Former Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker has died, the university announced on Saturday.
Baker reportedly passed away on Friday, Oct. 7 at the age of 84.
He was the eighth president and second-longest serving leader of the university. He retired in 2010 after 31 years as Cal Poly's president.
His career also included roles as a teacher, researcher, engineering practitioner, and university administrator.
"The Cal Poly community has lost a true champion of Learn by Doing and a leader who helped architect what our university is today — a campus in high demand among California’s and the nation’s best and brightest students and a producer of thousands of Day-One-ready graduates poised to address the world’s most pressing problems,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “While we are tremendously saddened by the passing of Warren Baker, we are so grateful for the 31 years of leadership he provided to Cal Poly.”
Officials at Cal Poly say that under Baker's leadership, the university rose to its current status as an institution "renowned for its scientific, engineering, technical, agricultural and the built-environment curriculum, as well as for distinctive offerings in business and the liberal arts."
Baker is also credited with approximately $1 billion in new facilities and renovations at Cal Poly, including new student housing and stadium enhancements.
The second-largest building on campus, the Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics, was dedicated to him in 2013.
Baker was also instrumental in creating a partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo to construct the Performing Arts Center on campus.
His family is requesting that donations in his honor be made to the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center.