Baker University President Lynne Murray announced a new goal of $28 million for Forever Orange: The Campaign for Baker University.
“This is our most ambitious fundraising campaign to date and is dedicated to honoring our legacy while building a bright future for our students, who will graduate and go on to make significant contributions to their communities,” Dr. Murray said. “By supporting this campaign, the entire Baker community agrees to build a future that is just as great and as storied as our history. This campaign is an invitation to the Baker community to join together and boldly advance our university.”
The campaign has raised more than $17.3 million through early commitments from generous alumni and friends, including a $3.4 million gift from Baker alumna Martha “Marty” Mather, which is the largest single donation by a living individual to the university. Another significant gift recently received is $1.2 million from the Swogger Foundation. The Swogger Foundation was established by L. Glenn Swogger, Sr. as a trust created for charitable and educational purposes. This leadership gift will be used to establish the Swogger Foundation Humanities Professorship and the Primary Texts Endowment Fund.
“I believe in Baker and its mission to create responsible, global citizens who think critically, communicate effectively, act ethically, serve generously, and live fully,” said Skip Kalb, former director of strategic development for BNSF Railway and vice chairman of the Baker University Board of Trustees. “As an alumnus, I am determined that Baker will remain a place where any student with the desire can attend, work hard toward their goals, and achieve great things.”
The Forever Orange campaign was quietly launched in May 2016 and was publically announced in April 2018. The campaign is led by Danielle Jones Rease, chief of staff and senior director of Development and Alumni Relations, and is cochaired by Baker University alumni Murray and Diane (Wilson) Blackwelder and Gary and Connie (Mangun) Sollars.
“I started my career in fundraising at Baker in 1974, and through the years I learned that giving back is not only very satisfying, but the more you give, it seems to always come back to bless you,” Murray Blackwelder said.