2010 Lindenwood Alumni Merit Award Winners
Bakewell Honored by Alma Mater
During his senior year at Lindenwood University, Thomas Bakewell (’74) was selected by a news publication to be featured in an article about local business students. The headline of his story read, “Bakewell Has Big Plans for Healthcare,” which would prove to be true as time progressed.
More than 30 years later, Bakewell was named recipient of Lindenwood’s prestigious Alumni Merit Award during the 2010 commencement ceremonies at the St. Charles Family Arena. He received the honor in recognition of his impressive academic and professional achievements, as well as his contributions to the growth of the University.
“I’m a management consultant and attorney, specializing in strategy, organizational transformation, and effective governance,” Bakewell said. “I’ve worked with more than 100 corporate and non-profit clients, and I particularly enjoy working as a strategist for faith-based organizations.”
The St. Louis native earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Lindenwood in 1974. He worked at SSM St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles as an undergraduate, and continued to do so as he earned master’s degrees in both business administration and hospital administration from Saint Louis University.
Following graduate school, Bakewell worked as a financial consultant with what is now Ernst and Young, in St. Louis. A year later, at age 24, he was named Chief Financial Officer at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn.
He subsequently completed post-graduate work at the Harvard University School of Public Health. Afterward, he spent five years as a consultant in Memphis while also attending law school.
Bakewell became a licensed attorney and a licensed CPA before returning to St. Louis in 1986 to assume a leadership role in the development of Ascension Health. His expertise was integral to the success of the venture, which is now the nation’s largest nonprofit Catholic healthcare system.
In 1986, Bakewell was invited to serve on Lindenwood’s Board of Directors. He provided valuable expertise during his nearly 15 years of service on various Lindenwood boards and committees. “I take great satisfaction in sharing the success of so many people involved in those efforts,” said Bakewell. “And I truly enjoy watching Lindenwood grow and develop.”
Giving Back to Lindenwood and Her Community
Mary Ellen Kantz (’77) has dedicated hundreds of hours to community service through volunteerism. In recognition of her selflessness and generosity, she was named a recipient of Lindenwood University’s Alumni Merit Award during the Baccalaureate and Graduate Commencement ceremony on May 14, 2010.
“I feel so honored to have been given the award,” Kantz said. “I’ve seen the people who’ve received it before, and it feels great to know the University considers me in the same category.”
Kantz has impacted countless lives during her extensive nursing career. She graduated from DePaul Hospital School of Nursing in 1965 and has been a long-time surgical nurse at SSM St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles.
Kantz earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Lindenwood in 1977 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1991. She has been an active member of the Alumni Board since the mid 1990s.
Never one to be idle, Kantz returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Deaconess College of Nursing in 2002. Throughout most of her professional career, she has volunteered extensively with the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses.
As Lindenwood’s current Alumni Association Secretary, Kantz has grown especially fond of serving on the planning committee for the annual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. She also regularly volunteers as an usher at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts, where her son, Mike, is employed as senior production stage manager.
“Giving time to the University is a good outlet, and it’s a way for me to give something back,” said Kantz. “I and both of my sons have graduated from Lindenwood, and it’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ for all they’ve done for me and my family.”
Kantz is also a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society through her St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Parish. She participates in two of the church’s choirs, helps the needy through various service projects, and recently began participating in a youth mentoring program.
“I’m also thinking of getting involved with Meals on Wheels or a food pantry,” she said. “I want to keep active as long as I can.”