Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

November 5, 2013

OMA&D Mourns Passing of Bill Baker

Baker, Bill_featured_imageThe Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity (OMA&D) mourns the loss of former colleague William (Bill) Baker, ’60, ’73, who passed away on Sept. 28, at the age of 79.

Baker was one of Samuel E. Kelly’s first administrative staff members when the Educational Opportunity Program and OMA&D was established, and his tenure in the department spanned over 30 years (1970-2003). He served in the roles of assistant vice president and associate vice president, as well as interim vice president. Prior to his time with OMA&D, Baker worked in the UW Office of Financial Aid.

eNews - Winter 2014Baker was known as a champion for supporting underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged students at the UW, with a strong capability for finding resources to assist them to complete their degrees. Early in the department’s history, he provided the vision for OMA&D and EOP to not only serve underrepresented students, but low-income and first-generation Caucasian students, as well as other populations.

Baker was also known as a mentor to OMA&D staff and played an integral role in OMA&D’s annual scholarship fundraiser, EOP Celebration, Féte and Honors. Not only did he assist with event planning details, he wrote the biographies of the students that were recognized at the banquet.

Originally from Arkansas, Baker received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at the UW before spending most of his professional life at the university.

A memorial service was held at the UW in Alder Hall Commons Auditorium on Oct. 17. An obituary is available on the Seattle Times web site.

Photo courtesy Dan Speer, UW School of Law