George F. Baker III, an adopted member of the Class of 1949, and one of the College's most generous supporters, died in December when the plane he was piloting disappeared off the coast of Nantucket. He was the great-grandson of George Fisher Baker, whose gift in honor of his uncle, Fisher Ames Baker, of Dartmouth's Class of 1859, made the building of the 1926 Baker Library possible.
George Baker's generous gifts during the renovation of Baker Library and the building of the Berry Library provided major support for the project, which was completed in 2002 with the dedication of the Baker-Berry Library complex. President James Wright described him as a "treasured member of the Dartmouth family," and said that "his commitment to Dartmouth provided for the transformational growth of the Dartmouth College Library. George had a deep commitment to philanthropy, particularly for the support of secondary and college education in New Hampshire," said Wright.
According to College Librarian Jeffrey Horrell, "George Baker's vision and support were fundamental to the Baker-Berry Library complex which stands at the center of the Dartmouth campus, both physically and intellectually. His philanthropy continues in a very strong family tradition of leadership in support of Dartmouth and its libraries."
George F. Baker III was the senior trustee of the George F. Baker Trust, a foundation that supports education and medicine. With his wife, Sarah, he served on the President's Leadership Council, and his children, George F. Baker and Joanna Baker, graduated from Dartmouth in 2000 and 2001, respectively. His involvement with Dartmouth, as with the many other organizations to which he devoted his generosity, was frequently quiet and behind-the-scenes. Yet his steadfast leadership in supporting some of the nation's most important medical and educational institutions was an inspiration to all who knew him.
By LAUREL STAVIS
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Last Updated: 5/30/08