Fall 2008 Issue

Head of State

Barry President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, (center) gathers with students Mustafa Mahadi, Margaret Munsey, Danielle Jackman, Jay Sumners, Benjamin Gaspar and Deborah Harris at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee for Barry Days April 8-9.

Delivering a message of “Save the FRAG,” Barry President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, along with six Barry students and a small constituency of faculty and staff from the university met with state legislators in Tallahassee April 8-9 as part of Barry Days.

The group’s primary goal was to remind legislators of the importance of the Florida Resident Access Grant, which previously provided full-time students who are residents of Florida with an additional $3,000 of financial assistance for college. While recent budget cuts by the state legislature reduced the FRAG amount to $2,837 for the 2008-09 academic year, the cut was less than originally feared. More than 2,570 Barry students received the FRAG in Fall 2007, and a substantial cut in the program would have jeopardized their ability to pay for a college education.

Three students from main campus – Jay Sumners, Danielle Jackman and Benjamin Gaspar – along with three students from Barry’s School of Adult and Continuing Education site in Tallahassee – Mustafa Mahdi, Deborah Harris and Margaret Munsey – met with legislators to encourage them to do everything possible to keep the FRAG going.

During their visit, the students and Sister Linda met with Sen. Jeremy Ring, the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Shane Strum, Rep. Joe Pickens, Rep. Matt Hudson, Senate President Ken Pruitt, Sen. Evelyn Lynn and Rep. Anitere Flores.

Barry School of Education Dean Dr. Terry Piper and College of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Dr. Pegge Bell also joined Sister Linda on the trip to discuss with state legislators the importance of state funding to universities to train and educate future nurses and teachers, as well as appropriate funding to hire qualified education and nursing faculty.