Athletics News

Inaugural Nancy's Night Termed A Major Success

Sept. 22, 2016

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- More than 275 friends, family and supporters of UT Arlington athletics came together on a beautiful Wednesday night at Allan Saxe Field to celebrate the life of Mavericks athletic director Jim Baker's late wife, Nancy, and to raise money for an endowed scholarship for the new UTA women's golf program.

Nancy's Night featured live music from Texas country singer-songwriter Aaron Watson, a BBQ dinner provided by Austin-based Pigskin Smokers and an energetic live auction that raised more than $15,000.  Proceeds from the event totaled more than $45,000 and directly benefited the Nancy Baker Endowed Scholarship. 

The Nancy Baker Endowed Scholarship fund currently totals more than $110,000, which is approximately one-half of the amount needed to ensure the scholarship in perpetuity.  The fund will provide a full scholarship for a member of the UT Arlington women's golf program, which opens its first season of competition in the fall of 2017.

"Our family is simply overwhelmed with the support we have received for this scholarship initiative," said Baker, who has served as UTA's director of athletics since Feb., 2012.  "Nancy showed a passion for college golf and, as a lifelong educator, loved the idea that young women can be provided the opportunity to learn both in the classroom and in life through competition.

"We are already halfway toward our goal of having this scholarship fully endowed within five years and making it the first of its kind in the history of UTA Athletics."

In addition to coaches, staff and supporters of the UT Arlington athletics program, the event featured a number of special guests - including current UTA president Vistap Karbhari, former president James D. Spaniolo, Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson, Arlington mayor Jeff Williams and former longtime Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds.

A native of Ohio, Nancy Baker graduated from Whetstone High School in Columbus before earning a bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University and a master's degree from the University of Florida.  She served the Texas school districts of Lake Travis and Arlington as a kindergarten and second grade teacher, as well as a reading specialist.

She passed away in December of 2014 following a courageous battle with cancer.

For more information or to make a contribution to the Nancy Baker Endowed Scholarship, click here or contact UTA's assistant athletic director for annual giving and alumni relations Kris Wood at (817) 272-9613 or via email at kriswood@uta.edu.

ABOUT UTA WOMEN'S GOLF
Under the direction of head coach Stuart Deane and associate head coach Catherine Matranga, the inaugural UT Arlington women's golf program will being competition in the fall of 2017.  Although the team will not compete during the 2016-17 season, the program welcomed its first two team members in junior Rachel Phillips and freshman Allison Wade.  Both golfers will use the current season to make the athletics and academic transition to NCAA Division I athletics without losing a year of eligibility and prepare to make history next season as the Mavericks begin official competition.

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