baker University, will announce her vision for the university during inaugural ceremonies at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at Rice Auditorium on the Baldwin City campus.

Long has the distinction of being the first female president in the 148-year history of Baker, Kansas' first university.

"We want to showcase Baker University during the ceremony and share our traditions and history with the community," said Long, who assumed the presidency on July 1, succeeding President Emeritus Daniel M. Lambert. "We want people to get excited about the future of Baker."

Long, the university's 28th president, most recently was acting executive vice chancellor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While at UMKC, she also served as deputy chancellor for university communications and vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management. Prior to that, she was dean of student services at Johnson County Community College and served as an educator in the Kansas City, Mo., school system.

Her educational record includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Southwest Baptist University, a master's degree in adult education from Central Missouri State University and a doctorate in educational policy and leadership in higher education from the University of Kansas.

Long's inaugural address will focus on Baker's past, present and future.

"We want to recognize that we are a comprehensive, multi-campus university from associate degree to doctoral offering," she said. "We're getting to be a sizable institution."

For the fall semester, Baker reported a record enrollment of 3,932 students. At the main campus in Baldwin City, enrollment is at 923 students. The School of Professional and Graduate Studies, and the School of Education graduate students based in Overland Park have an enrollment of 2,865. The School of Nursing at Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka has 144 students.

Inaugurations at Baker University have a rich history. In 1911, President Howard Taft was in Baldwin City to deliver a speech on world peace when Wilbur Nesbitt Mason became president of the university. The celebrations traditionally include appearances by state leaders, delegates from colleges and universities across the country, the university's Board of Trustees, representatives from the United Methodist Church and past Baker presidents.

At the inauguration, Long also will be joined by friends and family, including her parents, Charles and Bernice McCaslin, of Wheatland, Mo.

"I'm sure they never thought they would be attending the inauguration of one of their daughters," she said.

Inaugural symbols

Here are symbols associated with Baker University's inauguration:

Bishop Quayle's Bible

The Bible to be used in the inaugural ceremony was a gift to William Quayle, the university's 14th president. The Kansas General Conference Delegation gave Bishop Quayle the Bible upon his election to the episcopacy in 1908. It is an undated, 19th Century, Comprehensive Teachers' Bible King James text with Bishop Quayle's comments written in the margins. It is signed by delegates of the Kansas General Conference. Allie Gayle Wilcox, Bishop Quayle's daughter, presented the Bible to Baker University in 1974 for inclusion in the Quayle Bible Collection at Collins Library.

The Baker University Mace

The mace symbolizes the power and authority of learning. It was created by Professor Walter Bailey from prized remnants of Baker University's Centenary Hall and historic Parmenter Hall, and bears the names of the university's presidents. The symbol is traced back to the Middle Ages, when it was derived from a battle instrument of the knights. It is carried in official university ceremonies by the Grand Marshal of the faculty.

The Baker University Seal

The seal has served the university since 1909, when the school celebrated its golden anniversary. Its Latin motto is translated "Let him first be a man," and it contains three Greek words, "soul," "mind" and "body." At the center is the lamp of learning on the open book of knowledge.

The Presidential Medallion

Worn during ceremonial occasions such as commencement and convocation, the Presidential Medallion signifies the official authority and responsibility of the president.

The sterling silver and gold medallion contains a lamp between two posts bearing the university's name. It was inspired by the university seal. The enamel flame of the lamp represents the school's official color, cadmium orange.

The medallion was first displayed at the inauguration of Baker president James E. Doty on April 22, 1967. It was a gift to Baker from Doty's alma mater, Mount Union College in Ohio.

At the inauguration on Oct. 26, President Emeritus Daniel M. Lambert will present the medallion to Long, signaling the official transfer of leadership.

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