Loyola celebrates the life of William J. Baird, Jr., ’61, former trustee – newsroom
William J. Baird, Jr., ’61, a former director of Loyola from 2000 to 2008, passed away on Monday, May 10, 2021. He was 81 years old.
Baird received the prestigious Andrew White Medal from the University on January 18, 2020, in honor of his 80th birthday. The Reverend Brian F. Linnane, SJ, President, presented the medal.
“Bill Baird has been a good friend to me ever since I joined the Loyola Board of Directors in 2000,” Fr Linnane says. “He was an exceptional example of a Catholic gentleman. His dedication to Loyola was extraordinary – and was only surpassed by his dedication to his beloved wife, Joanna, and their family.
While studying at Loyola, Baird was a college basketball player who worked on the yearbook and served as president of the Green and Gray Society. He specialized in engineering and physics and continued his career in the insurance industry, mainly within the Willis group.
Since graduating in 1961, Baird has given his time to Loyola in a number of ways, including as a trustee, director of the Loyola Alumni Association, and as a member of the Parents’ Council with his wife, Joanna. Their eight children graduated from Loyola.
Baird has also been involved with the Greater Baltimore Committee, Catholic Charities, the House of the Good Shepherd, the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and the Mary Our Queen Cathedral. A graduate of Loyola Blakefield, Baird was also honored by Loyola with the Past Recipients Medal in 1988 and the Carroll Medal in 2011. Loyola Blakefield awarded him the Reverend Joseph M. Kelley Medal in 1995.
“Bill Baird was one of the most ethical, honorable and respected men I have ever known or worked with,” said Reverend Jack Dennis, SJ, chaplain of the university. “His moral compass was his Catholic faith, and he was a person of great integrity. Bill’s immense love for his family is one of his most treasured legacies.