Real house moms of Baker University


Elizabeth Hanson

Left to right: Lynette Loyd of Delta Delta Delta, Joye Dickens of Zeta Tau Alpha, Laurel Jackson of Alpha Chi Omega.

Story by Julia Sanders, Writer

Here at Baker University, each sorority house has a house director who lives in the house and essentially runs it. These women are always in communication with the house corporation board and are responsible for the upkeep of the house.

While each house mom has a different story and background, each of them have a central love for the women of their house.

Lynette Lloyd, Delta Delta Delta

Tri Delta’s house mom, Lynette Lloyd, was born and raised in South Dakota. After attending Bartlesville Wesleyan University, now called Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and receiving her associate degree in secretarial science, an array of jobs and unique circumstances kept her in this area.

Her first job was as a secretary, but she then became interested in court reporting. She followed that path, attending school for it in Sioux Falls, Minnesota, and then landed a job as a free-lance reporter in Concordia, Kansas.

“Mama Lynn” or Lynette Lloyd is the house mother of the sorority Delta Delta Delta. She has been the house mother for four years now. Her daughter a member of Alpha Chi Omega during her time at Baker.
Photo by Elizabeth Hanson
“Mama Lynn” or Lynette Lloyd is the house mother of the sorority Delta Delta Delta. She has been the house mom for four years now. Her daughter was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority during her time at Baker.

“There are two different types of reporters: court reporters who work in the courtroom for a judge and then there are free-lance reporters who do mostly depositions and hearings, and that’s what I did,” Lloyd said. “I got to travel with it some, too, because I was the only free-lance reporter in the small town and surrounding towns, so I did enjoy that. It was challenging because you have to get everything verbatim.”

Although she had a job here in Kansas, it was not just a job that kept her in this area. After losing her blood-related aunt in a car accident, Lloyd went to help her uncle-by-marriage with the children.

“The unexpected happened, we fell in love and got married,” Lloyd said.

After getting married, she became the mother to those children, who are technically her cousins, and then had another son.

While the circumstances surrounding her marriage were unique, her husband led her to try many new things that she might not have done otherwise before his passing 10 years ago. These activities included scuba diving, water and snow skiing, riding motorcycles and hiking mountains.

Her transition to house mom began three years ago after her daughter found the opening on Facebook.

While she still works another job at Ball’s Food Store in Kansas City, she is able to stay at the Tri Delta house every night and form quality relationships with the women.

“There’s a fine line of balancing not being a mom, but being here for them if they should need me,” Lloyd said.

Being a house mom has led her down different avenues on campus, including attending chapel each week and sitting with her Tri Delta women.

Overall, Lloyd enjoys being a house mom and is looking forward to what it brings her. When advising the college women that come to her, she mainly focuses on relationships.

“I know a lot of girls have boyfriends and I would definitely advise not rushing into getting married,” Lloyd said. “I can say that now because I’m older, but I can understand what wanting to get married is like. But I think getting yourself established in your own career, knowing what you want to do and knowing who you are just as an individual is important.”

Joye Dickens, Zeta Tau Alpha

Joye Dickens was born and raised in Oklahoma and attended Oklahoma State University until her senior year of college, when she then transferred to Syracuse University, all for her undergraduate degree in education. While at OSU, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

Although she received her degree in education, she only taught for one year.

Joye Dickens is the newly appointed house mother for the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha this semester. She is originally from Oklahoma and was a part of Pi Beta Phi during her collegiate years at Oklahoma State University.
Photo by Elizabeth Hanson
Joye Dickens is the newly appointed house mother for Zeta Tau Alpha sorority this semester. She is originally from Oklahoma and was a part of Pi Beta Phi sorority during her collegiate years at Oklahoma State University.

“I taught one year because I got married and had children and went that route, as many people from my generation did,” Dickens said. “Later on when I was in my 40’s, I went back to school and got my graduate degree in counseling.”

To get her degree in counseling, Dickens moved to Connecticut and attended St. Joseph’s College. After graduating, she started her own practice helping people with life-threatening illnesses.

“A friend of mine and I started a counseling center in Connecticut and we worked together,” Dickens said. “I like working for myself and, of course, I loved helping people and every human being is very interesting to me.”

After retiring from counseling, Dickens became a house mom “by default.” This first job, a job in her original chapter house at OSU, led her to take jobs at numerous other chapter houses at a variety of places including the University of Colorado, University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, Colorado State University, and lastly, Baker University.

Throughout her life, Dickens has also helped plant a soup kitchen in South Africa, which she describes as “quite an incredible experience,” co-found an adoption agency, traveled to all fifty states and has lived in several places.

“I’m always saying ‘sure,’” Dickens said.

Being a house mom, as well as just residing in many different places has allowed her to experience many different parts of the country.

Although she came to Baldwin City on a whim, it’s the people that she finds intriguing.

“I think I enjoy being around students [this] age, since I’ve had my own children, watching how quickly people mature between when they graduate from high school and when they leave college,” Dickens said. “It’s a massive exponential growth in all ways so I get a lot of pleasure being a support system for that.”

Being around people her whole life has given Dickens many unique life experiences that have shaped the advice she gives.

“Rely on your integrity and personal values as your compass. Remember that for every real problem there is an elegant solution.”

Laurel Jackson, Alpha Chi Omega

Rewind back to 1968 and Laurel Jackson would be a senior at Baker University and the President of Alpha Chi Omega. Fast forward to 2017, and Jackson is the house mom for Alpha Chi Omega.

“I thought it maybe sounded really fun and when this [being a house director] came up, I thought, well since I already lived here once, it was just a great opportunity for me,” Jackson said.

The women in Alpha Chi Omega refer to their house mother as “Mom J”. Laurel Jackson, or “Mom J” was the president of the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Baker University in 1968.
Photo by Elizabeth Hanson
The women in Alpha Chi Omega refer to their house mother as “Mom J”. Laurel Jackson, or “Mom J”, was the president of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority at Baker in 1968.

Between 1968 and 2017, Jackson focused on her family and career. After getting a degree in home economics education, Jackson moved to St. Francis, Kansas, to teach home economics. This allowed her to be slightly close to her hometown of Denver, yet still be in a place that recognized Baker’s name.

“I thought about going back there, but nobody had really heard of Baker and weren’t that impressed that I had a degree from there,” Jackson said.

After teaching in St. Francis for two years, she then taught in Marysville, Kansas, and then St. Mary’s, Kansas, where she has resided since 1979.

Jackson worked in schools for a majority of her life, being a teacher for part of it and a librarian for the other part. She sponsored many programs, describing that as “her thing.” These programs included student council, scholars bowl, and TASMAD, a “leadership group that went around to try to make the school better.”

During her summers off, Jackson traveled with her friends, and still does to this day. This traveling has taken her to many places including Nova Scotia, Boston, Paris, Prague, Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. All this traveling has led her to advise people to “travel when you’re young” because it is easier. However, she has truly enjoyed meeting people through all of her traveling.

Although this is only her third year as a house mom, Jackson has truly enjoyed her time as one, and is especially nostalgic because of her memories in that house.

“My favorite part about being a house mom is all the people that I get to meet. It’s like being a party planner sometimes because you just get to do the fun stuff and just being with these nice, nice people.”