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Gift from McRae Fund Moves Fundraising Goal to Last Million

    A recent grant of $250,000 from the Wayne Denson McRae Memorial Fund leaves the fundraising goal for Barton Academy at slightly less than $1 million. “We are grateful for the generous support of the community over the past few years and are thrilled our $10 million goal is now down to the last million,” Elizabeth Stevens, president of the Barton Academy Foundation, stated. “It’s taken a lot of time and hard work to get to this point, but it’s very exciting to think about students attending Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies as early as fall of 2021!”
    The grant from the McRae Fund, which is held by the Community Foundation of South Alabama, will fund a unique “classroom” where students will be able to learn while outside in the Wayne Denson McRae Outdoor Learning Center. The McRae Center will be located near the cafeteria and incorporate the area under a large oak tree on the schoolyard.
    A flexible area, the center will contain both permanent and movable furniture. Teachers will be able to bring rolling carts to the area from the building for various educational, art, drama and music activities.
    Wayne McRae was a former city architect with a strong interest in historic architecture and renovation, according to Irving Silver, who chairs the fund’s advisory committee. Silver said saving Barton Academy’s Greek Revival structure would have been something McRae supported but also said he and the other members of the committee were swayed by the plan Mobile County Public Schools put together for Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies.
    “I wasn’t initially enamored with the idea of fixing up Barton Academy just to have a fixed-up building,” Silver said. “However, our committee met with the Barton Academy Foundation, and we were very impressed with the goal and purpose for the building, which would create a unique learning environment for children throughout Mobile County.”
    The Barton Academy Foundation has received 450 gifts ranging from $25 to $1,270,000 thus far. Help us raise the last million! Click here to donate. Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS.

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With your help Barton Academy for Advanced

World Studies can welcome students in 2021.

What will this new school be like?

    Why does Mobile need an academy focused on world studies? Twentieth-century assumptions about the world are rapidly becoming obsolete. Globalization and the digital revolution demand a new kind of education. Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies, a signature academy of Mobile County Public Schools, is a direct response to the vital role international companies and global commerce play in Mobile’s economy. The school will have approximately 300 students in grades 6-9 and prepare students for college success and leadership in an interconnected world.
    MCPSS describes BAAWS as “a distinctive school which draws on the diversity of its student body and staff to provide students with curricular and extra-curricular experiences that prepare them for success and fulfillment in a competitive world.” In support of students’ achieving the very highest level of academic experience, MCPSS sets these goals, among other, for the new Barton:

  • Deliver world-class, bilingual education programs that are intellectually rigorous, clear and consistent.

  • Provide rigorous STEM courses – science, technology and mathematics.

  • Provide quality fine arts instruction to support performance-based evaluations.

  • Inspire students to love learning, become self-confident and have pride in their cultural identity.

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Remembering Bill Hines, Barton project manager for MCPSS

Bill's attention to quality and detail will ensure that many more generations of Mobile students will enjoy the beauty and heritage of Barton Academy.

    The Barton Academy Foundation Board of Directors joins the Mobile County Public Schools family in noting the untimely death of MCPSS contract
administrator and architect Bill Hines. Bill lost his race against leukemia in June, just months before construction is expected to begin on interior renovations of Barton Academy. Bill once texted from the hospital in Houston, TX, “I’ll look forward to getting back to Mobile for many reasons but work on Barton will be near the top of that list!!”
    Bill received his bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1983 and his bachelor’s degree in environmental design in 1982 at Auburn.
    Louis Anderson, director of facilities and maintenance at MCPSS says of Bill, “He was highly respected by managers and employees throughout the entire system. His contributions to MCPSS during his seven years of dedicated and selfless service were many and varied. In addition, his solid dedication to service and his devotion to ethics and integrity made him a team leader unlike any other.”
    Former MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek describes Bill as “a kind and gentle soul, a true gentleman, a loyal friend and a dedicated professional.”
    Bill oversaw a number of MCPSS projects, two of which are of note and historical significance: He was the lead project manager and consulting architect for both the restoration of Murphy High School after the tornado and of Barton Academy. Working closely with architect Nick Holmes, Bill was thrilled to see the progress made by the Barton Academy Foundation in raising the needed funds to complete the Barton project. He was always happy to lead tours through the old building and to brag about the historically accurate exterior renovation.
    If you would like to make a gift in memory of Bill, please click here.

Thank you, supporters!

We appreciate your support in bringing us closer than ever our goal! DONATE here or mail a check to Barton Academy Foundation, P. O. Box 571, Mobile, AL 36601. To make a gift of stock or other assets, email Foundation treasurer Denise Browning at

Find a full list of

our donors here.

Upcoming Events
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Dining on Dauphin.png

    On October 24th, three outstanding restaurants will host “Dining on Dauphin,” in downtown’s historic arts and entertainment district. NoJa, Noble South and Southern National have named Barton Academy the beneficiary of this first-ever event, which will feature a four-coursedinner accompanied with wines. Enjoy a special evening outdoors while experiencing Mobile’s great cuisine and helping a great cause! Find out more here.

Event is expected to be a quick sellout.

Before Party coming soon!
    Watch for news about a “Barton Before” party in historic Barton Academy! Donors will be invited to celebrate our fundraising progress and tour the school before the renovation. This will be your last chance to see inside before construction begins. If you are not a donor, please click here and
become one today!



Download a pdf copy of our

September 2019 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 name or 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.

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.

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