Baker University is a private, residential, university located in Baldwin City, Kansas, United States. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest university in Kansas and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Baker University is made up of four schools. The College of Arts and Sciences and the undergraduate courses in the School of Education (SOE) are located at the campus in Baldwin City, Kansas. The School of Professional and Graduate Studies (SPGS) and the graduate branch of the SOE serve working adults at campuses in Lee's Summit, Missouri and North Kansas City, Missouri Overland Park, Kansas, Topeka, Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas. The School of Nursing, which is operated in partnership with Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka, offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Enrollment in all four schools has grown to a total student population of nearly 4,000. There are more than 900 students on the Baldwin City campus, approximately 2,700 in SPGS and SOE programs, and 170 at the School of Nursing. A recent survey by the Kansas City Business Journal listed Baker University's MBA program as the most popular in the Kansas City, Missouri Metropolitan Area.
Baker University was founded in 1858 and named for Osmon Cleander Baker, a Methodist Episcopal biblical scholar and bishop. The school was the first university in Kansas and funds were raised by local donations and donors from the East. Baker's first president, Rev. Werter R. Davis, a minister and Civil War officer, served from 1858 to 1862. The original campus building, now known as Old Castle Museum, houses a museum of the University and Baldwin City.
Baker University teams, known as the Wildcats, have only one official color: orange. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Region V competing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Baker offers 19 sports, men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
In 1890 Baker University won a 22-9 victory against the University of Kansas in the first intercollegiate football game to take place in Kansas. Since 1978 women have been competing in sports at Baker.
Emil S. Liston, former Baker basketball, football and baseball coach, helped create the NAIA and the first national basketball tournament. Baker's stadium is now named in his honor. Charlie Richard, the late former football coach, is honored in the College Football Hall of Fame for his success at Baker.
Located inside the Charlie Richard Outdoor Sports Facility, Liston Stadium, built in the 1930s, is home to football, track, and select soccer matches. The majority of soccer matches are played at North Park. Also in the complex are A.B. Cavaness Field, and Sauder Field, home to the softball and baseball teams.
Volleyball and basketball compete in the George F. Collins Jr. Center, which is also home to the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Cross Country team makes its home at the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course. The entire Charlie Richard Outdoor Sports Facility underwent dramatic improvements between 2002 and 2006. Training facilities and the weight room are located in Mabee Memorial Hall, as is the old gym.
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