In 1940 the first buildings of Barry College were blessed by Bishop Barry. These include Cor Jesu Chapel, a gift of Mrs. Margaret Brady Farrell, Calaroga Hall (now LaVoie), the classroom-administration unit, Angelicus (now Adrian Hall), and two residence halls, Rosa Mystica (now Kelley House) and Maris Stella (now Farrell House). During the presidency of Mother Mary Gerald Barry (1940-1961) most of the existing campus buildings were completed. In 1946 Stella Matutina (now Weber House) opened and additions to Adrian Hall were completed.
With the dual responsibilities of Mother General of the Adrian Dominican community and the Presidency of Barry College, Mother Mary Gerald Barry was not in residence at Barry College. The day to day operation of the College was in the capable hands of Sister Gonzaga Greene, Vice President and Business Manager from 1939 to 1946 and Sister DeLellis Rafftry, Academic Dean from 1940 to 1946. These women were responsible for the onsite building of the college; Sister Gonzaga for the supervision of the construction of the physical plant and, Sister DeLellis for the construction of the quality academic programs.
The decade of the 1950's brought considerable change to the campus. A science unit and temporary library were added to the Adrian Hall complex in 1950 and the Fine Arts Quadrangle, dedicated in 1955, brought music and art studios, lecture rooms and an auditorium to the campus. The changes that occurred during this time were not limited to the completion of new buildings. In 1953 the nursing program was instituted and in 1954 graduate degree programs were initiated. With the beginning of graduate study, degree-seeking male students were enrolled at Barry for the first time. Further additions to the campus came with the purchase of the Villa in 1956. Mother Gerald Barry's presidency ended with her death in 1961. The following year saw the dedication of Regina Mundi (now Dalton House) and Regina Caeli (now Dunspaugh House) and Thompson Hall.
With the election of Mother Genevieve Weber to the position of Mother General of the Adrian Dominican Community, she also assumed the presidency of Barry College. During her brief term as president (1962-63), Mother Genevieve separated the duties of the presidency from those of Mother General and Sister M. Dorothy Browne was named President in 1963.
As the first president in residence Sister M. Dorothy Browne (1963-1974) established the School of Social Work in 1966. Sister Dorothy was not a stranger to the campus in that she served as academic dean from 1946 to 1957 and guided a development program that saw the creation of the nursing program in 1953 and the graduate degree programs in 1954. Two excellent additions to the campus physical plant were completed during her tenure as president with the opening of the Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library in 1967 and the Wiegand Center in 1970.
In 1974 Sister M. Trinita Flood assumed the presidency of the college, having served as a faculty member and administrator at Barry for eighteen years. During her presidency the college was reorganized into six instructional units, The School of Arts & Sciences, The School of Business, The School of Education, The Division of Nursing, and the School of Social Work. The Continuing Education Department was established in 1974, became The School of Adult and Continuing Education in 1982, and serves over 2000 adult students through day and evening classes.
The university became officially co-educational in 1975 with male students admitted to all majors and living on the campus for the first time.
Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin was inaugurated as Barry's fifth president during the Founders Day Weekend celebration, held in November 1981. Sister Jeanne came to Barry after serving as Executive Assistant to the President of St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri. In conjunction with Sister Jeanne's inauguration, the institution changed its status and became Barry University. After 23 years of service as Barry University's president, Sr. Jeanne O'Laughlin retired from the presidency, although she remains involved with Barry as Chancellor.
Barry's sixth president is Sr. Linda Bevilacqua, whose roots have always belonged to Barry. It was here where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education (Magna Cum Laude) in 1962. Later, she earned a Master's in Guidance and Counseling in 1969 from Siena Heights College (now University) and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.) in 1980.
Sr. Linda's career has spanned all aspects of higher education. She began her career at Barry University as Assistant Dean of Students (1969-70), before being promoted to Dean of Student Affairs (1970-78). She later returned to Barry as its director of alternative programs, where she developed and administered Barry's Early Credit Program (1981-82). The following five years (1982-86), Sr. Linda was promoted to Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and was the first dean of Barry's School of Adult and Continuing Education. There, she led the creation and administration of this school for working adults with a 17-member administrative and professional team.
In 1986, Sr. Linda Bevilacqua left Barry to accept an elected position as administrator of the congregation with the Adrian Dominican Sisters (Adrian, Michigan, 1986-1992). There, she was responsible for the congregation's administrative, financial, legal, corporate, and real estate matters, as well as was a key participant in annual and long-range planning, development, approval, and oversight of a $20 million budget. As president of Gwynedd-Mercy College, she served as its educational leader with 66 dedicated full-time and over 150 part-time faculty members, 150 staff members, five vice presidents, five academic deans, and several executive directors.