The Baker Orange

First finalist provides fundraising background

Story by Sara Bell, Editor

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The Presidential Search Committee announced Tuesday Charles Taylor of Drury University will be the second presidential candidate to visit Baker’s campus. Taylor serves as the vice president for academic affairs and professor of communication for Drury. He is scheduled to meet with various university constituencies on Thursday and Friday.

After growing up in a town much like Baldwin City and spending her undergraduate years at an institution similar to Baker University, Lynne Murray was immediately interested in the university’s 29th presidency.

“When I looked at Baker, I saw the similarities not only in the kind of institution, which is quality and distinctive, but also in the small-town feel and the spirit,” Murray said. “The more I found out about (Baker), the more attracted I was to Baker.”

Murray currently serves as the vice president of development, alumni & international relations for Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., which is a leading institution for deaf and hard of hearing students. She works in fundraising and advancement efforts and raised more than $79 million for scholarships, academic programs and faculty excellence.

Murray previously worked at Georgetown University, where she raised $317 million in two years, and at Johns Hopkins University, where she served in corporate and community relations.

Hoot Gibson, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, introduced Murray as an administrative leader who has experienced consistent success in her profession.

“She works with a number of community partners, initiating national and global partnerships, spearheading fundraising efforts and has generated substantial revenues to the universities she’s represented,” Gibson said.

Murray hopes to use these talents to carry out the university’s strategic plan introduced by administrators last fall.

“I commend (the university) on the progress that you’ve had so far and the work that you’ve done toward your strategic plan,” Murray said. “I believe that somebody with my experience, my background and talents can take us even to the next level. So it would be a joy for me to work with each and every one of you.”

She said increased enrollment appears to be “of most importance” to the university and believes utilizing scholarship funds can help BU reach its desired enrollment numbers.

“I could hit the ground running with the Baker funds scholarship initiative,” Murray said. “I believe by setting up a scholarship fund we can attract and keep some of the distinctive students who make us who we are.”

Although moving from the Washington, D.C., area to Baldwin City may seem daunting for Murray, she said she would be excited about the transition if selected for the position.

“I love Baker for what Baker represents,” Murray said. “You could stick it in Washington, D.C., or you can stick in Nebraska, I would still be attracted to it.”

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