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Baker University celebrates historic beginning with new activities

Story by Stacey Gorton

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Baker University students celebrated activities surrounding Founders Week Monday through Thursday.

“This kind of kicks off a new way of thinking and highlighting what we have come to have available to us through our history,” Kay Bradt, director of library services, said.

Founders Week is dedicated to Baker University opening its doors on Feb. 12, 1858. This year, the university focused the celebration on sustainability.

Historically, the celebration has included a single convocation to recognize the anniversary. This year’s celebration included a variety of activities throughout the week that ranged from Roger Boyd, director of natural areas, speaking about the restoration of the Baker Wetlands Monday, to Bobbi Rahder from the Haskell Indian Nations University speaking about “sustaining culture through photography” Thursday.

Bradt said the decision to change the activities was made to capture the attention of more students with different interests.

“Not many people really go to convocation,” University Minister Ira DeSpain said. “We would be able to diversify and make Founders Week a weeklong experience to interest as many people as possible in different environments.”

DeSpain said Provost Randy Pembrook introduced the idea of changing the format of Founders Week to a group of Baker’s staff before planning the convocation.

“We needed to run with this idea,” DeSpain said. “I was very excited and ready to get started planning.”

Brett Knappe, assistant professor of art history, presented “Photography and Progress:  Western Expansion and Scientific Exploration” Tuesday in Owens Audio-Visual Room.

“(The change) is interesting,” Knappe said. “I enjoy opportunities to hear what my colleagues are doing around campus and hearing different talks on campus.”

Knappe said he used his presentation to combine lectures for his history of photography class, and incorporated pictures for the Baker collection with this year’s theme of sustainability to reach a more broad audience.

 ”I am hoping that everybody really enjoyed the experience and was able to come out to at least one or a few of the events,” DeSpain said.

Founders Week ended Thursday with a presentation by Walt Bailey titled "Gaining and Keeping Perspective, Layer upon Layer: The University Art Collection."<br/>  

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