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Baker University

Coordinates: 38°46′39″N 95°11′16″W / 38.77750°N 95.18778°W / 38.77750; -95.18778
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Baker University
TypePrivate university
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
PresidentLynne Murray
Students3,076 (Fall 2014)[1]
Undergraduates1,897 (Fall 2014)[1]
Postgraduates1,179 (Fall 2014)[1]
Location, ,
United States
Campus10 acres (0.040 km2)
Sporting affiliations

Baker University is a private university in Baldwin City, Kansas. Founded in 1858, it was the first four-year university in Kansas and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.[2] Baker University is made up of four schools. The College of Arts and Sciences and the undergraduate courses in the School of Education (SOE) are located on the campus in Baldwin City, Kansas. The School of Professional and Graduate Studies (SPGS) and the graduate branch of the SOE serve nontraditional students on campuses in Overland Park, Kansas, and online. The School of Nursing, which is operated in partnership with Stormont Vail Health in Topeka, offers a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) and an online Master of Science in nursing (MSN).[3] Enrollment in all four schools has grown to a student population more than 3,000, with about 900 students on the Baldwin City campus.


The Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel was moved stone by stone from the village of Sproxton, England, to serve as the spiritual center of the university. The chapel was dedicated at Baker in 1996 by Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British prime minister, whose father had preached in the building.
Old Castle Hall, built in 1857–58 as the original home of Baker University
Parmenter Hall, the most recognizable building on Baker's main campus.
Baker Wildcats football team (white uniforms)
Baker pep squad leading cheers at a game

Baker University was founded in 1858 and named for Osman Cleander Baker, a Methodist Episcopal biblical scholar and bishop. The school—which is the oldest, continually operating institution of higher learning in the state—was the first four-year university in Kansas and funds were raised by local donations and donors from the East. Baker's first president, Werter R. Davis, a minister and Civil War officer, served from 1858 to 1862. The original campus building, now known as Old Castle Museum, houses a museum of the university and Baldwin City.[4][5]


The Baker athletic teams are called the Wildcats. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as a founding member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) since its inception in the 1971–72 academic year. The Wildcats previously competed in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) from 1902–03 to 1970–71.

Baker competes in 26 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball, flag football and wrestling; and co-ed sports includes cheerleading, dance and eSports.

Baker was one of the first NAIA schools to take part in the Champions of Character program, which emphasizes respect, servant leadership, integrity, sportsmanship and responsibility. Since 1978 women have been competing in intercollegiate sports at Baker.


Baker has only one official color: cadmium orange. The only other school in the country to have orange as their only official color is Syracuse University.

Campus life[edit]

Residential life[edit]

Baker University has three residence halls and two apartment buildings for students living on campus. Gessner Hall provides suite style living arrangements for 152 male residents. It was built in 1966, and the building was renovated in 2012. Irwin Hall provides suite style living arrangements for 150 female residents. The newest residence hall is the New Living Center, which houses 190 students in 48 rooms. The New Living Center is the largest on campus, with three stories and six wings totaling 52,000 square feet.[6][7]

Fraternities and Sororities[edit]

Greek life at Baker University began in 1865. Seven students founded a Phi Gamma Delta house. Additional students were initiated over the next couple years, but the fraternity was short-lived at Baker.[8][9] Today, there are several fraternities and sororities on campus.

Notable people[edit]


Case Hall, a Carnegie library (2009)



  1. ^ a b c "Higher Learning Commission". ncahlc.org.
  2. ^ "Spiritual Life". Bakeru.edu. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  3. ^ "Academic Programs". Bakeru.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-08-11. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  4. ^ Blackmar, Frank, ed. (1912). "Baker University". Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. Standard Publishing Company. pp. 129–32. Archived from the original on 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2017-09-30.
  5. ^ "Old Castle Museum". Baker University. 2016-06-03. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  6. ^ "BaldwinCity.com | New Baker residence hall ready for students to return". Signal.baldwincity.com. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  7. ^ "Gessner Hall renovations completed". The Baker Orange. 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  8. ^ "Phi Gamma Delta". Phigam.org. 1931-01-01. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  9. ^ The Phi Gamma Delta, Volume 30, Issue 3. December 1907. p 218.

External links[edit]

38°46′39″N 95°11′16″W / 38.77750°N 95.18778°W / 38.77750; -95.18778