MSU's commencement ceremonies are scheduled for 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Barnard will receive the honorary doctorate during the 9 a.m. ceremony.
"We are delighted to honor Mr. Barnard with the highest commendation MSU confers," said MSU President Waded Cruzado. "He is a remarkable individual and very deserving of this recognition."
Barnard, 61, is a native of New Jersey and attended Villanova University, Gonzaga University's Gonzaga-in-Florence program in Italy, and Sophia University in Tokyo. He began working in construction during the summers at the age of 15, initially working for his father's construction company in New Jersey. Then, inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit he observed in his parents and lured by friends and opportunities to Montana, Barnard moved to the Big Sky state in 1975 to start his own construction business, Barnard Construction Company, Inc. According to the company's Web site, he received a $3,500 loan from his grandmother to cover his first bond on a $17,000 project. Since then, Barnard Construction has grown into Barnard Companies, a multi-million dollar heavy civil contractor with seven affiliated companies. Barnard Construction is now rated by Engineering News Record -- a leader in construction industry news and analysis -- as number 207 in the top 400 contractors in the United States, number 42 in the top 200 environmental contractors, and in the top 10 in six construction categories.
Barnard's involvement with MSU began in the late 1970s. He has established two scholarships in civil engineering and helped fund new faculty for the College's Construction Engineering Technology program. Barnard's company has also hired dozens of interns and graduates from MSU; approximately 40 MSU graduates are currently salaried employees at Barnard Construction, including seven of the 10 members of the company's executive management team.
Barnard has served on several community boards. He and his wife, Mary, also are known for their generous philanthropy to local organizations, including Eagle Mount-Bozeman, which offers therapeutic and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities; Family Promise of Gallatin County, which provides shelter and opportunities for homeless families; and Reach, Inc., which provides support for adults with developmental disabilities.
MSU annually confers doctorates on friends of the university to honor achievements and service to the state of Montana.
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Susan Fraser or Shari McCoy, (406) 994-2341