Spotlight on senior speaker Luke Baker
Luke Baker’s first reaction to seeing the email that invited nominations for senior speaker was “I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to do it.”
“My brother was senior speaker in 2009 and I didn’t want to try to follow him again,” said Baker. “I used to follow him all over the place … I even followed him to Le Moyne!
“So I kept thinking to myself, ‘I’m not going to do it’ but then I started reflecting on my time at Le Moyne, (which you do a lot senior year, especially spring semester) and I just started to think about how I felt about Le Moyne and realized I have a message that I want to share.”
As a communications major and music minor, Baker is used to “putting [himself] out there,” sharing information and connecting with others.
Although Baker started at Le Moyne with the goal of becoming a broadcaster, he has since discovered a passion for the production aspect. Now, as a video production concentration, he spends most of his time behind the camera and in the editing room.
Musically, Baker is involved in the Le Moyne College Singers, and he is one of the co-founders of Fermata Nowhere, Le Moyne’s a cappella group, which Baker calls his “passion” and his “baby.”
In addition to all of these activities, Baker has been a member of the men’s swim team for four years.
“I came to Le Moyne knowing that I would be on the swim team, and I was a captain this year, which was really fun,” he added.
When Baker finally decided to try to become senior speaker, he had to fill out the application, which featured questions such as “Why are you a representative for your class?” or “What does a Jesuit education mean to you?”
When Baker first looked at the application, he recalled thinking, “Okay, what do they want to hear?” But his attitude changed once he began to answer the questions.
“It was actually so easy. Then, during my run-through, I proposed the beginning and ending of the speech I’d give at commencement, and I talked about what I would leave the audience with,” Baker said. “You want to share your Le Moyne experience, but you want to do it in a way so that people can say, that’s my Le Moyne experience too. You can’t go up there and just talk about yourself. No one wants to hear that. No, you have to go up there and say this is what Le Moyne means to me, and to you.”
Baker remembers finding out that he would be senior speaker the day after Dolphy Day, saying, “I was on the phone with my mom, and I saw that I got an email from Barb Karper, so I said, ‘Can you hold on a second, Mom?’ and after I checked the email, I got to tell her right then ‘I’m senior speaker!’ It was perfect timing.”
When asked to reflect on his senior year, Baker noted the relationships, the community and sometimes, the stress.
“Senior year has been stressful in a lot of ways,” he said. “You’ve been working for three years already, so professors know you have this base. What I like most, though, is that you can remember those times when you were a freshman and a senior helped you along — you can do that for someone else now, really take someone under your wing … the relationships that are forged at Le Moyne are really incredible. People talk about senior year winding down … it doesn’t wind down, it comes to a screeching halt! I think senior week will be the time to really wind down though, it should be fun.”
Baker currently has a lot on his plate, as he is hoping to find a job or internship in video production after graduation.
“I don’t think I’m going to go to grad school,” he said. “Communications is all experience, and grad school can give you the connections for that experience but I want to get right into it. I want to use video in a way that promotes something that I love, even doing promotional videos for a college like Le Moyne would be fun. But I really want to be a producer, I would love to say, ‘well we need this here,’ and doing the organizing, scheduling, getting things together, being kind of the boss. It’s nice to be able to move things around, and see that new world take shape in front of you.”
Though Baker is looking forward to the next chapter, graduation is bittersweet.
“It’s really like you’re leaving a family,” he said. “In a lot of ways it’s like when you are leaving your home the first time for college. Yes, there are opportunities, and new relationships, and new people that you are going to meet, but you’re still leaving a family.”
“Le Moyne is such a special place, it’s comfortable, and I think everyone likes being comfortable, so to leave … I have this pit in my stomach right now,” Baker added. “People are warm here, and people are caring here. But, I know I’ll able to come back, so that’s the silver lining!”