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From left: Dr. Lewis Ntaimo, Sugar Barnes, Dr. John Hurtado, Dr. William Michael Barnes and Dr. Yu Ding.
The Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering dedication took place on Friday, Oct. 1, in the lobby of the Emerging Technologies Building. From left: Dr. Lewis Ntaimo, Sugar Barnes, Dr. John Hurtado, Dr. William Michael Barnes and Dr. Yu Ding. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering dedication took place on Friday, Oct. 1, in honor and recognition of Sugar and Mike Barnes and their endowment to the department.

“We are very grateful to Mike and Sugar Barnes for their generosity to our department,” said department head Dr. Lewis Ntaimo. “The opportunity to celebrate their generosity at the dedication ceremony with their family, our faculty and staff, and students made this event very special.”

In May 2020, Sugar and Mike Barnes established a major endowment of $10 million to support the now named industrial and systems engineering department.

Barnes was named a distinguished alumnus in 2016 by Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students for excellence in the profession of industrial and systems engineering and his contributions to the university.

This is the highest honor to be bestowed upon a former student, and only 306 Aggie graduates since 1962.

“There’s a clear obligation that comes with this [donation], that we continue to excel and prove our academic programs,” said Dr. Kem Bennett, senior professor of industrial and systems engineering. “This gift, while generous, to me has an obligation, and that is to continue to get better and better at what we do.”

Barnes received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering and his doctoral degree in operations research, all from Texas A&M. He was the second doctoral graduate from the industrial and systems engineering department in 1968. While he was a student, Barnes served as president of Alpha Pi Mu, and has been a member of Tau Beta Pi since 1964.

His family includes his wife, Sugar, son, Wm Bradley ’90, and two grandsons, Wm Alexander and Wm Luke.
 
“This support will help us attract and retain world-renowned faculty because they see Texas A&M as a place worthy of investment. It’s a place that encourages innovation and academic excellence,” said Dr. John Hurtado, interim dean of the College of Engineering. “They want to be a part of conducting cutting-edge research and educating students who will make a difference in our community, nation and world.”