Freshman Allison McGlumphy continues family tradition

Story by Kyle Davis

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It can be difficult for some students to try to paint a picture of Baker  University for their parents who are unfamiliar with the Baldwin City campus, whether it’s the buildings, classes or the atmosphere.

Freshman Allison McGlumphy doesn’t have this problem. When she talks to her mother on the phone and explains she is walking into Case Hall for a class, her mother knows the building well, it was where she and McGlumphy’s father met.

McGlumphy is from Horsham, Penn., roughly 1,200 miles from Baldwin City, yet McGlumphy was familiar with Baker well before she filled out an application for admission. And the Baker connection doesn’t end with her parents. McGlumphy is roughly the 25th member of her family, not counting other family friends, to attend Baker University.

“I wasn’t going to come here because I always heard about it and I was really stubborn about coming here,” McGlumphy said. “And I came here for a tour like a year and a half ago I guess, and I was miserable the whole tour, and I was like ‘I’m not coming here’ and I wanted to go to (the University of Missouri). Then I stayed for homecoming weekend, and I couldn’t even deny that I wanted to come here.”

Not all her early family members, such as McGlumphy’s great-grandfather, attended Baker, but rather Missouri Wesleyan College, which was absorbed by Baker. McGlumphy has another tie to Baker as she is related to Nelson Horn, who was the president of Baker from 1936-1956.

McGlumphy knew she wanted to join a greek chapter, which is also common in her family. Many of the men in McGlumphy’s family, including her father, were members of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, while McGlumphy’s grandmother was a Delta Delta Delta sorority member and her mother was a member of Phi Mu sorority. It was a difficult decision, but McGlumphy decided to join Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

“My mom was good about understanding that houses change throughout the years,” McGlumphy said. “I went to (preference) night at (Delta Delta Delta) and (Zeta Tau Alpha) and I was the last one in the bid room because I was really torn.”

McGlumphy’s father, Bob, said he also made a last-minute change to come to Baker, after his parents flew him out for a Baker Weekend.

“It’s a sort of mindset of people that go there. They’re not worried about what everybody else is doing as much as what they’re doing themselves,” he said. “The atmosphere, it somehow breeds success.”

Terri Blake, senior associate director of admission, went to Baker at the same time as Allison’s parents and said she enjoys being able to recruit the children of her college friends. This year, Blake alone recruited five transfer students and seven freshmen that have a relative that is a Baker graduate.

“I let Baker speak for itself,” Blake said. “If I can get them on campus, I can sell it.”

Mark Bandre, vice president for enrollment management and student development, and Doug Barth, director of alumni and corporate relations, created a space on the Baker alumni section of the website where alumni can send Baker the names of their family and friends they would like the university to recruit.

“It’s a great thing when we’re able to maintain that much connectivity,” Bandre said.

McGlumphy said she may take another route in a family member’s footsteps and attend Baker’s nursing school in Topeka, which her grandmother also attended.

Another McGlumphy could be enrolling at Baker soon, as Allison McGlumphy’s six-year old brother, who wears Baker shirts regularly, already has Baker on the mind.

“He already talks about it,” Bob said. “He’s only six years old, he has a ways to go, but I’d be happy if he went to Baker. He’s going to get a lot of chances to see it.”