Edward L’Engle Baker ’57
In the late summer of 1953, Edward Baker, fresh from Woodberry Forest School, arrived at Davidson College as a freshman from Jacksonville, Florida. Since Ted’s father, grandfather, great uncle, and two uncles preceded him at Davidson, no one really knows whether Ted had a choice about where to go to college. However it matters not, because Ted thrived as a student and Davidson has reaped untold benefits from his leadership as an alumnus.
Once enrolled at Davidson, Ted quickly found his way and made his mark. He joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon, was active in the YMCA, ran track and cross country, majored in Spanish, was a member and secretary of the Spanish Club, and was a member of the national Spanish honorary fraternity, Sigma Delta Pi. Immediately after graduation, Ted and Ann Howard McDonald married and this July they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Two of their four children are Davidson graduates and they have been blessed with nine grandchildren.
If you consider Davidson’s stated mission and want to identify a graduate whose life exemplifies one of leadership and service, you need look no further than Ted Baker.
Ted served his country by completing Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA, and he served as a First Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps until 1960. As a successful mining executive with Florida Rock Industries, and as a community, professional, and church leader, Ted’s many accomplishments are exemplary and legendary.
Ted’s service to alma mater is of the highest order. He was a charter member of the Ne Ultra Society when it was established in 1972. He served for twelve years on the Board of Visitors and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1989 until 2005. He helped lead the fundraising efforts for the Baker Sports Complex, the Life Sciences Building, and the Campaign for Davidson. He chaired the Trustee Campaign Cabinet that led the Let Learning Be Cherished campaign to raise a record $272 million to strengthen the college. As a Trustee, he served on the Campus and Facilities Planning committee and the Executive committee, not to mention the 1997 search committee which recommended that the board elect Robert F. Vagt as Davidson’s sixteenth president. And lastly, he has continued to support, mentor, and meet regularly with the select group of students who hold the prestigious scholarship named for his parents, Thompson S. and Sarah S. Baker.
For his personal and professional accomplishments, for his devotion to Davidson and its extended college family, for his exceptional leadership and service to alma mater, for continuing his family legacy by sending his children to Davidson, for his welcome counsel, great good humor, and unmatched determination to sustain and enhance Davidson College, the Alumni Association proudly honors Edward L’Engle Baker, Class of 1957, with its Alumni Service Award on the occasion of his 50th reunion, April 28, 2007.