Indiana Gov. Mike Pence today named Cummins’ Victoria Baker a Sagamore of the Wabash for her outstanding work with children, one of the top honors a governor in the state can bestow on a resident.
“Her engagement within the community has left a lasting impact on countless Hoosiers who come into contact with her,” Pence said at a private ceremony at the Cummins Child Development Center in Columbus, Ind., where the governor surprised Baker with the honor.
Baker helped design the center in Columbus which has been widely praised by experts in the child development field. She is director of global child development centers at Cummins but has volunteered her services with a number of institutions that help children.
Pence cited her work with Turning Point, a United Way agency in Columbus that works with children impacted by domestic abuse. He also listed her work with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center to strengthen early learning programs for American Indian children and the Hope Orphanage in Beijing, China, where she helped create a stimulating learning environment for orphans with physical and mental disabilities.
Currently, Baker is working with the Concord Neighborhood Center in Indianapolis, the city’s oldest community center, to help get the center’s child care programs accredited.
“We thank you for your commitment to ensuring this state, nation and this world are better for the next generation and generations to come,” Pence said. “You truly are one of Indiana’s finest and I know your family members, both those are here today and those who could not make it, are tremendously proud of your efforts and your incredible success.”
The Sagamore of the Wabash award was created during the term of Indiana Gov. Ralph Gates, who served from 1945 to 1949. Over the years it has been given by Indiana governors to ambassadors, astronauts, artists, presidents and ordinary citizens who have significantly contributed to the state.