Dr. Bill Barrick, executive director of Bellingrath Gardens and Home, has been selected to receive 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.
Dr. Barrick received the award during a reception and dinner on April 16 at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center.
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.
Dr. Barrick earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in 1968 and a Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture in 1970.