Bethel Unveils the Barnes Academic Center

After President Emeritus Jay Barnes retired June 30, the Academic Center was renamed the James H. Barnes III Academic Center (BAC).

By Jenny Hudalla ’15, senior content specialist

July 14, 2020 | 3:45 p.m.

President Emeritus Jay Barnes

President Emeritus Jay Barnes

The Academic Center has been renamed the James H. Barnes III Academic Center (BAC) in honor of President Emeritus Jay Barnes, who retired June 30.

“We’re so grateful for Jay’s 25 years of service and his sincere investment in students, employees, and the university as a whole,” says Board of Trustees Chairman Collin Barr. “He guided Bethel into a new era of higher education, and we are thrilled to honor his legacy in this way.”

In addition to the first, second, and third floors of the former Academic Center, the BAC will include the science addition currently under construction. Under Barnes’ leadership, Bethel significantly advanced science education, research, and facilities, positioning itself as a leader in fields like physics, neuroscience, and healthcare. His presidency was also marked by broad academic growth, campus expansion, and increased diversity.

While the COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of various planned retirement events, students, colleagues, and friends can still send Barnes and his wife, Barb, a note of thanks for their service, and a full slate of rescheduled retirement events is planned for fall 2020.