A $7 million gift to the University of Chicago from Frank Baker, AB’94, and his wife, Laura Day, will endow undergraduate scholarships and internships for lower-income students of outstanding promise.
In recognition of the gift, the College’s newest dining commons will be named the Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons. The dining facility will be part of the new Campus North Residential Commons, which is scheduled to open at the start of the 2016–17 academic year and will be home to 800 undergraduates.
Designed by renowned Chicago architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, the Campus North Residential Commons aims to build and support students’ intellectual lives. The Baker Dining Commons will offer a diverse dining program, including halal, kosher and vegan fare, and will feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out onto a landscaped quadrangle, as well as two private dining rooms equipped with smart-room technology. In addition to open table seating, each of the eight new College Houses in the residential commons will have its own table where students can gather to dine. The House tables promote the exchange of perspectives and ideas, a key part of the University’s culture.
The University is committed to offering students of all backgrounds access to the distinctive educational experience in the College. The strong intellectual community formed through campus housing is a vital part of that experience,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “Frank and Laura’s generosity will help broaden access through the Odyssey program, and we honor their dedication to supporting students in achieving academic, personal and professional success.”