5 Things You Need to Know About...J.D. Baker
On May 11, former University of Oklahoma Student Government Association President will officially become a member of the OU Alumni Association during the university’s commencement ceremony. A Public Relations major, with minors in Political Science and African and African-American Studies, Baker has helped shepherd the OU community through both highs and lows, including being a consistent voice for inclusiveness and diversity on campus, and playing a role in the search for OU’s 14th president.
Baker has been involved in numerous organizations, among them Student Government Association Undergraduate Congress, Black Student Association, SAA Dinner with the Dozen, Interfraternity Council and McNair Scholars Program. He has held officer positions in multiple organizations, including Vice Chair for Gaylord Ambassadors and Secretary of Developing Black Males. Previously, he was the founder and vice chair of OUr Mental Health, an organization that has been vital to the mental health changes on campus.
A compassionate voice for every student on campus and an amazing scholar and public servant, here are 5 Things You Need to Know About…J.D. Baker!
We took a look at your LinkedIn profile. Okay, we creeped. We admit it. You are a man of many talents. You’ve served as OU’s student government president, worked in varied fields, been at the forefront of social change on campus. What makes J.D. Baker get up in the morning?
When I get up each morning, I look forward to the meals that the day will bring. A deep philosophy of mine is that "Some people eat to live, but I live to eat." Each day, I work to fulfill my philosophy through a variety of lunch options and microwavable dinners. #Ramen
Along with this, each day is a gift and I seek to make the best of what it has to offer by working to produce good in the world.
We mentioned your time as OUSGA president. What did you take away from that experience?
Life is a journey. We have a destination set before us. On that journey, distractions and detours will pop-up, but we must remember to keep our eyes on the prize. As president, politics always wanted to get in the way, but I constantly reminded myself of my "why." Why did I run to be president? I ran to serve my peers and to invest in providing them with opportunities and eliminating obstacles. The practice of intentionality has kept me grounded.
Your four years on campus included some incredible highs and unfortunate lows in terms of campus happenings. Successful academic recognition for the university, athletic success. Times of trial related to diversity and inclusion on campus. The retirement of a legendary leader. Has the OU experience been what you thought it was?
Four years does not seem like a long time, but the depth OU has given me could last a lifetime. My expectation of OU was a simple academic experience. What OU has given me is: lifetime friendships, critical thought, self-introspection, boundless opportunities, all-nighters, all-you-can-eat Chick-Fil-A, a small mound of debt, Sooner Athletics and a legacy I can be proud of. I'm grateful for all of this and much more because I know it is a privilege to go to a university like OU. #TheresOnlyOne
You’re going to walk across the stage at Commencement in just a couple of weeks. What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you think about completing this chapter in your story?
Initially, I'll probably sleep for days, even God needed a day of rest. Yet, this chapter has filled me with gratitude, but also fuels me with passion and drive. There's so much opportunity ahead for me and my peers. The world is seeking great leaders and I know we have the skills and heart to fill the gap. The rapper Drake once said, "You only live once." If we live once, I think we should live it up and live the best life we can.
What’s next for J.D. Baker?
Good Question...Stay Tuned... ¯\_(?)_/¯