Bowling Green philanthropist, businessman and founder of the Baker Arboretum, Jerry E. Baker died June 22 at the age of 86.
His passing was confirmed by director of the Downing Museum at the Baker Arboretum, Jack LeSieur, who said Baker passed away peacefully at his home.
Baker was inducted into the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2011. He was a 1951 graduate of WKU.
He established professorships and scholarships in music and horticulture, as well as scholarships in art, dance and athletics.
In April 2006, Baker made a $15 million gift to WKU that included his home, art and arboretum, making it at that time the single largest gift by an individual to a public university in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.