Barlows make major gift to support Study Abroad

David Barlow, Bates College class of 1979, and his wife, Ann Barlow of Wellesley, Mass., have made a $1.5-million gift to support the experience of Bates students, faculty and alumni studying abroad, President Donald W. Harward announced.

“Bates students consider their study-abroad experience to be invaluable. When integrated with the hallmark academic rigor of the Bates campus experience, study abroad instills the international perspective required to negotiate the diverse intellectual demands of today’s rapidly changing world,” Harward said, referring to the nearly six of every 10 Bates students who study abroad during the course of their four years at Bates. Among America’s 3,400 colleges and universities, Bates ranks among the top 10 in the percentage of students who pursue international study. “We are enormously grateful to the Barlows for drawing on their own experiences to enrich the opportunities possible for students far into the future. Students will find their lives changed because of the Barlows’ generosity.”

The Barlow Endowment will generate at least $75,000 yearly for the purpose of study abroad. Coincidentally, it dovetails with the planned senior gift of the class of 2000, which hopes to raise $25,000 in an endowed fund to provide additional support for students away in their junior year. When the Barlow gift was announced to Bates senior class officers and their senior gift committee, “they responded with cheers,” said Vicky Devlin, vice president for development at Bates. “The Barlows’ gift is important on many levels,” Devlin said. “It strengthens the junior year abroad program; it signals the college’s commitment to global education; and it demonstrates leadership from a young alumnus.”

“Ann and I believe that younger alums should give back to their schools now rather than waiting for several years. This giving, be it time or any sum of money, allows you to directly participate in the institution’s mission. For those who have benefited by early business success, there are unlimited opportunities to meaningfully impact programs important to you,” Barlow said.

While at Bates, Barlow spent a transformational junior year at The University of Wales and traveled throughout Europe and North Africa. “The trains were my classroom,” he said. The experience “liberated my curiosity and ignited a hearty appetite for diversity and global citizenship.” He and his wife, Ann, who also spent her junior year of college abroad, hope that their gift will encourage “the connection of the study abroad experience to academic life and throughout adulthood. It affects how you view the world and experience other cultures,” Barlow said.

Their gift establishes the David S. and Ann M. Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad. Beginning with a pilot phase, the fund will support three initiatives at Bates. The Barlows Fellows Program will enable up to 10 Barlow Fellows to work with faculty advisers to develop a study abroad plan, including courses that might be taken prior to departure; pursue additional travel while abroad; and undertake activities that augment the experience upon their return to Bates. Faculty advisers also will have access to funds.

In addition, the Barlow Endowment will support specific areas of the study abroad sequence, including senior thesis research, internships and employment, and faculty travel to sites and programs frequently used by Bates students. The Barlow funds will also provide support for students’ return to Bates, such as study abroad fairs, winter semester photography exhibits and speakers bureaus, providing returning students the opportunity to share their experiences with the college community as well as children and teachers in area public schools. “Study-abroad students have the potential to enrich the campus when they return,” said Stephen Sawyer, associate dean of students. “The Barlow Endowment will help Bates realize this potential by integrating these experiences with the academic and social life on campus.”

Finally, the Barlow Endowment hopes to invest in the learning experiences of alumni through alumni study abroad symposia and grants for study abroad consistent with educational and professional goals.

David Barlow has had a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry. Beginning in Eastern Europe, he then worked for Pfizer Inc. before spearheading the turnaround of Rhône-Poulenc Rorer’s global Armour pharmaceutical division. Barlow then joined Sepracor in 1993 where, as general manger, then president, of pharmaceuticals, he played a key role in Sepracor’s growth into a fully integrated pharmaceutical company. Having left Sepracor in late 1999, Barlow is the president of Black Diamond Capital, a private investment firm. He is also chairman of the board of Pan Pacific Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Biostream Inc., both rapidly emerging private healthcare companies, along with being a board member of two public companies, Enzon Inc. and Hemasure Inc.

Ann Barlow, a graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent, has an M.B.A. from Rutgers University and is involved in several projects concerning education for children.

The Barlows have also recently endowed the David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professorship in Management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, from which Barlow is a 1985 M.B.A. graduate.

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