Lee News

Did You Get Into Barnett’s Class?

Barnett's Class

There are no more awards to give Bob Barnett. When he arrived on the Lee campus in 1995 he had already twice won the faculty award at his previous institution, and the teacher of the year award, also twice. Three years after starting at Lee he was awarded the Excellence in Advising Award, and three years after that the Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2006 he was given the Janet Rahamut Award for exceptional commitment to students through interaction outside of the classroom. Then in 2012 Barnett became only the fourth person in Lee’s history to receive the title “Distinguished Professor.”

These student-centered decorations are hardly what you’d expect from a guy who grew up on the campus of U.C. Berkley and intentionally studied Russian revolutionary history at Texas Tech. But the fact is that a long time ago Bob Barnett departed ordinary space and took up residence somewhere closer to myth and legend for Lee students.

Well known for his long office hours and unmatched ability to make history come alive in the classroom, Bob is perhaps most celebrated for his dedication to students. “What really keeps me at Lee is that I love the students,” Barnett says. “Students at Lee are somehow different and I don’t know what it is. I mean, I really feel blessed.”

Every winter, students camp out hoping to secure a spot on Bob’s cross-cultural trip to Europe. Every May a graduating senior thanks Barnett for inspiring her to go on to graduate school. And every fall, freshmen stand in the registration line and hear upperclassmen repeat the question that has been asked for twenty years, “Did you get into Barnett’s class?”
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