A Middlesboro High School graduate has been chosen as a recipient of a prestigious Chinese friendship award given to foreigners who have helped the country.
Jim Baker, a 1966 MHS graduate, is a vice president at Missouri State University. He is also the university’s point man in China and oversees economic development and directs MSU’s extensive China programs.
One of 10 regional winners of the Liupan Mountain Friendship award hewas in the running — among 100 candidates — to be one of the 50 national winners. He and the other winners will receive medals from China’s premier in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 28.
Baker, 63, has been to China approximately 60 times and visited 25 cities on university-related business. He said the award recognizes MSU’s overall work in China, which started in 1997, when the university initiated a faculty and student exchange with Qingdao University.
In 2000, John Keiser, then MSU president, asked Baker to explore more partnerships with China, which he has done. He was instrumental in establishing the campus in Dalian and spearheaded partnerships with other universities. He has also led student, faculty and cultural exchanges.
Some information for this article was obtained from The Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader