One of the first bits of information students are told when they arrive at Baker University is that it was the first university established in Kansas, but Baker is more than that. Baker is about the tradition the has been built into that fact.
When Mungano founder Jesse Milan visited campus Sunday for the organization’s candlelight vigil, one of the first things he stated was about how Baker was able to keep the original traditions of Mungano alive.
It has been 40 years since Milan created the club that holds such a high standard on Baker’s campus and the organization has some of the deepest-rooted goals and ideals on campus.
Milan saw more than just a ceremony when he walked into Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel Sunday; he saw a group of students that continued to set their mind to diversity and participating in a club that celebrated unity.
It wasn’t that long ago that races were fighting against each other, yet everyone had come together for this ceremony showing exactly what was being accomplished.
The candlelight vigil welcomed students across campus to not just show support for Mungano, but to show support to each other as individuals and to keep alive a tradition created to forget the boundaries that had been put in place long ago.
Tradition creates the platform of Baker and these stories are what keep alumni so hooked into the university.
We are all a part of a tradition that started in the 1800s and has continued to grow and reach a new level.
Every time one of the clubs on campus holds a ceremony or celebrates an anniversary, we are celebrating the traditions that our founders held so strongly.
Milan founded Mungano not realizing at the time it would become as connected to the hearts of others as it was to his own.
Whether it be a simple tradition like that of the Grape Arbor or as complex as the graduation ceremony, each pulls at the heart strings of individuals, reminding them what brought them to Baker.
Although we all have different reasons for being here, and come from many different backgrounds, it is the traditions that keep us together as one university.
When Milan walked into the chapel, he wasn’t just seeing current students; he was seeing a tradition that has lived past what he had imagined.
The vigil was just one way that we keep the memory of those who have come before us alive and remind everyone that the traditions have not been forgotten.
Our university has collected hundreds of traditions, stories and myths, and it is important to realize that every organization creates its own place in our history.
Mungano is just one piece of the giant puzzle that is Baker University, and by attending these events we appreciate how far we have come.