Thomas Baker (college president)

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Thomas Stockham Baker (March 23, 1871 – April 7, 1939) was an American scholar and educator who served as the second President of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Aberdeen, Maryland and studied at Johns Hopkins University. He did graduate work at the University of Leipzig in Germany, then returned to Baltimore to complete his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins in 1895. For the next decade he taught German language and literature at Hopkins and served as a music critic for the Baltimore Sun. In 1909 he became director of the Jacob Tome Institute, a prep school for boys in Port Deposit, Maryland. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1919 to take an administrative position at Carnegie Institute of Technology. When Tech's first president, Arthur Hamerschlag, resigned in 1922, Baker became the second president.

Carnegie Tech years[edit]

Baker's administration worked to lift Tech out of its "construction phase" under President Hamerschlag, focusing on deepening the school's academic offerings, research, and beautifying the campus. Football was prominent during the Baker years, with Tech defeating the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Notre Dame on many occasions, and falling short of the national championship in 1928 by just one game.

Because of poor health Baker resigned from Carnegie Tech in 1935. He died in 1939. Baker Hall, home of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences is named after Thomas Baker.

Academic offices
Preceded by
Arthur Hamerschlag
Carnegie Mellon University President
1922 – 1935
Succeeded by
Robert Doherty


  • Fenton, Edwin (2000). Carnegie Mellon 1900-2000: A Centennial History. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press. ISBN 0-88748-323-2. 
  • Who was who in America, vol.1, 1897–1942, p. 49.
  • The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, vol.C, 1930, p. 507+.
  • The New York Times, April 8, 1939, p. 15 - Thomas Stockham Baker obituary.