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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 4, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 20
Obituary: Jeannine Baker, 58, Director of Student Financial Services at SoN

By Jonathan Eichberger
School of Nursing

Jeannine Baker, director of the Office of Student Financial Services at the School of Nursing from 1992 to 2004, died from brain cancer on Jan. 17 at the Gilchrist Center. She was 58.

Before joining the School of Nursing in 1991 as assistant director of financial aid, she had worked for six years on the Homewood campus.

"Jeannine was focused and tireless," said Phyllis Wilcox, whom Baker brought in as assistant director in 1994. "She very much enjoyed being a problem solver for nursing students who needed funding for their Hopkins education. She served the students at the School of Nursing with fairness, compassion and great enthusiasm."

Anne E. Belcher, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the school, said, "Jeannine's priority was always finding financial support for applicants and for students in the academic programs. I was always confident that she would do everything possible to help individuals to secure the scholarships and loans they needed to enroll in and graduate from the school. Once Jeannine was diagnosed with cancer, I saw another amazing side of her, which was her sense of humor and determination, an impressive and inspiring combination."

"Jeannine took great pride in the accomplishments of our students, enjoyed congratulating them as they crossed the stage on graduation day and followed their careers with interest," said Sandra Angell, associate dean for student affairs.

Baker left Johns Hopkins in late 2004 because of her failing health. In a resignation letter to Dean Martha Hill, Baker wrote that she had had the "pleasure of welcoming hundreds of bright, eager young nursing students and watching them emerge as Hopkins nurses." During her illness, Baker said, she had "benefited greatly from [the students'] care, competence and compassion" and noted that "they have been well prepared."

Baker's own compassion carried through to her personal interests, which included marching to support civil rights, participating in peace demonstrations during the Vietnam and Iraqi wars and volunteering on Johns Hopkins' AIDS ward.

"Her many interests beyond work stand today as a testament to the passion she had for life," Wilcox said.

According to a death notice in The Sun, Baker is survived by her partner, her children and their husbands, her grandchildren, stepchildren and siblings.

A memorial service was held Jan. 27 at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, D.C. Donations in her memory may be made to the McCann Fund for AIDS Ministry, c/o the Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge St., N.W., Washington, DC 20001.


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