Barnett learned this week that, based on her lifetime of educational leadership, she had been voted into the University of Mississippi School of Education Alumni Hall of Fame. She earned both her Master of Business Education degree and Ph.D. at Ole Miss. At the time, she was the youngest person earning a doctorate from the university.
“We are honored you are an alum of Ole Miss who has shown such significant, impactful leadership throughout your career,” Billy Crews, development officer of the University of Mississippi School of Education, said in a letter to Barnett. He added that her leadership “has reflected so well on you, our university and the field of education.”
Barnett is serving her 26st year as WWU president. It is an institution to which she has devoted her life, having previously spent 17 years as professor/department chair and vice president. She is the only president to have been named from within the institution, and WWU’s only woman president in its 146-year history. She has led the way as the institution has achieved multi-year significant enrollment increases, academic program expansion, cooperative educational opportunities and sustained fiscal strength.
Under her guidance, William Woods has evolved from a small, single-campus, rural women’s college with approximately 500 students into a state-wide, co-educational university with three permanent sites serving approximately 3,500 students who represent most states and many foreign countries.