Elgan Baker '71
Elgan Baker is grateful he had the intuition to choose DePauw for his undergraduate education even after being accepted to Harvard and Yale. His stellar career in psychoanalysis validates his choice.
Cofounder and president of Meridian Psychological Associates, Elgan earned a doctorate in clinical psychology from University of Tennessee in 1976. He has received numerous national and international awards for his clinical and theoretical contributions to psychotherapy, hypnosis and psychoanalysis, including The Erika Fromm Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professional Education and The Hans Strupp Award for Lifetime Contributions to Psychoanalysis. He has held office in many professional organizations and has published more than 100 articles, books and book chapters. He is also a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.
“Throughout my career, when I’ve compared my experience with colleagues, I’ve rarely found anyone who had access to the intellectual rigor and quality of involvement that I had at DePauw,” he says. “I think it’s in large part due to the quality of the people DePauw recruits, students and faculty, as well as the intimate nature of the small, residential campus. DePauw creates an incredibly enriching environment and experience.”
The Lexington, Ky., native says coming to DePauw expanded his horizons by developing his intellect and critical thinking in the classroom and building his social and leadership skills through his involvement with Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Rector Scholars, Union Board and DePauw Student Government. He says what stands out the most, though, are the relationships he developed with faculty and students.
“My fraternity brothers and the people I met through Union Board and other interests became my lifelong friends whom I continue to treasure. My professors were incredibly influential and always available for discussions and support,” Elgan says, mentioning Dean Robert H. Farber ’35, professors Ralph Carl in Romance languages, Walker Gilmer in literature, Richard Kelly and Ed Ypma in psychology. “They were wonderful teachers dedicated to fostering student development and brilliant thinkers whom I’ve tried to emulate in many ways.”
In reviewing his estate plan, Elgan knew he wanted to support the DePauw experience for future students. But he was unsure if the best way to do that was through scholarship or faculty support or some other designation.
“So many different factors contribute to what makes DePauw unique, I couldn’t pick just one area to support. I finally chose to let the University decide where to allocate my gift,” Elgan says. “Unrestricted support allows DePauw to evaluate its most significant needs at a particular time and shift the funds where they are most useful.
“DePauw has been a major influence that has so enriched my personal and professional life,” he adds. “I decided I wanted to make a major gift, so one third of my estate is committed to DePauw. I hope it will be more than it is today when I finish my work life. I’m happy to be able to do something significant for DePauw and help make this education possible for the next generation.”
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