Emergency Relief Fund ensures continuity in Baker’s mission

male student in an orange hat and white shirt, wearing a black mask, sitting at a desk, writing on paper and studying,

The Baker family is known for its generosity and willingness to jump in when help is needed. During the current pandemic, when so many people and organizations are facing challenges and financial burdensBaker alumni and friends have once again come together and created the Baker University Emergency Relief Fund. This fund supports the university and provides direct benefits to students, faculty, and staff members across the four schools 

 As of October 20, 2020, alumni, faculty and staffBaker University Board of Trustees members, and Baldwin City corporations, have raised $214,273. 

“Our goal was to make sure every member of our community was supported during this difficult time while continuing to provide the exceptional education Baker is known for. The incredible generosity of our donors has allowed us to go beyond what we thought was possible. The outpouring of concern for the university and willingness of people to contribute even when they are facing uncertainty themselves is encouraging. As a community, we’ve come together and are weathering this storm.”

Danielle Jones Rease, vice president of advancement and enrollment management

A major gift from the estate of Wayne, 50, and Marilyn (Harrison), 50, Morris, to the relief fund helped Baker University quickly adjust to the realities of this global pandemic.  

The Emergency Relief Fund has been used to ensure access to equipment and technology for remote classes and the university’s business operations. It has paid for childcare so that a mother who was laid off from her job could finish her course work. Another student received funds to pay for temporary housing because they couldn’t return home when campus housing was closed last spring 

Because Dr. Harold Frye, associate professor of graduate courses at the School of Educationcould see firsthand the effect of the pandemic on his students and colleagues, he felt it was important to make a contribution.

“Why wouldn’t we give to support our beloved university? Through our giving, we help with the important work at Baker, the betterment of the lives of our students, and, in turn, the future they will lead.”

Dr. Harold Frye, associate professor of graduate courses at Baker’s School of Education

To enable instructors to teach their classes remotely, new cameras and personal microphones were purchased for each classroom. Reliable Internet access and upgraded technology were provided to faculty members who teach from home. Workshops were held in August to train faculty on how to use the new equipment.  

Last spring, when it became apparent the university needed to quickly shift to online and remote classes and operations, it was clear that the Baker community would need creativity, flexibility, and patience in great amounts. And while the ability of students, faculty, and staff to rise to this challenge was never in question, how to fund these changes was less clear. But the Baker community always steps up when needed.    

“In a time of national tragedy, I was looking for any way I could help. After hearing about the extraordinary challenges the Baker community is facing right now, especially students. I saw this as a way to give back to a community that has given me so much. I feel blessed to be able to do that.”

Jacob Mogle, ’15

Learn more about the Emergency Relief Fund or make a donation online.