Dr. E. DeWitt Baker
Dr. E. DeWitt Baker, missionary educator and former Huntington College president, passed away Sunday, May 21. We ask that you keep the entire Baker family in your prayers.
A memorial service was held May 24 at College Park Church (1945 College Ave, Huntington, IN). A graveside service was held later in the day at Bankers Cemetery, Hillsdale MI.
HC alumni, friends, and colleagues are invited to send memories of Dr. Baker to John Paff, director of public relations at Huntington College. These will be used to expand this web page and to write a tribute to Dr. Baker for Huntington College Magazine. Email memories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The family has requested that memorial gifts be made to Huntington College, United Brethren Missions, or Gideons International.
Earl DeWitt Baker was born January 13, 1919, in Hillsdale, Michigan. He attended Huntington College, where he lettered in baseball and earned a degree in chemistry. He met his wife, Evelyn (nee Middaugh), while on tour with the Huntington College choir. They were married in 1942.
Following college, DeWitt taught school for a year, then enlisted in the Navy. During World War II, he served as a pilot in the Atlantic theater, and later, as a test pilot for the PBM Martin Mariner flying boats at Patuxent River, Maryland.
After the war, the Bakers answered the call to full-time service with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. They spent 16 years on the mission field in West Africa, caring and sharing with the people of Sierra Leone. The Bakers headed the United Brethren Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone. In addition, between 1949 to 1965, they helped organize more than 20 schools, including two secondary schools--Centennial (1955) and Bumpe (1963).
DeWitt completed a master's degree and a doctorate in education at the University of Michigan. In 1965, Dr. Baker returned to Huntington to serve as president of Huntington College. During his 16 years as president, the College experienced significant enrollment growth. Several new facilities were added, including Hardy Hall, the Huntington Union Building (HUB), and the original Merillat Physical Education Center. In addition, Lake Sno-Tip was developed and the 77-acre Thornhill Nature Preserve was acquired. In all, the College's net worth increased nearly 600 percent. Several new academic programs were launched, including undergraduate majors in accounting, medical technology, and recreation management, and a Master of Christian Ministries degree.
Baker Hall, a student residence, is named in his honor.
Dr. Baker's memoirs, "Pilot, Principal, and President," will be published later this summer. (For more information, contact the Alumni Office, 260-359-4097, email@example.com.)
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