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Loyola celebrates the life of William J. Baird, Jr., ’61, former trustee

William J. Baird, Jr., ’61, a former trustee at Loyola from 2000-2008

William J. Baird, Jr., ’61, a former trustee at Loyola from 2000-2008, passed away on Monday, May 10, 2021. He was 81.

Baird received the University’s prestigious Andrew White Medal on Jan. 18, 2020, in honor of his 80th birthday. Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., president, presented the medal.

“Bill Baird has been a good friend to me since I joined him on Loyola’s Board of Trustees in 2000,” Fr. Linnane said. “He was an outstanding example of a Catholic gentleman. His dedication to Loyola was extraordinary—and only surpassed by his devotion to his beloved wife, Joanna, and to their family.”

While studying at Loyola, Baird was a varsity basketball player who worked on the yearbook and served as president of the Green and Grey Society. He majored in engineering and physics and went on to build a career in the insurance industry, primarily with the Willis Group.

Since his graduation in 1961, Baird gave his time to Loyola in several ways, including as a trustee, director of the Loyola Alumni Association, and as a member of the Parents Council with his wife, Joanna. Their eight children are graduates of Loyola.

Baird was also involved in the Greater Baltimore Committee, Catholic Charities, House of the Good Shepherd, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. A graduate of the Loyola Blakefield, Baird was also honored by Loyola with the Alumni Laureate Medal in 1988 and the Carroll Medal in 2011. Loyola Blakefield awarded him the Rev. Joseph M. Kelley Medal in 1995.

“Bill Baird was one of the most ethical, honorable, and well-respected men I have ever known or worked with,” said Rev. Jack Dennis, S.J., University Chaplain. “His moral compass was his Catholic faith, and he was a person of great integrity. Bill’s tremendous love for his family is one of his most precious legacies.”


A private family Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Loyola University Maryland Alumni Memorial Chapel followed by interment at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Baird's memory may be made to one of the following: Our Daily Bread, Loyola University Maryland, Loyola Blakefield or the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.