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Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baker students follow bagpiper to first day of classes

August 24, 2006

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— New year. New president.

But the same old bagpipes on campus at Baker University.

Students and faculty members settled into the first day of classes Wednesday on the Baldwin campus and were treated to melodies from a Great Highland bagpipe.

University leaders have hired the musicians to play during special occasions and on the first day of classes for 20 years.

"It definitely adds to the atmosphere. Some freshmen don't know what to make of it, though," said Ben Mejia, an Olathe senior.

"The pipes are uplifting. It makes you want to put a little spring in your step," said Dorothy May, of Kansas City St. Andrew Pipes and Drums, who played solo for part of the morning and afternoon.

Baker students, faculty and staff had prepared for Wednesday's start during the last few weeks by moving in new students and welcoming the old ones back to campus. University spokesman Steve Rottinghaus said the Baldwin campus had 928 students enrolled - up from 902 on the first day of 2005.

New president Pat Long, who was out of state Wednesday at a meeting, has been busy the last few weeks welcoming students and meeting faculty and staff. Long, a former deputy chancellor for university communications at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has replaced longtime president Dan Lambert.

Dorothy May, a member of St. Andrew Pipes and Drums, plays on the first day of classes at Baker University. Baker, which had about 928 students on the first day, began the fall semester on Wednesday with a new school president at the helm.

Dorothy May, a member of St. Andrew Pipes and Drums, plays on the first day of classes at Baker University. Baker, which had about 928 students on the first day, began the fall semester on Wednesday with a new school president at the helm.

Long said a new semester energizes the campus. She also has tried to pass along a message to the incoming class.

"I'm part of your class. I'm a freshman here, too. I'm learning the traditions, too," she said.

MarKaye Strickland, a freshman softball player from Pearland, Texas, started her college career Wednesday morning with visual learning and biology classes. It's a been a crazy last week for her after moving into a dormitory, saying good-bye to her parents and boyfriend and meeting throngs of new people.

"I'm expecting a lot of homework, so I just need to do it and take care of business," said Strickland, who plans to major in premedicine.

Adjunct computer science professor Anna Kasl, of McLouth, taught her first class on the campus Wednesday. She planned to hand out the syllabus and make an assignment due Friday for students in an introductory course.

"I love teaching, so I think it's pretty exciting," she said.

More about Baker

Others were less enthusiastic about returning to class.

"It doesn't really make any difference to me because I'm trying to get done," said Derrick Solomon, a senior business major from Cleveland, Texas.

Tim Haynes, a Lawrence junior, awoke early for a 7:30 a.m. college algebra class.

"I would have liked another couple of weeks of vacation mostly, but I think the next week will be a lot better because I will be getting back into the school schedule and meeting a bunch of new people," he said.

Comments

AlexFenton 8 years ago

Silly Wildcats.

You're supposed to run away from bagpipes.

Run away!

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craigers 8 years ago

The bagpipes were one of the traditions that I really enjoyed. Mainly since they sounded cool.

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Confrontation 8 years ago

I agree with you craigers. I also really liked having them at graduation.

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Topside 8 years ago

Well, well, well, looks like I'm not the only BU alum on these message boards. And yes they were nice, except when I was hung over and they started going early.

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Confrontation 8 years ago

Yes, Topside, I remember that. My feet were in so much pain from STAG the night before, that I had to keep an eye on my shoes to make sure they hadn't slipped off during the graduation march across campus. I really loved that campus.

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