Baker Veterans Fellows Program
Because of the unique challenges facing the many different categories of veteran students on campus (cadet veteran, day veteran, evening undergraduate veteran, graduate veteran,active duty student), including financial issues as well as post-graduation career pathway development, The Tommy Baker Veterans Fellowship program provides participants with an opportunity to address these needs while moving towards degree completion and employment in their chosen field. To do this, the costs related to degree completion must be addressed as well as positioning veterans to have the requisite skills, experiences, and presentation of an employment package to prospective employers that distinguish them from other candidates.
The Baker Fellows program includes 10 fellowships each academic year and includes a $5,000 stipend for tuition and educational expenses and an individualized internship experience overseen by The Citadel Career Services division, which offers academic credit as well as a customized educational experience. One component of the internship experience is a research project, where students complete an assessment of an organizational issue with recommended strategies and solutions. This document can then be added to the student’s e-portfolio as evidence of academic excellence.
In sum, the Tommy Baker Veteran Fellowship is a unique and rewarding experience for veteran students by meeting an immediate set of needs while positioning the Fellows for future success. With the support from Tommy Baker, Citadel veterans are given a significant advantage over students at other institutions.
Mr. Tommy Baker was born in Charleston, where he attended Moultrie High School before leaving South Carolina to serve his country in the Marine Corps. After his service, he returned to the Lowcountry in 1968, attended The Citadel as a member of the Class of 1972 from the Veterans Program. Several years later, he was accepted into Harvard Business School’s exclusive Owner/President Management Program, an intensive three-year study of business models and executive education. Tommy’s desire to learn continued as he navigated the automotive business, spending 25 years learning the industry at dealerships across the Southeast. In 1988, he founded Baker Motor Company in Charleston, and he has since expanded the award-winning company to include Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Land Rover, INFINITI, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, smart, Maserati, and a luxury Pre-Owned Center on its main campus on Savannah Highway. More recent additions to his line-up include Mercedes-Benz of Mount Pleasant, Baker Buick GMC Cadillac on Savannah Highway, and two dealerships in Wilmington, North Carolina—BMW of Wilmington and Porsche Wilmington. With a passion for his community, Mr. Baker saw the need for a true community bank in the Lowcountry and founded Beacon Community Bank in January of 2018. With 300 local shareholders, a 17-member board of Charleston’s most distinguished leaders and business owners, a team of seasoned banking professionals, and two Lowcountry locations, Beacon Community Bank is local to the core—focused on hometown, personalized, high-end service and swift local decision making. Mr. Baker is proud to actively serve as Chairman of the Board for Beacon Community Bank.
Mr. Baker has always prioritized giving back to the Charleston community. He has served as past chair of the MUSC Children’s Hospital, the College of Charleston School of Business, YEScarolina and the Free Enterprise Foundation. Currently, Mr. Baker serves as Chairman of the Board for Beacon Community Bank, and he is on the board of directors for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, and the Board of Governors for the College of Charleston. Professionally, he has served as Chairman for the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Board and the Advisory Dealer Board for INFINITI. Mr. Baker currently resides on Sullivan’s Island, SC with his wife, Vickie, of 37 years. They have three grown children and four grandchildren. He is an avid runner, and most recently took up the challenging sport of paddle boarding. Mr. Baker also enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family and friends.
Please be aware that to be a Baker Veteran Fellow, you must meet the following requirements:
- Applicant must be a student in good academic standing at The Citadel, with minimum GPA of 3.5*
- Applicant must have been a veteran with an honorable discharge (DD214 required).
- Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time student at The Citadel and remain classified as such throughout the Fellowship period.
- Fellows must be able to travel to their internship location in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties in South Carolina as well as attend follow-up sessions with Citadel Career Center representatives.
- Fellows must submit progress reports during the Fellowship year and be willing to serve as ex-officio members of the Baker Fellows Advisory Board upon completion of the Fellowship.
Submissions for the Fellowship should include the following:
1) A completed online application (GPA*, major, etc.).
2) A 500-word cover letter addressing the applicant's financial need and reasons the applicant believes he/she should be selected as a Baker Veteran Fellow and which of their attributes will contribute to the program.
3) A copy of a current resume.
4) A description of the candidate’s military service, including a copy of the applicant’s DD214 indicating an honorable discharge.
*Letter(s) of Recommendation are recommended.
The application deadline is 09 November 2020
Fellows are selected on the strength of their applications, their financial need, and whether they have met all the necessary criteria. The Baker Veteran Fellows Advisory Board reviews all applications and accompanying materials, and conducts panel interviews with selected candidates. An overall evaluation form is used to select candidates at the conclusion of the interview process.
All required materials must be included with the candidate’s application. This checklist is designed to assist you in preparing your information packet—no paper or incomplete applications will be accepted.
- Application: Complete and submit the application by midnight, on Thursday, 09 November 2020, to Susie Maghakian firstname.lastname@example.org. A confirmation email will be sent to your email address listed in the application. The online application can be found at the following link. Application
- Resume: Submit a current copy of your resume in PDF. Applicants are encouraged to meet with Susan Pope (843-953-1618) in The Citadel Career Center prior to submitting their resume and cover letter.
- Cover Letter: Include a cover letter (500 words) addressing your military service and experiences, your need for financial assistance, the reasons you believe you should be selected as a Baker Veteran Fellow, and which of your attributes, talents, and/or experiences will contribute to the program.
- Optional: Letters of support from faculty members who can comment on your suitability to be a Baker Veteran Fellow.
Mr. Tommy Baker
General James Livingston, USMC Retired
Mr. Ed Sherman
Mr. Bob Sneed
Mr. Jimmy Huggins