Professor Baker, the first Gaudino Scholar, set a model for innovative use of the position, since he felt that Professor Gaudino’s gifts were idiosyncratic and that attempts at imitation were bound to fail, to the detriment of the Memorial Fund’s larger goal.
The most prominent and far-reaching of his projects was a Williams-in-Cairo program, which lasted more than a decade and deeply affected the minds and lives of almost 200 students.
Also, Professor Baker developed the outlines of a service-learning course, “Williams-in-Williamstown,” which his departmental colleague, Kurt Tauber, would later put into practice and teach. In addition, he organized “Gaudino Forum Weekends” and experimented with “Gaudino Internships”.
In the second Gaudino Forum Weekend in 1982, Professor Baker tackled the subject of homosexuality at Williams and drew into the conversation prominent Williams alumni and alumnae, a decade before that topic was widely considered a proper subject for open discussion on campus.