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On April 25, 2015 at the annual meeting of the Alumnae and Alumni of Goucher College, Elizabeth Statuta Baker, Class of 1970, was honored with the AAGC Award for Excellence in Public Service. As a family law attorney, Baker has dedicated her life’s work to aiding and empowering battered women and disadvantaged populations. Philanthropic with her skills, time, resources, and tireless energy, Baker reflects the best of what Goucher offers.
After graduating from Goucher, Baker earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. Currently a partner in the Coral Gables office of the national law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, she has been working energetically for the disenfranchised since she began her career with Legal Aid of Baltimore, where she created forms and systems to efficiently deliver quality legal services to marginalized residents of the city.
Baker has spent her entire career serving as a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. In 1978, she co-founded The Safespace Foundation, which helps victims of domestic violence create an independent life. A past president and current member of its board of directors, Baker provides pro bono assistance to Safespace and individual battered women, while also helping with fundraising activities. Using her gifts doesn’t stop there. A member of the Legal Services of Greater Miami’s Campaign for Equal Justice Committee, she helps raise funds for civil cases for indigent clients. Baker also takes pro bono appointments from judges in Miami-Dade County and works as a volunteer attorney for Dade Legal Aid’s “Put Something Back” program.
Baker is a founding member of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, past president of the University of Miami Friends of the Richter Library, board member of the Florida International University Women’s Studies Center, and has been a trustee for both the First United Methodist Church of South Miami and the First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables. She has received many accolades, including the 2014 American Red Cross Spectrum Award for Women, Benjamin L. Cardin Public Service Award, Legal Services of Greater Miami Distinguished Service Award, and Florida Association of Women Lawyers’ Mattie Belle Davis Award. Even though she’s active in her community and field, Baker has continued to be generous with her time and resources to Goucher, hosting events and volunteering in a number of roles over the years.
In the 45 years since her graduation, Elizabeth Statuta Baker has proven herself a consistent and passionate force to be reckoned with. She has devoted herself to helping victims of domestic violence, to honoring the law and those who need its protections, and to numerous worthy causes, her alma mater among them; for that, the Alumnae & Alumni of Goucher College recognizes her with its Public Service Award.