December 6, 2023

Donor Profile: Bob Baker

As a transfer student from Walker College in Jasper, Bob Baker ’78 came to UM for the quality accounting program and a chance to play on the men’s basketball team. He didn’t know he would be leaving with an affordable education that would help him thrive in the business field and friendships that would last a lifetime.

“I had a chance to go to out-of-state schools, but I wanted to stay close to home,” Baker said. “It was probably one of the best times of my life, as far as fun and freedom.”

Born and raised in Birmingham, Baker earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1978 and went to work for W.B. Baker & Sons Dairy, his family’s milk processing plant that had been in business since 1906. He worked for Barber’s Dairy for two years after Baker Dairy was sold to them in 1996. In 1998, he purchased Hinkle Roofing in Birmingham. This is his 25th year as primary owner and president of the residential and commercial roofing company.

“Everybody always asked me how I went from the food business to the construction business,” Baker said. “It’s all about dealing with people. I am a relationship type of person. When you’re in management for

a company, it boils down to working with people to get a job done.”

Baker has served on the UM Foundation Board since 2017. To him, giving back is important because a donation that would feel like a trivial amount at a more expensive school makes a bigger impact in a UM student’s life. He and his wife, Elizabeth, established the Bob and Elizabeth Baker Endowed Scholarship in Business.

“It was fun getting to meet those who got the scholarships last year,” Baker said. “You actually have a chance to interact. They have financial needs, and I feel like they have appreciation for the scholarship and are taking it to the next level.”

He is also working on establishing the Forever Friends Scholarship in partnership with some of the friends he made during his time at Montevallo — an idea that was formed at a reunion in the summer of 2021.

“That would be my encouragement to others,” Baker said. “Maybe you don’t think you can fund a scholarship alone. Well, get a bunch of your former cohorts together — Gold, Purple, your sorority or your sports team — and you can all come together and do it. It’s a lot easier if you get five people, and it’s something for the group to connect over.”

Baker has enjoyed reconnecting with the University community and encourages fellow alumni to stay up to date on campus happenings.

“Take time to listen and read about what all is happening at Montevallo,” Baker said. “UM is moving in the right direction, with good leadership and good people. I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”