Bellingrath Gardens and Home Executive Director receives Outstanding Alumni Award from Auburn University’s College of Agriculture
From Bellingrath Gardens Director of Marketing and Public Relations. Sally Ericson, comes the following story of the latest honor for Dr. Bill Barrick, executive director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home:
On April 16, Dr. Barrick received the Auburn University College of Agriculture’s Outstanding Alumni Award for the Horticulture Program. The award recognizes Auburn University College of Agriculture graduates who have made a significant contribution to their professions and have a record of outstanding personal and professional accomplishments.
Ericson reported that this is the second major honor for Dr. Barrick in 2015. In March, he was selected to receive the American Horticultural Society’s Liberty Hyde Bailey Award, given to an individual who has made significant lifetime contributions to at least three horticultural fields. At Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Dr. Barrick manages the 65-acre historic estate and serves as a trustee for the Bellingrath Morse Foundation, the estate of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath.
Under his direction, the gardens and home have become a major tourist destination on the Gulf Coast, attracting more than 125,000 visitors annually. His initiatives include the redesign of the annual Magic Christmas in Lights display, which will mark its 20th anniversary this year. In December 2014, USA Today included Bellingrath Gardens and Home’s Magic Christmas in Lights in their list of the “10 Best Public Light Displays in America.”
Dr. Barrick has been Bellingrath’s Executive Director since 1999. Before that, he was Executive Vice President and Director of Gardens at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., for nearly twenty years. He earned two degrees from Auburn University: A Bachelor of Science in 1968 and a Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture in 1970.
The College of Agriculture honored nine alumni with the awards. The recipients were nominated by departments and units within the College of Agriculture, and the final selection was made by a committee that included the dean, associate deans, department heads and unit directors.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home is operated by the Bellingrath Gardens and Home Foundation, a charitable, not-for-profit organization. Bellingrath Gardens and Home is dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the 65-acre garden and estate home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. For more information, visit www.bellingrath.org or call 251.973.2217.