AAGC Award for Excellence in Public Service to be Named after Elizabeth Statuta Baker ’70
For 39 years, the Alumnae and Alumni of Goucher College have honored a graduate each year who has dedicated their time and talents to helping others. The Award for Excellence in Public Service is given annually to an alumna/us who demonstrates the highest levels of commitment to service and leadership in her or his community. As we near the 40th anniversary of this award, we are pleased to announce that the award will be renamed the Elizabeth Statuta Baker ’70 Award for Excellence in Public Service.
Baker, a high-profile attorney with Miami-based Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, is a perfect candidate to receive this honor. Acknowledging that her Goucher education helped her “set out to change the world,” Baker has spent a lifetime empowering victims of domestic violence and others in need of protections under the law toward better lives through her legal volunteer work, work that has included pro-bono representation in countless domestic violence cases, serving as guardian ad litem for children in high-conflict custody battles, fundraising for indigent clients, advocating for legislative reform, writing for publications, and giving lectures on related issues.
Of having the award named after her, Baker said, “I have always been so proud to be a Goucher graduate. Receiving the Excellence in Public Service Award was very meaningful and I am honored to have the award named for me. I am inspired by past recipients, most recently Claudia Robins Whitman ’63 who works to free those wrongly accused on death row. My class earnestly set out to change the world and, by and large, we have not been discouraged by reality. We have persisted.”
Among the accolades Baker has been given for her professional and volunteer efforts, including the Spectrum Award for Women by the American Red Cross (2014) and the Benjamin L. Cardin Public Service Award by the University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law (2013), Baker received national recognition last year from the American Bar Association Section on Family Law when she was named the 2018 recipient of the Jean Crowe Pro Bono Award.
According to a press release from Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, “Baker devotes at least 100 hours annually to representing clients pro bono, a contribution that now totals more than 4,500 hours over her career. The cases she handles are often complex and usually lengthy, most of them involving complicated, domestic violence, child custody, child support, and spousal support disputes.”
Having been honored with Goucher’s Award for Excellence in Public Service in 2015, Baker understands the values and ideals to be demonstrated by its recipients. Trishana Bowden, vice president for advancement, states that “Liz continues to show true Goucher resilience and grit in all she does to serve others. Her work and advocacy embody the spirit of this award and we are pleased to announce the naming of this award to honor her.”
Baker will attend the 2019 AAGC annual meeting, on May 6 during Alumnae/i Weekend, to celebrate the 2019 recipient and help bestow the Elizabeth Statuta Baker ’70 Award for Excellence in Public Service.
Nominations are due by December 31 for the 2019 AAGC Award for Excellence in Public Service. Winners are then determined by the Public Service Committee and recognized at the annual meeting of the AAGC over Alumnae/i Weekend. At this year’s ceremony, on May 6, we will officially name the award for past recipient Elizabeth Statuta Baker ’70.