Welcome to our first digital issue of the BakerProud!
In this edition, we shine a spotlight on the many members of the Baker family who have remained Baker Strong during the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. These are people who have shown enormous ingenuity, resilience, generosity, and grace in getting the job done and supporting others.
As so many events and functions have moved online—business meetings, classes, doctor’s visits, grocery shopping, parties, commencement ceremonies—it seems fitting that we are introducing our first online BakerProud at this time.
Golden Alumni Reunion goes virtual
One of those events that shifted to an online format was the Golden Alumni Reunion, which is typically held during Alumni Weekend. The Office of Alumni Relations, Dr. Murray, and I were pleased to welcome 49 members of the Class of 1970 to the 50th Virtual Reunion on Sept. 26 via Zoom. I am so proud of the Class of 1970: They embraced this virtual alumni gathering, and they were all in!
Each member of the class received a Baker Reunion in a Box that included a lowball tumbler, the member’s 50-year alumni medallion, and a program outlining the event. A reunion booklet containing the submitted 50-year bios and photos was sent after the event. The evening featured a video made up of then-and-now photos of members of the Class of 1970 and an invitation for Baker’s Golden Alumni to hang their medallions around their necks so Dr. Murray could honor them with a toast. After the formal portion of the event, small groups split into breakout rooms four or five times for about 10 minutes each to catch up with one another.
Although a virtual event presented challenges and limitations, it also offered opportunities. Several people who would not have been able to travel for an in-person event were able to join us via Zoom. During an in-person gathering, alumni frequently gravitate toward their familiar groups. The breakout rooms gave people who didn’t know each other very well a chance to get better acquainted.
We had great feedback and lots of smiling faces that evening. I’m already starting to think about the Class of ’71 and what it could look like if we host a virtual event in 2021.
A lot has changed since last spring, but wanting to stay connected will always remain important, and we have found new ways to accomplish this.
Our first virtual Murder Mystery Night on Oct. 27 was a rousing success and raised funds for the BU Emergency and Recovery Relief Fund. Baker alumni and students have overwhelmingly responded to the call to volunteer at Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 7.
Spaces are still available for Paint & Sip, a painting class via Zoom on December 3. You can enjoy your favorite beverage while creating a masterpiece featuring the BU flag and catching up with other Wildcats. Paint kits can be picked up at Pinot’s Palette (11945 S. Strang Line Rd., Olathe, KS) the day before the event. Register online for the class.
Staying connected is important now more than ever, so please update your contact information so we can invite you to events. And let us know if you have news!
Doug Barth, ’91
Director of Alumni Relations