Archive for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baker gives Class of 2012 intimate send off

Baker University business professor Martha Harris carries the university's mace Sunday as she leads the Kansas City St. Andrew Pipe and Drum and Baker's undergraduate Class of 2012 on a procession through campus to commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center.

Baker University business professor Martha Harris carries the university's mace Sunday as she leads the Kansas City St. Andrew Pipe and Drum and Baker's undergraduate Class of 2012 on a procession through campus to commencement ceremonies at the Collins Center.

May 23, 2012

There were no Jumbotrons or crowds jamming a football stadium Sunday at the Baker University Spring 2012 commencement.

And the intimate setting — far different from Kansas University’s commencement last weekend — seemed to fit with the tight-knit Baker community.

When Baker President Patricia Long spoke and gave hugs during the ceremony inside the George F. Collins Center in Baldwin City, it appeared she knew each of the roughly 170 graduating students smiling and looking back at her.

“I am so proud of you,” Long said, addressing the graduates. “It’s been the joy of a lifetime.”

When Shavon Brown, senior class president, stepped up to the podium, the stage didn’t bother her — she was just talking to her friends.

“We have become a family,” said Brown, graduating with a communications degree. “I love you guys.”

Just before embracing Long, Brown predicted: “I see nothing but success for the class of 2012.”

Randy Pembrook, vice president for academic affairs at Washburn University and former Baker official, gave the commencement address and encouraged the graduates to hang on to the memories they made at Baker. What will they remember 50 years from now, Pembrook asked?

For Keith DeMint, who earned his sports administration degree Sunday, that’s easy: his Kappa Sigma fraternity.

“All the memories with my brothers,” said DeMint, originally from Sabetha.

What DeMint’s fellow group of future educators, nurses, biologists and artists will eventually turn out to be is unknown. But Spring Hill graduate Kathryn Fritz smiles at the opportunities.

“Oh my goodness,” said Fritz, who received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and French. She talked of graduate school, traveling to Europe or staying in Kansas.

Basically, the future is wide open.

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