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Carol Ross Barney

Carol Ross Barney

Pioneering architect | Thomas Jefferson Award | Class of 1971

It’s times like these when Carol Ross Barney is reminded of her student activist days on campus in the 1960s.

“In September 1966, my first semester on campus, the U undertook an initiative to register more black students — it was called Project 500 — and I was proud to be in school when people were trying to achieve racial parity and justice,” says Barney (’71), principal designer at Ross Barney Architects. “I had a pretty activist group of friends who wanted to change the conversation — i.e. talk about race, not rush.

“On one Sunday night, a group of us ate at a local pizza parlor. We decided that we would run for the student senate on a platform of change. The idea gathered a lot of support and our ticket won overwhelmingly.

“At the first meeting of the new Student Senate, we abolished ourselves. A pretty radical step but it reflects the energy on campus at that tumultuous time.”