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Dr. Lillian Bauder

Lillian Bauder“A healthy democracy depends on a strong, large middle class,” explains Dr. Lillian Bauder, regarding her recent gifts to Howard Community College (HCC). “Community colleges are educational institutions that enable people with aptitude and skills to become part of the middle class. Everyone has access to community college education.”

Throughout their lives, Bauder and her late husband, Don, supported causes that sought to solve critical social problems and the arts. The couple relocated from Detroit, and it was through a film festival in the Peter & Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center that Bauder was introduced to HCC.

“I picked up some pamphlets in the lobby and learned that the college was doing so much that is important to society today,” she explains.

Bauder supports HCC’s Howard P.R.I.D.E., a Black male success program aimed at increasing graduation rates and closing the achievement gap. She was inspired by the couple’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. “Issues of race and income inequality are a real challenge for our country.”

She also supports HCC’s honors programs, with her passion for higher education beginning as an honors student at Douglass College (now Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University). Bauder later earned her doctorate degree and numerous awards during an impressive career that included more than 25 years in education – despite the fact that “My parents did not believe that girls should go to college.”

Merit scholarships helped cover her expenses. “I worked as a waitress too, but I did not mind because I was just so happy to be at college. I remember one day leaping in the air as I crossed campus just thinking, ‘I’m here! I’m here!’ ”

Her donation also includes an endowment to support the Bauder Lecture, which will feature the author of the annual Howard County Book Connection choice. The 2020 selection is “Friday Black” by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah. Bauder says that recent events have revealed it to be a prophetic choice. “The continued killing of so many young, Black people, and the Black Lives Matter movement make this selection very relevant to our time. The Book Connection committee felt it would provoke vital, timely conversations.”

Looking back, Bauder describes her late husband, Don, as her true love and best friend. The couple met when she was 16 and he was 18 and were together for over 60 years before he passed away. They built their lives and their philanthropy together. “I have lived a very full life and at the center of my life is a wonderful love story.

Giving makes a difference! Your support helps students along their pathways to success.