Remembering Peggy Barr

Margaret (Peggy) Joyce Barr (born June 20, 1940) died Thursday evening at her home in Evanston, Ill. following a long illness.

Ms. Barr was a leader in higher education student affairs. She served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Northwestern University from 1992 until she retired in 2000. Previously, she was vice chancellor for student affairs at Texas Christian University (1985-1992), VP student affairs at Northern Illinois University (1982-1985), assistant VP student affairs at Northern Illinois University (1980-82), associate dean of students at the University of Texas at Austin (1979-1980), and assistant dean of students at the University of Texas at Austin (1971-1979). Her early career included various student affairs positions at Trenton State College and the State University of New York at Binghamton. Post retirement, Ms. Barr worked as a consultant for higher education institutions, as a senior fellow with Eduventures and Epigieum Ltd. in London. 

She was active in leadership roles with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) receiving numerous national awards including Outstanding Contribution to Literature and Research (1986), Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award (2000), Pillar of the Profession (2000) and Distinguished Achievement Award (2012) from the NASPA Foundation. 

Ms. Barr was also active in the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) serving as president (1983-1984). Her contributions were recognized with several awards including Senior Scholar (1986-1991), Professional Service Award (1991) and the Contribution to Knowledge Award (1990). Ms. Barr was also a member of the National Vice Presidents Group from 1985 until her retirement.

She is the author or editor of several student affairs books including: Making Change Happen in Student Affairs with George McClellan and Arthur Sandeen (2014), Budgets and Financial Management in Higher Education (2011) with George McClellan, Critical Issues for Student Affairs: Challenge and Opportunities with Arthur Sandeen (2006), and An Academic Manager’s Guide to Budgets and Financial Management(2002). She was the editor of A Handbook for Student Affairs Administration (1993), senior editor of the second edition of A Handbook for Student Affairs Administration (2000) with Mary Desler, coeditor of New Futures for Student Affairs with M. Lee Upcraft (1990), Student Services and the Law (1988) and Developing Effective Student Service Programs with L. Keating (1985). In addition, she served as editor-in-chief of the monograph series New Directions for Student Services (1986-1998). In addition, she has over twenty book chapters and juried articles as part of her publication record. 

Ms. Barr received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the State University College at Buffalo (1961), a master’s degree in college student personnel from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (1963), and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin (1980). She was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany in 1986. 

Since retirement she has been active with the Evanston Woman’s Board of the Northwestern University Settlement Association serving on the Board of Directors. She previously volunteered at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Chicago, Ill.), the Youth Job Center Board of Directors (Evanston, Ill.) and Campfire Boys and Girls - Board of Directors (Fort Worth, Tx.). 

She loved knitting, collecting pottery, reading and crossword puzzles and was a formidable Scrabble player.  

Peggy was born in Corsica, Penn, the youngest of three. She is predeceased by her parents William and Cordelia (Sell) Barr, her siblings Constance (Honeck) and Gary; and nephew John Honeck. 

Her quick wit and loving advice will be missed by her family including nephews Brian Barr and Thomas Honeck; niece Suzanne Grant; great nephews Hayden Grant and Liam Honeck; and great nieces Megan and Kate Honeck — as well as her many dear friends and colleagues across the country.  

A memorial service will take place on Wednesday, June 13 at 4 p.m. in the Alice Millar chapel on the campus of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.  

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Northwestern Settlement House.