Philanthropy preserves the past and unlocks new futures
John and Elizabeth (Liz) Baker's long-standing relationship with The Australian National University (ANU) dates back to 1970, when John received a PhD scholarship, which brought them to ANU from their native England, with Liz also working in the University.
John and Liz have been loyal ANU donors since 2008, when they created a Sculpture Prize, and later a Design Prize, at the ANU School of Art and Design (SoAD). In 2022, John and Liz made new gifts to both SoAD and University House.
Following their retirement in 2018, rather than leaving their executors to fulfil their philanthropic intentions, John and Liz decided they were in a position to bring their plans forward. This allows them to realise the full potential of their philanthropy during their lifetime.
In 2022, they established the John and Elizabeth Baker Honours Scholarship, awarded annually to an Honours student in Art and Design experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.
John and Liz also made a donation to University House that will support the maintenance and acquisition of works of art for the newly refurbished building. University House is particularly close to the Bakers' hearts as it was their regular lunch spot during their years at ANU.
When asked about the motivation for their gifts, the Bakers said, "An ANU scholarship was the catalyst for us coming to Australia, building our careers and raising our family here. We arrived in Australia in 1970 with nothing but three trunks of belongings - and look what Australia and ANU have done for us."
By giving back to the community that has helped shape their lives, John and Liz Baker are helping to preserve the University's unique identity and heritage, while also paving the way for future generations to unlock their potential.