Sunday, at a mass of thanksgiving, Barry University will initiate the year-long commemoration of our founding 75 years ago —that’s a long time, especially in a city that is only 119 years old.
More than 2,000 students graduate from Barry each year, but our beginning in September 1940 was humble — 45 students from 12 states and 10 graduates at the first commencement. Barry was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan as a Catholic college for young women from working-class families at a time when higher educational opportunities were limited for such women. The 19th amendment giving women the right to vote had been ratified only 20 years earlier.
Barry evolved over time, growing in size, scope and population, becoming fully co-educational in 1975 and a university in 1981. Today, we are a thriving university community of almost 9,000 students from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and faiths. Barry’s dedicated faculty and staff in our two colleges and seven schools educate students of all ages — recent high school graduates to adults. Our students represent more than 45 states and 80 countries. Over 60,000 alums throughout the world are “Barry proud.”
Grounded in the Catholic intellectual and liberal arts traditions, Barry is a scholarly community committed to the highest academic standards in undergraduate, graduate and professional education. Offering more than 80 undergraduate and more than 75 graduate programs in the arts, sciences, business, education, healthcare and social services, medicine and law, we offer courses and degrees at 11 sites and two campuses across seven Florida counties. We have an undergraduate 14-1 faculty to student ratio guaranteeing our students the personalized education they deserve.
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Barry supports an education and university experience that integrates study, reflection and action. We emphasize life-long learning, personal growth and collaborative community engagement that focuses on social justice.
We are proud to be included on Forbes’ list of Top Colleges for 2015 and to be named to the 2015-2016 Colleges of Distinction, 2015 Catholic Colleges of Distinction, Florida Colleges of Distinction, the President’s 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.
During this 75th anniversary year, we shall honor our rich, robust and resilient heritage as we dream and determine a future defined by those same characteristics, faithful to the mission of Catholic higher education, our institutional mission and identity and to the Adrian Dominican Sisters who have entrusted us with the stewardship of this great university.
To our marquee celebration — the “Barry Birthday Bash” hosted by distinguished alumnus Dr. Shaquille O’Neal — we invite the community to celebrate Barry University’s 75th anniversary.
Sister Linda Bevilacqua, president, Barry University, Miami Shores