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Barrett commemorates 20 years of excellence

November 10, 2008

Barrett, the Honors College, will celebrate its 20th anniversary during ASU Homecoming this year with a festive event for alumni, current students and faculty, and some of the key people who brought the college into existence.

Former ASU President Lattie Coor, founding Barrett dean Ted Humphrey and current dean Mark Jacobs will speak at a celebration beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Center Complex Courtyard. To commemorate 20 years of excellence in honors education, Barrett alumni will be recognized for their scholarly and professional achievements.

A 6 p.m. dinner also will feature a special message from Finland by U.S. Ambassador Barbara Barrett, followed by the traditional “Lantern Walk” up A Mountain.

It was in July of 1988 that the Arizona Board of Regents authorized the creation of the “University Honors College,” naming philosophy professor Ted Humphrey as founding dean. A month later the college opened its offices in McClintock Hall, as the first residential honors college in the United States.

Humphrey helped create a college from scratch that would fit within a large public university, offering a rigorous core curriculum, summer study abroad, undergraduate research and wide-ranging internship opportunities.

In 2000 the college received an endowment of $10 million from Craig and Barbara Barrett, and it was named in their honor the following spring. In the years since its founding, the college has become a force that has shaped the student body, helping ASU enroll 583 National Merit Scholars in last year’s student body, up from two dozen in 1991.

The college moved to the Center Complex of Irish, Best and Hayden Halls in 1996, and Jacobs joined the college in 2003 when Humphrey returned to the classroom.

A new nine-acre Barrett complex is scheduled to open for the fall of 2009, as the first four-year residential honors college within a public university in the nation. It will include a sustainable living and learning community, and will feature a dining hall, multi-use classrooms and meeting spaces, a fitness center and an outdoor amphitheater for teaching.

For more information or to RSVP please visit The Barrett Homecoming festivities continue on Nov. 15, when the college will host a tent at the Block Party.