Media Statement: Proposed Affiliation Between the Barnes Foundation and Saint Joseph’s University
The Barnes Foundation has filed a petition in Montgomery County Orphans’ Court requesting the Court’s approval of a long-term educational affiliation agreement with Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) that builds on the Barnes’s commitment to advancing appreciation of horticultural science, ensures the long-term preservation of the Barnes’s campus in Lower Merion Township, including its gallery and arboretum, utilizes SJU’s educational resources, and is consistent with the Barnes’s Indenture of Trust.
The proposed affiliation between the Barnes and SJU would further the common educational missions of both institutions, allow the use of the Gallery building by SJU for its fine arts program, enhance the Barnes’s existing horticulture education program with SJU’s educational resources, and broaden the educational experience for Barnes and SJU students. If the affiliation is approved, SJU will be the Barnes’s partner in the stewardship of the Merion campus, maintaining and investing in the property and buildings, which will be used for educational purposes. This affiliation would also enhance the use and enjoyment of the campus for the community and students, further activating it with educational programming.
Under the proposed affiliation, the Barnes will retain oversight responsibility for the Barnes Arboretum and its plant collections. The Barnes horticulture program will continue without interruption, including the issuing of Barnes horticulture certificates to those who complete the program requirements. SJU will initiate a process to create a new minor concentration of study in horticulture, and will offer academic credit for a selection of the Barnes’s horticulture courses.
The agreement has been filed with the Orphans’ Court, and the affiliation would only begin after receiving Court approval, along with any other necessary approvals. We look forward to sharing further details as they are finalized.