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U. of C. Naming Dining Hall For Donor Who Gave $7M For Low-Income Students

By Sam Cholke | March 29, 2016 6:02am
 Designs for a new dorm on the University of Chicago campus
New Dorm Renderings
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HYDE PARK — The University of Chicago is naming its new dormitory dining hall for Frank Baker for his contribution of $7 million for scholarships for low-income students.

On Monday, the university announced it the dining hall at the new dorms opening in the fall will be named Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons in honor of the gift.

“My parents always emphasized the importance of giving back to our community,” Baker said in the announcement. “As a student at the college, I set a goal for myself to help students like me, students of color, to have the transformational experience of a University of Chicago education.”

Baker’s $7 million donation will fund scholarships for seven students through the university’s New Leader Odyssey scholarship program, which also underwrites a portion of tuition and includes a stipend for summer research, travel and internships.

“Laura and I hope that through our gift we can inspire minority students to be leaders in their chosen fields,” Baker said. “After meeting a few of our Odyssey scholars, we were overwhelmed with their intellectual curiosity and passion. We know they will go out into the world and do amazing things.”

The new dining hall named in honor of Baker and his wife, Laura Day, will serve halal, kosher, vegan and other food in a building designed by Jeanne Gang’s Studio Gang with floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out onto a landscaped quadrangle.

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