Marianne Barnes, a professor in Foundations and Secondary Education who has been on the faculty since 1976, and Lehman Barnes, a part-time faculty member who has worked on grants and projects since 1990, have experienced the difference that scholarships can make.
She has worked with numerous students who have benefited from scholarships. As a young man, Lehman Barnes needed a scholarship to attend college because he had the smarts but lacked the finances. “That helped make it possible for me to go to college,” he said of the scholarship he received. For him, scholarships are also a form of positive reinforcement. “Whoever provides scholarships is saying to you, ‘Hey, you can do it.’ They are nudging you to do it.”
In addition to funding an endowed scholarship to help future and current science teachers who need a hand to make their college dreams come true, the Barneses plan to leave a portion of their estate to UNF to fund more science education.
“This is a tremendous commitment to the University at a time when we need more teachers in the profession,” said Dr. Pierre Allaire, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Endowed scholarships are so important because they are available to the students year after year. And the fact they have included UNF in their estate plans is special.”
The Barneses work with students who want to become science teachers, particularly in middle school and high school. Marianne's father, a scientist who supported her through many science fairs, encouraged her interest in science.
“We just feel it would be appropriate to give something back to the University and help someone,”Marianne Barnes said when asked about the motivation for the gift. “It's a good feeling. This has been and continues to be a wonderful career.”
Lehman Barnes calls science education his “life and livelihood.” He and Marianne Barnes want to be available to the scholarship recipients for academic questions and questions about life.
He is a consultant for Big Brothers–Big Sisters and Community in Schools. “I lost my father as a senior in high school. I always had an adult mentor as I grew up. I am very much into mentoring, as all adults who have the time and energy should be,” he said. “If this [making the gift] nudges one person to be a mentor or contribute some scholarship money, that would be wonderful,” Lehman Barnes said.