Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Barbara Fried was one of just a handful of women in her class at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1950s, and she was described as a fierce advocate for the rights of disabled people before the Americans with Disabilities act was passed.

GCC President Janet Gullickson (l.) with Barbara Fried during dedication ceremonies at the Fried Center in Stafford County, Sept. 5.

Later, with her lawyer husband, she got into the real estate development business in Virginia’s Piedmont region, and they started sharing the fruits of their success.

A Fried family gift of $1 million helped Germanna Community College establish a permanent campus in Stafford County. So, when the college scheduled a ceremony to dedicate the Barbara J. Fried Center in early September, it was no surprise that a host of community and state dignitaries turned out to pay their respects.

The Frieds also helped establish the Great Expectations program across the Virginia Community College system. The program helps youth who have aged out of the foster-care system by providing mentoring and support so they can successfully graduate from college.

“Many of you know how hard it was — and is — to be a professional woman,” said GCC President Janet Gullickson. Addressing Fried directly, Gullickson, Germanna’s first woman president, continued, “I can only imagine how hard it was for you to do what you did. And for that, I just want to thank you.”

“Democracy doesn’t work without an educated public,” said Barbara Fried. “[My husband and I] both felt we had been given a great gift, and you give back.”

Saying she felt overwhelmed by all the love shown during the event, Mrs. Fried told a reporter for the Free Lance-Star, “I’m glad I had a little tissue. What’s being done here at Germanna is just terrific.”

The Fried Center is located in leased space near Stafford Hospital, and first opened for classes in June 2018. The center offers all of Germanna’s programs.

When a permanent Stafford campus is built for GCC, Barbara Fried’s name will follow to the new location.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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