$5 Million Gift From Board of Trustees Chairman Steven W. Barnes ’82 to Help Create a State-of-the-Art Health, Wellness and Recreation Complex
Steve and Deborah Barnes cite University’s transformative, student-centric vision as motivation for gift
A new state-of-the-art, health, wellness and recreation complex, which until now has been a conceptual component in the draft Campus Framework, is now one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the vision and generosity of Board of Trustees Chairman Steven W. Barnes ’82 and his wife, Deborah.
For many years, the Barnes family has supported the University—both in service and in philanthropy. The Barnes family recently made a $5 million gift to support what they call Syracuse University’s “transformative, student-centric” vision contained within the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Framework.
Citing the University’s commitment to advancing academic excellence, enhancing the student experience—inside and outside the classroom—and building a more vibrant and connected campus community, Barnes says he is eager to see the elements contained within the Academic Strategic Plan and the Campus Framework coming to life.
“Significant time, energy and effort have been dedicated to conceptualizing and crafting two critically important roadmaps that will help guide the University’s academic and physical future,” says Barnes. “That these two efforts have been done concurrently is proof positive that Syracuse University is building on its strong legacy and that continued growth and success is in its future.”
Chancellor Kent Syverud says future generations of Syracuse University students, faculty and staff are the beneficiaries of the Barnes family’s continued philanthropy and leadership.
“Steve has been a great partner, advisor and leader during the strategic planning process,” says Chancellor Syverud. “His confidence in the goals and recommendations of the Academic Strategic Plan and Campus Framework, and his dedication to seeing them come to fruition, are a testament to his unwavering support of Syracuse University. I am grateful for his leadership and extend my heartfelt gratitude to him and Debbie for their great generosity.”
In making the gift, Barnes noted that today’s college students are seeking a complete living and learning experience.
“They want excellent academics; extracurricular activities that ignite their passion; and health and wellness opportunities that help balance the rigor and demands of higher education. This new health, wellness and recreation complex will empower the University to continue its focus on supporting students beyond the academic realm,” says Barnes.
The family’s latest gift will support the creation of The Barnes Center at The Arch. As a result, the Archbold/Flanagan Gymnasium will be transformed into a holistic health, wellness and recreation complex. It will house all of the campus health and wellness services—including the Counseling Center, the Office of Health Promotion, Health Services, Recreation Services and the Office of Student Assistance—in one central and convenient location, just off the Kenneth A. Shaw Quadrangle. The new complex will also feature a modern multi-floor fitness center, a world-class rock climbing wall, a multi-activity sports court and fully accessible locker rooms and restrooms.
“The Campus Framework really seeks to elevate the entire student experience and the creation of this new complex is a testament to the University’s commitment to enhancing student life,” says Joyce LaLonde ’17, former vice president of the Student Association. “I am so excited for the future generations of students who will have the opportunity to see and experience the campus transformation. I’ll definitely look forward to returning as an alum.”
Dolan Evanovich, senior vice president of the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, says this is an exciting time to be at Syracuse University, noting prospective students and their families are enthusiastic about forthcoming renovations and facilities updates.
“The Barnes Center will serve to better coordinate all student health and wellness services, both organizationally and physically, and assure full accessibility,” says Evanovich. “The Barnes Center will further our mission of providing a seamless and robust approach to the learning, advising, counseling, engagement and development of the whole student. All of these efforts, of course, are designed to make Syracuse University an even better place to live, learn and flourish.”
Barnes’ generosity predates his leadership role on the Board of Trustees. In 2010, Barnes endowed, as part of a gift, the Barnes Family Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities at the Whitman School. His gift also created the Barnes Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Whitman School, which is held by Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie. Barnes is a founding investor in the Orange Value Fund, a $4.1 million student-run portfolio. The Barnes family has also provided substantial financial support to the Remembrance Scholarship Fund and to the McLane Legacy Fund, which supports disability initiatives and the Office of Disability Services.
Barnes also previously served as the co-chairman of the University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and is a longtime member of the Whitman School of Management Advisory Council and the Boston Regional Council. As chairman of the Board of Trustees, Barnes has supported Chancellor Syverud’s efforts to align the University’s academic vision and mission with its physical presence and infrastructure.
The Barnes family gift represents the second seven-figure gift in a major fundraising effort by the University to raise funds to support the many projects contained within the draft Campus Framework. Last fall, University Trustee Steven L. ’64, G’67 and his wife, Sherry ’65 Einhorn, gave $1 million in support of one of the first projects to be realized in the Campus Framework. As a result of the Einhorn family gift, the space previously known as University Place is now the Einhorn Family Walk.
For those interested in being a part of history and helping to transform the University’s footprint, there are many giving opportunities. The University is seeking donations, including naming gifts, for all initiatives contained within the draft Campus Framework. To make a gift, contact Matt Ter Molen, senior vice president and chief advancement officer, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 315.443.9161.
To learn more about the draft Campus Framework and to provide real-time feedback, visit http://CampusFramework.syr.edu.