Stories from the Field

The Passing of a Giant: Matthew A. Baxter, Jr.

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Andy Baxter, prince among men and one of the last true gentlemen, passed away in February 2022. Andy committed himself passionately to several organizations he held close to his heart—lucky for our mission and the students we serve, one of those organizations was NatureBridge. 

Andy came to know NatureBridge through tragedy. His son Matt was a NatureBridge educator in Yosemite National Park. In 1999, Matt died in a rock climbing accident. Following his passing, the Baxter family established the Matthew A. Baxter, III Memorial Fund and the Baxter Award was born. The award inspires staff to dream their wildest dream, seek adventure, push their personal limits and impact the world. To date, over 65 staff members have had their dreams realized thanks to the generosity of the Baxter family. 

Andy was tireless. He was unique in his ability to push NatureBridge to be better, to make a greater impact and to support our staff and the students we serve with ferocity and compassion. Andy joined NatureBridge’s Board of Directors in 2007. He served as Vice Chair and Treasurer, and was named Emeritus in 2021. His involvement with and support of NatureBridge was profoundly impactful and an inspiration to all. He made us all more generous and thoughtful, and he made NatureBridge a better organization. A celebration of Andy's legacy will take place on May 12, 2022 with NatureBridge friends. 

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