Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

Baker University appreciates partnership, sharing success with Baldwin City

President Pat Long column

August 26, 2011

Welcoming our returning students and more than 200 freshmen to Baldwin City this time of year is among my favorite experiences as president of Baker University.

I always look forward meeting our new students as they prepare to transition into adulthood, developing into confident, competent and responsible contributors to society. During the recent weeklong Wildcat Welcome, we shared what Baker University and Baldwin City have to offer to our students. As I enter my sixth year at Baker University, I am proud to call Baldwin City home. We — the students, faculty and staff — value partnering with the local community, sharing in its many successes through the efforts of dedicated leaders and volunteers.

During 2011-2012, you will notice construction activity on the Baker campus. We are completing the renovation of the first level of Denious Hall at Eighth and Dearborn streets. Denious will house our admission and financial aid team, eventually becoming a welcome center for prospective students and visitors to the campus. Later this fall, we plan to break ground on the Mulvane Hall expansion and interior renovation of the facility as part of an ambitious transformation project. Mulvane, constructed in the 1920s, houses classrooms and laboratories for biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and information technology. The renovation to Mulvane and the 9,000-square-foot expansion is necessary as we continue to serve our students by providing new laboratory space, classrooms and collaborative areas. We are moving forward on an inspiring building concept that our faculty and administration have been visioning for more than a decade.

We are proud of the cultural activities and diverse programs our university provides to our students and Baldwin. Throughout the year, we hope you are able to attend one of our inspiring theater or musical productions. The Christmas Candlelight Vespers, an enduring holiday tradition for 80 years the first Sunday in December, is inspiring and a wonderful way to begin the season. At the end of the academic year, we invite you to join us at the Honors Symposium at Mabee Hall, where our outstanding students share their research and presentations from the past year.

Baldwin City residents are among the most dedicated supporters of our athletic teams. I hope to see you to at the football opener at 7 p.m. Saturday, when the No. 23-ranked Wildcats meet Ottawa at Liston Stadium. Kansas State Bank and the Alumni Office have partnered for a pregame tailgate, open to the community. The football team has produced four consecutive winning seasons, and several returning and new recruits should contribute to another successful year. We also have high expectations for the women’s soccer team, coming off a remarkable run in the national tournament, reaching the semifinals for the first time in the university’s history. In the winter, you will have the opportunity to meet new women’s basketball coach Ben Lister, who was a successful assistant at Barton County before coming to Baker.

Thank you again for all of your support of Baker. I encourage you to meet some of our outstanding students on campus and in the community. We look forward to a special 2011-12.

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