Lakin leaves BU to seek new career opportunity

Story by Katie Thurbon

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Lyn Lakin, vice president for university advancement, has accepted a position at Camp Fire as chief development officer for the organization’s national headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.

“Camp Fire is a youth organization that focuses on leadership, character and the general thriving of youth,” Lakin said.

Lakin has a history of working in philanthropy based companies and will finish her seven-year run at Baker University on Friday.

“When Dr. Long announced her retirement, my plan had been to see her through,” Lakin said. “So it’s a little ahead of plan, but sometimes opportunities come along and you can’t pass them up.”

Lakin was drawn to Camp Fire because of the inclusiveness of the programming and its emphasis on leadership.

“This is one that doesn’t try to define what the appropriate membership looks like and does not try to seek to define what an appropriate family looks like,” Lakin said. “It also really focuses and is much more cutting edge in neuroscience in behavioral approaches in presenting leadership and interest programs.”

In addition to working in the advancement and marketing offices, Lakin will help to create the programs used by the organization.

“Part of the job is working with the council executives and really getting your hands around what they do and what the kids do,” Lakin said. “Because if you’re raising money for that you need to understand that, you really need to understand a child’s journey.”

Lakin said her time at Baker has prepared her for this new step.

“At Baker we are very familiar with goals and this is a goals driven and measured organization on all levels,” Lakin said. “Baker has given me such a heart for students and this is just picking up a little earlier in those journeys.”

Long said she would not be seeking to replace Lakin in order to give the next president that opportunity.

“When I came to Baker over seven years ago that position was open and that was a great gift for me because it allowed me to go out and look and find someone,” Long said.

In the meantime, Patrick Mikesic, senior director for university advancement, and Jerry Weakley, vice president for endowment and planned giving, will pick up the slack.

“Personally, I’m incredibly sad to see Lyn leave,” Long said. “She has done an outstanding job for the university.”