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Darla Moore School of Business

Family provides scholarship to pay it forward

Dec. 2, 2019

Tom (’90 economics and management science) and Sharon Barnes created the Barnes Family Business Scholarship Endowment Fund in 2018 to to assist students with a financial need. Both Tom and Sharon Barnes paid their way through college and benefited from scholarships, grants and loans, so they wanted to help ease the financial burden for students in similar situations.

Covering one-fourth of the cost of tuition each semester, the scholarships help deserving undergraduate students majoring in management science, international business or finance.

Senior Kyle Alsop is a recipient of the Barnes Family Business Scholarship and said the award has given him some breathing room as he pays for his education.

A first-generation college student majoring in finance and operations and supply chain, Alsop chose to attend UofSC for its diverse student population and the Moore School’s renowned reputation.

“The Moore School has countless connections students could make while here to set themselves up for success,” Alsop said.  “The Moore School has challenged me by offering top-notch classes and professors who challenge you to think outside of the box to solve problems.”

Alsop, of Charlotte, North Carolina, said he chose finance for his  major because he became enamored with the stock market when he was in high school, and he’s always had a knack for math.

“I chose operations and supply chain as my second major because supply chain is everywhere in business, really everywhere,” he said. “I felt getting my degree in this as well as finance would give me one step ahead of the competition come graduation.”

The Barnes Family Business Scholarship is meant to encourage students like Alsop to finish their degrees and make a name for themselves in the business world, so “they will have an increased opportunity to succeed, help others in the future and make an impact in the world,” said Tom Barnes, who is on the board of directors for the Folks Center for International Business within the Moore School.

“While sitting on the Folks board, I have had the privilege of getting to know many great leaders within the Moore School and have participated in many conversations where it is clear that they care greatly about the students and want to do all they can to help students succeed,” he said. “I think the Moore School attracts and prepares great leaders. I want to ensure that if a student has the qualifications to be in such a great institution, they get the opportunity to attend and not be limited by financial constraints.”

He said he also wants to give back because the University of South Carolina thoroughly equipped him with the necessary skills when he was a student.

“South Carolina prepared me for a very rewarding career, and I believe it does an even better job of preparing students for life,” Tom Barnes said.

In 2018, Tom Barnes sold his global trade management software company, Integration Point, to Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information conglomerate. Tom Barnes is currently CEO of 319 Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Charlotte.

“I am one of the lucky people who actually used much of what I learned in school throughout my career,” he said.

The Moore School has become a legacy in the Barnes family as Ethan Barnes, Tom and Sharon Barnes’ son, is a sophomore this year majoring in international business and finance.

“I never pushed my son to go to the Moore School; he elected to do so due to their reputation and national rankings,” Tom Barnes said.

Like his son, Tom Barnes wants any deserving student to be able to make the same choice to attend the Moore School regardless of their financial situation — and for other alumni to consider supporting students.

“I have heard many examples of students limiting their career options due to financial constraints,” he said. “I would encourage any alumni who can to do their part in helping students achieve their full potential. I would also encourage any student currently concerned about paying their way through school to be resourceful and look for every way possible to make it happen.”


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