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2011 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients named

The Ohio Northern University Office of Alumni Relations named Dr. Kendall L. Baker and Mrs. Toby Baker as the recipients of ONU’s 2011 Distinguished Alumni Awards during the Baker Celebration dinner at ONU’s Alumni Weekend on June 4.

Since Sept. 1, 1999, Dr. Baker has served as the 10th president of ONU. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2010-2011 school year.

Dr. Baker received an honorary degree from ONU at the 2011 Commencement ceremonies, and Toby Baker earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from ONU in 2006.

The Bakers also were recognized by the ONU Board of Trustees with the establishment of the Dr. Kendall L. Baker, President Emeritus, and Mrs. Toby Baker Endowed Scholarship. In addition to the endowed scholarship, the board awarded both Dr. Baker and Mrs. Baker with ONU’s recognition medals for their tireless service to ONU and its students.

The ONU Board of Trustees also established that the area on ONU’s campus that was developed during the Baker presidency will be known as the Baker Commons. Located primarily in the southwest quadrant of the campus, the area includes the Dicke House, Stadium View Apartments, Klondike’s Den, Polar Place, Dial-Roberson Stadium, the Remington Walk, Northern Commons and Affinity Village.

Dr. Baker received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland in 1963 and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Georgetown University in 1966 and 1969, respectively.

From 1967 to 1982, Dr. Baker taught political science at the University of Wyoming, and in 1979 he became head of its political science department. In 1982, Dr. Baker became the dean of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University. From 1987 to 1992, he served as vice president and provost of Northern Illinois University. He next served as president of the University of North Dakota from 1992 to 1999.

Toby Baker received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wyoming and Master of Arts in creative writing from the University of North Dakota. Mrs. Baker is a writer and hosted a popular radio talk show in Grand Forks, N.D., from 1997-1999.

The Bakers have five grown children, Kraig, Kris, John, Shannon and Brian, and five grandchildren.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are based on outstanding service to the objectives of the Alumni Association of Ohio Northern University, service with distinction in the nominee’s chosen profession, and tangible expression of loyalty to ONU.