Lyon Arboretum's Baker builds on 38-year legacy

Raymond Baker's $50,000 gift will support grounds and living collections at Lyon Arboretum

University of Hawaiʻi
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Sep 20, 2010

Ray Baker at Lyon Arboretum
Ray Baker at Lyon Arboretum
HONOLULU - As a Lyon Arboretum staff member for 38 years, Raymond Baker knows firsthand the tremendous impact funding in strategic areas can make. Upon retirement, he made a gift of $50,000 to establish the Raymond F. Baker Fund for Grounds and Living Collections at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum. This fund will support the grounds and living collections of the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has also made a bequest intention to ultimately name a curatorship to support a new senior staff position, the Raymond F. Baker Curatorship of Grounds and Living Collections at the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum.
“Of all the wonderful things the Arboretum does the plants and grounds are what most people see,” explains Baker. He is establishing this fund to support activities that directly affect the development and maintenance of the grounds and living collections on the grounds, by increasing the work force and providing them with what they need to get the job done.
Ray Baker has a long history with Hawai‘i and the Lyon Arboretum. After graduating with a BS in geology from the University of Michigan, he served four years in the Marine Corps and spent the last two years in Hawai‘i. It was here that he resigned his commission and began graduate school at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
During his time in graduate school he worked at the Lyon Arboretum, and ultimately accepted a full-time position with the arboretum. Baker was driven by a desire to increase the arboretum's diversity as a botanical garden, and expand community access so more people could experience and learn from this very special place.
“The Lyon Arboretum boasts one of the most diverse tropical plant collections in the world, including many rare plants. Ray’s gift is particularly gratifying,” explains Dr. Christopher Dunn, director of the Arboretum. “It will be the first gift that is directed specifically to supporting the maintenance of our vast collections. Secondly, it is a major gift from a staff member. Ray has given so much to the arboretum over the years. For him to give even more, in this very significant way, is all the more remarkable. We are all deeply touched.”
Contributions to the Ray Baker Fund at Lyon Arboretum can be made in two ways. Funds for immediate needs can be made at: Funds in support of the permanent endowment can be made at: For further information, please contact Emily Fay at the University of Hawai‘i Foundation (808) 956-5665 or e-mail
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