175 Makers of History: Woolford B. Baker

Woolford B. Baker
Biology Professor; Early Emory Environmentalist

Woolford Baker

Woolford B. Baker spent most of his Emory career as a biology professor and department chair, but he is better known for his dedication to preserving the campus's natural beauty.

Decades before environmental concerns were in vogue, Baker's concern for green space earned him the nickname "chief forester," and the woodlands behind the Michael C. Carlos Museum were later named in his honor. Baker would object to President Harvey Cox whenever trees were sacrificed for power lines or construction. Cox finally made him the de facto steward of the land, a role he played for many years.

Baker's botanical illustrations are collected in Emory's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

Baker received the first Thomas Jefferson Award presented by the university, and in his retirement he served as the part-time director of the Emory University Museum (now Carlos Museum) for many years.