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Baker University announces $1.2 million gift to support liberal arts education

The skills most sought by employers by 2020 will be critical thinking and complex problem solving, according to a 2016 World Economic Forum report. And Baker University, the top-rated private university in Kansas, is preparing its graduates to meet those market needs with a generous gift from the Swogger Foundation. The foundation has donated $1.2 million to establish the Swogger Foundation Humanities Professorship and the Primary Texts Endowment Fund.

The donation will fund a humanities professorship to lead the Primary Texts Program. Courses in the program will use an author’s primary writings. The gift will also expand the number of faculty offering the courses, develop new themes to be offered each semester, expand the program across the university, and facilitate out-of-the-classroom learning experiences for students.

“In focusing on the primary texts, we are asking students to read the original works by important writers and thinkers, rather than having them read secondary sources that might summarize these writers,” said Darcy Russell, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Primary texts provide additional depth and nuance that can be understood only by reading original works, not textbooks about a writer or his or her ideas.”

Dr. Glenn Swogger, Jr., credits his early interest in literature to his father, Mr. Glenn Swogger, Sr., who was a 1915 Baker University graduate and founder of the Swogger Foundation. Dr. Swogger and the Foundation board support organizations with a focus in the arts, culture, humanities, or education. Their gift was made as part of the fundraising effort, Forever Orange: The Campaign for Baker University, which has raised more than $18 million toward a $28 million comprehensive goal.

“The generosity of Glenn Swogger, Jr., and his commitment to the students and to Baker University are exceptional,” said Baker University President Lynne Murray. “His unwavering dedication to advancing the lives of young people through education is inspiring.”

After graduating from medical school and spending several years in private practice, Dr. Swogger returned to Kansas and served as director of the Menninger Center for Applied Behavioral Sciences in Topeka and has been dedicated to funding arts and education projects in the state. His gift to Baker honors his father, Glenn, Sr.

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