The University of Chicago has announced a $7 million gift from alumnus Frank Baker (AB' 94) and his wife, Laura Day, to endow undergraduate scholarships and internships for lower-income students.
Seven students will be selected each year to receive Frank Baker and Laura Day New Leader Odyssey Scholarships and New Leader Odyssey Internships, as well as an annual stipend for summer research, travel, or internship. Established in 2009, New Leader Odyssey Scholarships are competitive scholarships awarded to undergraduates with financial need who demonstrate exceptional academic and professional promise. In recognition of the gift, the dining facility at the College's new Campus North Residential Commons, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2016–17 academic year, will be named the Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons.
Baker, a two-time Academic All-American football player as an undergraduate, is a co-founder and managing partner at Siris Capital. A member of the College Visiting Committee since 2010, he also serves on the board of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity.
"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 UChicago education," said Baker. "Laura and I hope that through our gift we can inspire minority students to be leaders in their chosen fields. 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."