Dale Baker (Iota-Chi ’68) began college just as any other student does. He joined Lambda Chi, completed his schoolwork and graduated with good academic standing. Most people donate to their alma mater only when they receive a reminder or feel inclined to give back during Giving Tuesday each year. Baker took a more hands-on approach to thanking the University of Iowa for their service.
Baker moved immediately to Indianapolis upon receiving his diploma to pursue becoming a CPA at a small firm. This small firm happened to be focused in Healthcare around the time that Medicaid was beginning to take shape. With his knowledge from years of experience, Baker created his own company, Baker Healthcare Consulting, Inc. Over 300 hospitals were served in his time as President before he chose to go back to be a CPA until the time he retired.
During his career, he worked in Indianapolis and Colorado, though he never forgot about the place where it all came to fruition. Baker and his wife, Linda, began their journey as involved alumni in 1999 when Baker received an invitation to represent the Tippie College of Business as a part of their Alumni Association Board. Six years later, he became the Chair of the Alumni Association Board just before its merger with the Foundation. They couldn’t get rid of him for long; he joined the Foundation Board in 2009 and is on the finance and executive committees.
“We support over 100 scholarships each year. We give the money and the university distributes it. They like to give it to high achieving students who have financial difficulties. I really goes a long way” says Baker.
Because of his heavy involvement, Baker was selected as the alumnus recipient of the Hancher-Finckbine Alumni Medallion for the 2019 calendar year. It is awarded to a number of students, faculty and staff, but only one alumnus who represents leadership, learning and loyalty to the University of Iowa. It was coming full circle for him, as he received the same award as an undergraduate.
On April 23rd, 2019, a dinner for the recipients and scholarship winners seated 800 of the University of Iowa’s most involved individuals. Out of each award given out that night, Baker was the only person asked to give an acceptance speech. He spoke about meeting Linda at a basketball game and the part his alma mater played in both their adult lives. He closed with the last paragraph from Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming.
“There’s a quarter of a million alums at the University of Iowa and, to choose one, is kind of unbelievable. The fact that they chose me is very cool. I had no idea it was coming” explains Baker.
Though he was involved as an undergraduate student, it was mainly Lambda Chi that gave him the opportunity to win the award in his first go-around. He credits Iota-Chi Zeta to being the driving force behind him being involved in the University of Iowa.
“One of the things fraternity life does, and does it beautifully, is that it forces you to become a part of a unit. You’re working as a part of a group and you are supporting your fellow Lambda Chi’s in continuing the tradition at the University of Iowa. It forces you to play a role in your university and in your personal life that most college kids don’t get” says Baker.
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