Montana State University

MSU celebrates naming of Barnard Hall

December 15, 2016 -- MSU News

From left, Montana State University College of Engineering Dean Brett Gunnink, Tim Barnard, MSU President Waded Cruzado and Mary Barnard gather in front of Barnard Hall, formerly the Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, during a naming ceremony Thursday December 15, 2016 in Bozeman. MSU photo by Kelly GorhamTim Barnard addresses members of the Montana State University community during a ceremony to commemorate the naming of Barnard Hall Thursday, December 15, 2016, in Bozeman. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

From left, Montana State University College of Engineering Dean Brett Gunnink, Tim Barnard, MSU President Waded Cruzado and Mary Barnard gather in front of Barnard Hall, formerly the Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, during a naming ceremony Thursday December 15, 2016 in Bozeman. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

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Undaunted by the weather, Montana State University celebrated the naming of Barnard Hall, formerly called the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) Building, on Thursday.

Bozeman residents Tim and Mary Barnard, for whom the building is named, and a crowd of well-wishers watched as the new name was unveiled on the building's main entrance. Earlier this year, the Barnards pledged $6 million to MSU for its College of Engineering and the university’s South Campus development.

"There is probably no way we could fully thank you for the support of our students, faculty, staff and programs at Montana State. Truly, your generosity will impact not only current students, but students far into the future," said MSU President Waded Cruzado, who spoke at the event.

"We at MSU are very proud that our graduates are enriching your company, Tim and Mary, and in turn, we are very appreciative how your generosity is enriching Montana State," Cruzado said.

Tim Barnard is founder and chairman of Bozeman-based Barnard Companies, Inc., one of the country’s largest heavy civil contracting firms. The company, whose recent projects include construction of new twin 1.7-mile subway tunnels under downtown San Francisco, regularly hires MSU engineering graduates; 48 MSU graduates are currently salaried employees at Barnard Companies. In addition, seven of the 12 members of the company's executive management team, including both the CEO and president, graduated from MSU.

“The big thing Mary and I have talked about with Barnard Hall is that while it is our family name, it really transcends that,” Tim Barnard said referring to his executive team of MSU alums. “It could be Barnard Construction Hall.”

Tim Barnard's involvement with MSU dates back to the late 1980s. Since that time, he has established two scholarships in civil engineering and helped fund new faculty for the college's construction engineering technology option. He also received an honorary doctorate from MSU in 2011. Tim and Mary Barnard both are known for their generous philanthropy to local organizations.

The Barnards’ gift will be used both for the College of Engineering and as part of the university’s $70 million South Campus Project, which includes the new Norm Asbjornson Hall. The gift also plays an important role in MSU’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, “What It Takes,” which runs through 2018.   

“All of us share in a common belief that people make a difference, leadership makes a difference and you two certainly have. Thank you so much,” said Chris Murray, president and CEO of the MSU Alumni Foundation. “It is inspiring to all of us and motivates many others to come forward and support us. We are very grateful for that as well.”

Brett Gunnink, dean of the MSU College of Engineering, told of the strong support the Barnards have shown MSU over the decades from Gunnink’s first meeting with Tim Barnard in 2002 to the couple’s donation this year.

“They were always there whenever there was a need,” Gunnink said.

When the Barnards gave their $6 million gift it couldn’t have come at a more “impactful and strategic time,” Gunnink said.

MSU had received a $50 million gift from MSU alumnus Norm Asbjornson with a challenge to raise a $20 million match. The Barnards’ gift brought the university to within $3 million of the goal. In September, MSU announced it had reached the challenge and the project is moving forward on schedule.

“Without Tim and Mary’s gift I don’t know if we could have closed that gap. What we are building with the South Campus Project is due, in absolutely no small part, to the generosity of Tim and Mary Barnard and I will be forever grateful for that,” Gunnink said.   

Barnard Hall houses parts of the College of Engineering as well as the College of Letters and Science as well as numerous classrooms and laboratories.

The MSU College of Engineering is one of the university’s three fastest-growing colleges. Enrollment in the college has grown 69 percent since 2010, to nearly 3,900 students, the second largest college on campus after the College of Letters and Science.

Brett Gunnink, dean of engineering, 994-2272, coedeansoffice@montana.edu

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