History and Legacy

History and Legacy

In June 1940, a 40-acre tract of lush, tropical vegetation located in Miami Shores was transformed into one of the leading centers of education in South Florida. Founded by the Most Reverend Patrick Barry, Bishop of St. Augustine, and Reverend Mother M. Gerald Barry, prioress General of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, and supported by Reverend Monsignor William Barry and Mayor of Miami Shores John Graves Thompson, Barry University offers a supportive atmosphere, intellectual excellence and an 800-year tradition of truth-seeking and dedication to service.

In the years since Barry first opened its doors, the main campus has expanded to approximately 124 acres, with a Law School in Orlando and several locations throughout the state of Florida and the Bahamas. A comprehensive university, Barry now encompasses five Schools and two Colleges with numerous liberal arts and professional disciplines.

Today, the Barry University community is comprised of upwards of 7,000 students served by skilled administrators, leading faculty members and dedicated support staff from a wide range of religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The faculty and administration collaborate closely to support the student population and the local community surrounding the University, where our expansion and growth have kept pace with excellence in education programs.

Imagine the ideal South Florida climate combined with natural beauty and an atmosphere conducive to learning and continued personal development.

Barry University has had six Adrian Dominican Sisters serve as president since its inception. They include: Mother M. Gerald Barry, 1940-1961; Mother M. Genevieve Weber, 1962-1963; Sister Dorothy Browne, 1963-1974; Sister M. Trinita Flood, 1974-1981; Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, 1981-2004; and Sister Linda Bevilacqua, July 2004 - 2019. Mike Allen, Ph.D. began his tenure as the seventh president of Barry University on July 1, 2019. He is the first lay person to lead Barry University since its founding in 1940.

Important Dates in Barry History

1939Purchase of Barry property
1940Inaugural classes begin
1942First Commencement Ceremony; 10 women graduated
1947First accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
1960Accepted into the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF)
1975Full enrollment of male students approved by the Board of Trustees
1981Barry College becomes Barry University
1999Purchase of a law school, now the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
2011Opening of first research hub, the Paul & Margaret Brand Research Center at the School of Podiatric Medicine
2011First full degree program offered outside of mainland United States, in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
2019Mike Allen, Ph.D. began his tenure as the seventh president of Barry University.

Are you familiar with Barry's 75+ year history?

Download the Barry University Historic Tour app and take a guided tour led by recent Barry graduates. Turn up the volume and get ready for a stroll around campus. Snap some pics so that when it's over you can share what you learned on social @barryuniversity!

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