Longtime donor and Middlebury Institute President Emeritus Steve Baker was among the honorees at the annual Central Coast National Philanthropy Day celebration in Pebble Beach on November 17. He was recognized by the Institute for his long-term commitment to supporting student financial aid, especially the Steven J. Baker Endowed Scholarship, established in his honor.
“It’s natural for me to give to the Institute since I so thoroughly believe in its mission,” Baker shares. “I dedicated a quarter century of my life to international professional education. Now, in retirement, I’ve been delighted to give modestly on an annual basis, but what’s really exciting for me is to know that, in time, a more substantial legacy gift will go toward furthering the many good things the Institute stands for.”
Now, more than ever, Baker adds, the mission of the Middlebury Institute matters, as relationships among world nations are being reassessed. “It’s important to support those students who will enter a new global order and give them all the tools they need for success, which includes adequate scholarship assistance.”
Baker’s relationship with the Institute dates back more than three decades. He joined the faculty in 1983 and taught courses on nuclear nonproliferation, the politics of European integration, and international migration. He then rose through the ranks of dean and provost before becoming president from 2003 to 2005.
National Philanthropy Day, celebrated by the local community with a luncheon every November, “honors giving, volunteering, and charitable engagement and highlights the accomplishments that philanthropy—and those in the philanthropic process—makes to our society and our world.”
The Institute’s past Philanthropy Day honorees include: Bob Lundeen; Orville Wright; Sheila and Joe Mark; Sarah Bonner; Beverly Hamilton; Peter Grothe; Nancy and Bill Doolittle; Lani and Buzz Schulte; Paulien Ruijssenaars; Janet Wall and Bob Gard; Laurie and David Benjamin; Deborah and Robin Hicks; Suzie and Glynn Wood; Judy and Dick Borda; Cary Neiman; and Sarah and Tom Pattison.
“I think it’s so appropriate that Philanthropy Day falls just before Thanksgiving,” said Vice President and Dean of the Institute Jeff Dayton-Johnson. “It gives us a chance to express our gratitude to our wonderful donors who give their time, talent, and treasure to the Institute.”