At the annual Fraternity, Sorority and Independent Living Group (FSILG) ceremony on May 15 in the Stratton Student Center, the Alpha Phi sorority was awarded the first Stephen D. Baker Outstanding Change Initiative Award, created this year in honor of a brother of Theta Xi, a 1984 MIT alumnus, and an active member of the FSILG community.
The Stephen D. Baker Outstanding Change Initiative Award was established to honor Baker’s dedication and hard work in fostering a successful FSILG community. The award recognizes an FSILG that has made a comparable impact.
“When the time came to discuss this year’s FSILG awards, we wanted to thank Steve for all of his hard work,” said Catherine “Cat” Sohor, assistant director of the FSILGs and primary advisor for fraternities. “We also wanted to recognize an FSILG that has identified and improved different areas within their organization.”
In addition to recognizing change within an organization or the entire FSILG community, the award also acknowledges an FSILG that has shown development in the areas of scholarship, leadership, member development, risk management, retention and membership recruitment.
Baker’s impact on FSILGs at MIT
For the past 28 years, Baker has influenced many organizations at MIT through his work with his fraternity, Theta Xi, and the several committees and boards he has served on.
Baker began his undergraduate career at MIT in 1980, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1984 and his Master of Architecture degree in 1988. During his time as an undergraduate, he joined the FSILG community after pledging the Theta Xi fraternity.
Since 1984, Baker has served as a member of the Theta Xi Housing Corporation’s Board of Directors. During his tenure on the board, he has held several positions: secretary/clerk, treasurer, trustee of funds, vice president and president. Baker was also elected national president of Theta Xi from 2003 to 2005.
“He’s held virtually every position on the corporation board and is always someone we can count on to get the job done well,” said Matt Carvey ’05, Theta Xi’s current chapter advisor. “I have come to realize that Steve’s contributions to the chapter year after year, position after position, headache after headache, are nothing short of tremendous.”
Baker is also very active outside of his fraternity and currently leads the FSILG Community Strategic Planning Committee. In the past, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Living Groups (AILG), and as their chair for three years. During his term as chairman, the MIT Alumni Association and President Susan Hockfield awarded the President’s Citation for Leadership to the AILG. Baker also helped establish the AILG Facilities Committee in 2005 and has served as part of the MIT Corporation’s Visiting Committee for the Department of Student Life since 2009.
“Steve knows everything and everyone because he has attended meetings, served on committees, and interacted with countless members of the MIT community throughout the years,” Carvey said. “The value of his efforts, his assistance and the examples he has set can not be tallied or calculated.”