Sister Schubert’s founder makes

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 9, 2001

$300,000 donation to TSU

Staff Report

Feb. 8, 2001 10 PM

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A fund-raising campaign to renovate the home of Troy State University’s Sorrell College of Business has received a big boost as Patricia Barnes, founder and vice president of Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls, has donated $300,000 to the cause.

Thomas Ratcliffe, dean of the Sorrell College of Business, announced the donation on Feb. 7 during Barnes’ visit to campus to speak at a convocation of business students and faculty. The donation, which will be paid over three years, will be used to help pay for the renovation of Bibb Graves Hall, which houses the College of Business.

"We have upgraded the academic programs offered through the college; we have earned specialized accreditation for our college; we have extended the availability of our programs using Internet technology and, now, it is time for us to upgrade the physical facilities where our on-campus students learn," Ratcliffe said.

"The Sorrell College of Business is indebted to ‘Sister Schubert’ for her major contribution that will help us continue providing excellence in academics."

The renovation plan for Bibb Graves Hall calls for modernizing the interior, while preserving the exterior of the building, which was build in 1929 and is the oldest on campus. Ratcliffe said the work will also include a technology upgrade.

Now, based in Luverne, Sister Schubert’s Homemade Rolls operates a 57,000-square-foot bakery, producing more than 1.5 million rolls per day and shipping to thousands of stores nationwide.

The company was purchased by Lancaster Colony, a specialty-foods corporation based in Columbus, Ohio, in September 2000, but got its start in a Troy church.

In early 1992, Barnes opened her business with three employees and surplus equipment in her Troy home.

In her remarks, Barnes challenged TSU students to have faith in their ideas.

"Go out there, find your niche and fill it," Barnes said. "If you have the willingness to try your ideas, believe in yourself and have faith to make it happen, you can do anything you want in this world."

Barnes, a Troy native, is a member of the Business Advisory Council for TSU’s Sorrell College of Business. She also serves as a member of the board of directors of the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame at Judson College.