Tribute to the President
by Meghan Shruck,
There may not be anyone who understands the unfailing love that dwells in York as much as President Wayne Baker.
"I love York College,” says Baker. “[First Lady] Darlene and I love the college’s sacred mission, her students, staff and faculty. The City of York is the perfect place to provide the home for York College. YC is God’s anointed place both in and out of the classroom and has been for generations. It is often said that ‘York College is a special place’ but no one really understands that until they experience it for themselves. It is a place of transformation: spiritually, intellectually, and socially."
After thirteen long years of service, President Baker will soon resign to serve as Chancellor in his hometown of Montgomery, AL, alongside his wife, Darlene. President Baker has brought extraordinary blessings to the York family while in office. Some changes on campus that have occurred during his presidency have been the addition of the Phyllis Mackey Center and the Holthus Field House. The Prayer Chapel was also moved to campus and reconstructed for the public to use 24 hours a day. In 2006, the men's and women's apartment buildings were constructed as well.
"We want to be sure and show proper honor and respect to him for all his years of service to York College," says Sue Roush, Director of Alumni and Community Relations. On December 1, York College faculty and staff once again donated food for the local food pantry as part of their annual Christmas Party, which has been tradition for six years. This year's donations were given in honor of President Wayne and Darlene Baker.
Roush continues: "On December 11, President Baker will speak in Chapel for the last time while president, and there will be a special time for the campus community to show their appreciation. Then in the afternoon of that same day, the community of York will come to campus for a special reception in their honor. Dr. Baker has dedicated his life to Christian education, and the past thirteen years to York College. We want to be sure he and Mrs. Baker do not leave York without knowing how much they are loved and appreciated."
It will be difficult for the York family to say good-bye to Dr. Baker, but his dedication to York College will remain steadfast.
"It is impossible to put into words the emotion that I feel during this time of transition from the Presidency to Chancellor," President Baker affectionately says of York College. "We are surrounded by people who are ‘called by God’ to be here, and they work with their heart as well as their head. This is the most important work in the Kingdom of God we have ever done and look forward to continuing our work in raising funds to support this vital ministry as Chancellor."
Following on the heels of Baker’s tenure is York College's 20th president, 1971 YC alum Steve Eckman from Eau Claire, WI, who currently serves as a vice president at Ohio Valley University.
"My friend and colleague, Steve Eckman, will do a superb job of leading York College as president in the years ahead," says President Baker. "He is bright, dedicated, experienced, and loves his alma mater, York College. He and his good wife, LaRee, are returning home in every sense of the word. I know our campus community will welcome them with open arms."
In tribute to President Wayne Baker, the York College family appreciates his loyalty and dedication throughout the past thirteen years, including his heart and his strong pursuit of the mission of York College.