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 campus has expanded to more than 122 acres and 17 locations throughout Florida, including seven Schools and two Colleges with numerous liberal arts and professional disciplines.

Today, the Barry University community is comprised of nearly 9,000 students, served by more than 2,100 administrators, faculty members and support staff from a wide range of religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The faculty and administration have worked closely together to serve the student population and the local community surrounding the University, where our expansion and growth have kept pace with excellence in education programs.

The tropical beauty of Barry University includes 54 buildings, with indoor and outdoor athletic facilities, spread over 80 of our 122-acre campus. 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 – present.

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