Commissioner Merceria Ludgood and Commissioner Connie Hudson are pictured with Barton Academy Foundation members, from left to right, Jaime Betbeze, Elizabeth Stevens, County Commissioners, former Superintendent Martha Peek, Lee Taylor and Fred Rendfrey of Downtown Mobile Alliance.
Mobile County Commission Gives Campaign Big Boost!
At its meeting on October 22 the Mobile County Commission approved a contract in the amount of $250,000 from its general fund to assist in funding the restoration and renovation of Barton Academy. Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies will occupy the historic building on Government Street and is expected to open in the fall of 2020.
“The Mobile County Commission is proud to support Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies. As the oldest public school in the State of Alabama, Barton Academy is a treasure for our community, and its restoration and renovation emphasize Mobile County’s commitment to education,” said Commission President Connie Hudson.
The Barton Academy Foundation is grateful to Commissioners Hudson, Merceria Ludgood and Jerry Carl for their support.
Why We Support Barton Academy
for Advanced World Studies
The Mobile County Board of School Commissioners and I are very committed to and excited about the opportunity to bring the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies to downtown Mobile. The academy will provide opportunities for our students to explore the world around them. It will also be an asset to downtown Mobile, where Barton’s Greek revival architecture has been a symbol of public education since the building first opened in 1836. We have been working with the architect on the interior plan, which will include state-of-the-art classrooms, and previously committed approximately $4 million to renovate the exterior of Barton. In addition, our Division of Academic Affairs has worked diligently on a plan to make the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies a one-of-a-kind school that the entire region will be proud to have.
Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies will engage its students in comparative studies of the United States to countries around the world. Learning will be enhanced through real-world experiences provided within Mobile’s international business community through partnerships with corporations, business leaders, colleges and universities, and
community arts organizations. The school will have rigorous entrance requirements, and students will have opportunities to earn high school credits while in the eighth grade and college credit while in ninth grade. We look forward to seeing Barton Academy graduates become leaders in international business, industry and institutions of higher learning in Mobile and throughout southwest Alabama.
John D. Peebles
Growing up in Mobile in the 1950’s and 60’s, I was distressed to see many gorgeous and impressive structures demolished. Not many people seemed particularly interested. This attitude gradually changed, thank God, and we have managed to preserve a great deal of our heritage. But we still suffer painful losses and, consequently, have to actively move to save our historic resources, rather than see them boarded up and “waiting” and perhaps eventually reduced to mere piles of smoking debris.
So it was with my feelings about Barton Academy, an iconic landmark not just for Mobile, but for the entire State of Alabama. We had waited too long for someone else to “do something.” I felt I had to be involved with the enterprise that actually got it done, that preserved and repurposed it back into what our antecedents had intended it to be: a magnificent tool in the progress and enhancement of the community. We would be small people indeed if we did not do all that we could to revive and restore the huge investment our ancestors made on our behalf.
My husband, Dan Cowart, was the founder and CEO of Aaron Oil Company, a leader in the recycling and reclamation of petroleum products. He passed away on December 13, 2016. Dan was a friend to all who knew him, remembered for his relentless sense of humor and profound understanding of the grace of Jesus which impacted every area of his life. As a product of the Mobile County Public Schools and as a lifelong learner, it was an honor for us to make a gift to the Barton Academy Foundation in his memory. The gift is part of our celebration of who Dan was as a giver and what we gained by knowing him.
Douglas L. Anderson
Partner, Burr & Forman LLP
Through personal time, talent and funding, Burr & Forman law firm supports numerous events and organizations for the greater good of communities like Mobile. Since we represent several international companies, like Airbus and Austal, the Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies immediately got our attention. We believe Barton Academy will provide an outstanding opportunity that will be open to all students in Mobile County, no matter their home address or family income. And we look forward to hiring a few of those high achieving students once they have acquired the globally-oriented education Barton Academy will provide.
Jazz under the Oaks
“Jazz under the Oaks,” held on Friday, November 9, brought out an unexpectedly large group of excited supporters of Barton
Academy for Advanced World Studies. Although it was a cold, rainy night, the Anne-Marie Cottage, now owned by Barton Academy Foundation Board member Stephen Carter and his wife Anne, was the perfect venue. Campaign Chairman John Peebles and his wife Allison chaired the event with the Carters. Architect Bill Hines, Facilities Contract Administrator for Mobile County Public Schools, gave candlelight tours of the building during the party, and the Excelsior band played throughout the evening.
The Barton Academy Foundation thanks the following vendors for their donations to the event: Cris Eddings of El Papi, Chuck’s Fish and Five; Mike Payne of Gwin’s, Jimmy Marston and Amy Baldwin of Gulf Distributing; Moet Hennessy/Southern National; SOHO Events and Rentals; Garden Express and Willow Bridge Lighting.
Thank you, supporters!
During 2018 donors have given and pledged over $1,300,000. We are very appreciative of this support. As tax year 2018 ends, we hope you will DONATE here or mail a check to Barton Academy Foundation, P. O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601. And remember that The Ben May Charitable Trust will match your gift!
Find a full list
of our donors here.
Download a pdf copy of our November 2018 Newsletter here.
Honor Your Ancestors with
a Gift to Barton Academy
Naming a room or space within Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies or a section of the original cast iron fencing is an excellent way to ensure that your family name remains a part of Mobile’s history. For as little as $1,000, you can have your nameor the name of a family member engraved on a permanent plaque.
Naming opportunities range from $10,000 (8’ fence section/$2,000 per year for 5 years) to $4,000,000 (Yerby Building). Other options include classroom spaces at $25,000 ($5000 per year payable over 5 years) and science labs at $250,000.
The complete list of remaining naming opportunities is available online here.
I honored my dad
Donor Daniel B. Sykes of Gretna, LA writes, “I wish to commend the Foundation for your excellent work. My father Daniel O. Sikes attended Barton from 1920 to 1924. He entered (I’m sure) on a probationary status, as he told me he had flunked the entrance exam. This was a turning point in his life. He graduated from Barton and went on to Auburn, earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.”
Double Your Contribution
The challenge grant from The Ben May Charitable Trust encourages contributions by matching donations and making it possible to double the effect of your gift. Multi-year pledges are accepted.
To make a gift click here. You may also mail a check to Barton Academy Foundation, P. O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601. All gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS.