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Barry University Receives $1.25 Million for Sister O’Laughlin Scholarship Fund
Trish and Dan Bell

By Gina Margillo, Communications Manager, Barry University

June 24, 2022, Miami, Florida – Barry University announced that longtime supporters Trish and Dan Bell have committed $1.25 million to the Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin Scholarship Fund. Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, OP, PhD, was the fifth President of Barry University from 1981 to 2004. She led Barry through a time of unprecedented growth. 

Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, OP, PhD
Sister Jeanne O'Laughlin, OP, PhD

The gift will provide financial support for students who embody Sister Jeanne’s legacy of academic success and service to community.

Since the Bells and other donors established the Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin Scholarship in 2004, more than 100 students have received support. This gift will extend the support to up to 20 additional students, ensuring that cost never prevents promising students from achieving their dreams. 

“The Bells’ generous gift will transform lives,” said Dr. Mike Allen, President of Barry University. “At Barry, we proudly serve students who are immensely qualified and determined, but also among the most financially needy in our communities, and many are the first in their families to attend college. With this gift, we will be able to educate even more students who will graduate Barry and succeed professionally but also work to make a positive difference in the world.”

Based in Coral Gables, the Bells have been engaged leaders and philanthropists in South Florida for more than 20 years. Their active commitment to service and philanthropy includes leading the effort to establish the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; supporting the building of a non-denominational chapel at Florida International University; and serving as the principal financial supporters and advisors of Branches, a multi-site organization supporting underserved youth and their families for 17 years.  

Their giving has focused on supporting underserved communities, particularly in the areas of education and the cultural arts. The Bells’ generosity through this gift directly supports students who demonstrate Barry University’s core commitments of working toward social justice, inclusivity, and giving back to one’s community.

On their gift, the Bells state, “Supporting this scholarship fund, named for our dear and highly respected friend, Sister Jeanne, particularly appeals to us because it, hopefully, will enable the recipients to reach their full potential. It brings us much joy to support Barry University in this way.”

The Bells have been widely recognized for their impact and generosity, receiving awards such as the Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. Humanitarian Award, Miami-Dade's Outstanding Philanthropists, and the Miami Conference of Christians and Jews’ Silver Medallion Humanitarian Award.

Feature photo at top: Trish and Dan Bell donated $1.25 million to the Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin Scholarship Fund for students in need who embody Sister Jeanne’s legacy of academic excellence and service to community. Photo courtesy of Barry University Office of Communications.

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