Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD (2004-2019)

Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD

With strong South Florida roots since 1958, Sister Linda Bevilacqua graduated magna cum laude from Barry University in 1962. Following this, she entered the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan. Sister Linda earned a master’s degree from Siena Heights College (now University) and a PhD from Michigan State University.

In 1969, Sister Linda returned to Barry as the chief student life officer, and became the founding dean of the School of Professional and Career Education (PACE) and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1981.

Sister Linda left Barry in 1986 following her election to the leadership team of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. During a six-year term as Congregation Administrator, she oversaw administrative, financial, legal, corporate, and real estate matters. Sister Linda also facilitated the integration of the Adrian Dominican hospitals in California and Nevada into a multi-state, multi-institution, co-sponsored health system, served as a member of the System’s Board of Directors for seven years, and chairperson of the System Board for four years.

From 1993 to 2002, Sister Linda was the president of Gwynedd-Mercy College (now University) in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania.

From July 2004 to July 2019, Sister Linda Bevilacqua served as president of her alma mater as Barry’s sixth (and first alumna) president.

Since 2004, Sister Linda guided Barry’s transformation into an urban, comprehensive, multicultural, multiethnic university. During her tenure, Sister Linda saw to the full American Bar Association accreditation of the Barry Law School, in addition to the construction of two large residence halls, an administrative office building for the School of Podiatric Medicine, a state-of-the-art Legal Advocacy Center, four additional Law School facilities, and the signature Sylvester Tower on I-95, among other renovations.

Sister Linda retired as Barry’s sixth president in June 2019 and was succeeded by Mike Allen, Ph.D. She now serves as President Emerita and was named founding director of the Adrian Dominican Institute for Mission and Leadership, which was created in her honor. The Institute is expected to open in January 2020.

Plans for the Institute include workshops, lectures and special events that focus on the importance of mission-centered learning, as well as programs and services on moral concepts such as justice, equity, access and equality issues.