For years, the mounted head of an enormous North American bull elk dominated the hall near the Baker Institute office of honorary chair James A. Baker, III.
Felled more than a decade ago by Baker, an avid hunter, the magnificent elk (known as "Roy") was a conversation piece unlike any other. But the new year brings new changes, and Roy has found a new home: Rice University"s Baker College, a student residence hall whose high, vaulted ceilings better showcase the elk"s noble visage.
Roy "really overwhelmed" its former place of honor, said Baker. "I thought I really ought to give that elk to Baker College. Baker College and I are named after the same person, Capt. James Baker."
Baker formally presented Roy to Baker College at a recent ceremony attended by students as well as Baker Institute founding director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian and his wife, Françoise.
After the former secretary of state fielded questions from the audience on the economy and foreign policy, the students gathered for a group picture with their benefactor. "People who never thought they'd care about politics or political figures came away really inspired and honored to have seen Mr. Baker," said Ellen Trinklein '15. "We were so glad he visited. And we love Roy."
Watch a Rice University video of Baker"s visit to Baker College above.