The Baker Orange

PBS visits campus, shoots feature

Story by Hayley Morrical, Writer

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Camera crews, studio lighting and film sets broke up Baker’s traditional scenery April 29 outside of Long Student Center with the arrival of a PBS film crew. Baker will be featured as a part of the In-America series.

“Their primary focus is on the higher education sector, so one of their producers reached out to (President Lynne) Murray and she was excited about the opportunity,” Chris Smith, director of foundation relations, said.

Danielle Yearout, vice president of university advancement, sent out an email to students announcing the arrival of the national broadcasting crew to campus.

However, many students seemed shocked to see the their peers and recent graduates sitting in front of a camera answering questions about their Baker experience.

“I was really surprised to see PBS taking an interest in Baker,” sophomore Elizabeth Arnold said. “I’m not used to seeing a television crew on campus, which was really cool.”

PBS sent its producer John Holton to conduct interviews with faculty and students on campus.

“I anticipate the spot will be traditional arts and science-centric,” Smith said.

Baker wasn’t the first stop on the In-America series; Holton and his crew have previously visited the University of Arkansas and one more large state school in Oklahoma.

Smith believes that Baker was Holton’s attempt to film a small, private institution to contrast against larger, public university culture.

“They seemed very impressed,” Smith said. “Holton commented first on the beauty of campus. They all seemed very intrigued with the small-town life. They thought it was cool that nestled away in a semi-rural area it was such a robust and thriving university community.”

Smith believes Baker was a great choice for the documentary series.

“I think what he wanted and captured was that quintessential campus feel,” Smith said. “He was really pleased here with the architecture and what students said about their experience and what they wanted to gain from it.”

According to Smith, after the successful shoot, Baker hopes to gain brand awareness, heightened numbers of campus visits, media attention, and ultimately more attention to the accomplishments of Baker stakeholders.

“It’s not specifically a recruiting tactic, but anytime Baker can get its name out there it is pretty cool. The hope is of course to get more attention to our students, brand, and alumnus, who we feature out there doing well in the community and being great global citizens,” Smith said. “That’s always the hope, that this is a cascade effect, that we get our name out on PBS and people see how great we are.”

Details of the segment’s airtime are not yet available. The campus administration expects to see “cuts” of the shoot within 30 days of PBS’ campus visit. Smith expects the administration to post more information on the six-minute segment’s air times as they become available.

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