History of Barry University

2000-2010: Back to the future

Barry University marked its entrance into the third millennium by successfully completing an enormous undertaking. The first commencement at Barry University School of Law was held on January 15, 2000. The ceremony was a source of pride to all those in the Barry community who had worked diligently to help the university acquire the Law School in 1999. More reason to celebrate came in fall of 2006 when, just seven years after being acquired, the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.

The Law School continued to make its mark on the national scene in 2007 when it received a grant from the Eckerd Family Foundation to start the Juvenile Justice Center (JCC). The Center trains lawyers and law students to represent children accused of crimes in Florida's juvenile delinquency system. In 2008, the JCC received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to participate in the newly created Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN). In this role, the JCC works in partnership with the JIDAN to pursue reforms that strengthen juvenile indigent defense systems.


Another milestone in Barry's history came on June 30, 2004, when Sister Jeanne retired after more than 20 years of service. She was succeeded by Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, who became not only the sixth president of Barry University but the first alumna to hold that position. Since her days as an undergraduate student, Sister Linda's career in higher education has been linked to the University. She has held many leadership positions at Barry including Dean of Student Affairs, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Professional And Career Education.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, Sister Linda oversaw the final stages of the reorganization of the University's academic division into two colleges and seven schools: the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the Andreas School of Business, the Adrian Dominican School of Education, the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law as well as the Schools of School of Professional And Career Education (PACE), Human Performance and Leisure Sciences (HPLS), Podiatric Medicine and Social Work.

Always respected for its service to the South Florida community, Barry's ties to community partners were revitalized and strengthened during the past decade. In 2008, for example, the Barry Institute for Community and Economic Development (BICED) was formed under the auspices of the School of Business. BICED provides need-based information and business skill development specifically targeted to select Miami-Dade communities.

The face of the campus also changed dramatically in the first decade of the 21st century as several building projects were completed during this period, including O'Laughlin Hall, in 2000, Kolasa Hall in 2002, the Landon Student Union in 2004, Benincasa Hall in 2005 and the Silvester Tower in 2006. The development of the “west 40,” a 40-acre tract of land west of North Miami Avenue continued with completion of Phase I of the Institute for Community Health and Minority Medicine. With its three-phase development plan, the Center houses classroom, research and clinical facilities used to train tomorrow's health care professionals and to conduct research on diseases that disproportionately affect minority populations and underserved communities.