Dr. Beth Allison Barr Awarded James Vardaman Endowed Professorship

January 16, 2023
woman smiling in front of wooden door


Dr. Beth Allison Barr has been named the James Vardaman Endowed Professor. An endowed professorship is one supported by an endowed fund, and the income from the fund is made available to its holder to support research, teaching, and/or service activities. Endowed professorships enable faculty the flexibility to pursue innovative ideas. This particular endowed professorship was established to honor the legacy of Dr. James W. Vardaman, a beloved history professor at Baylor who instilled a love of history in thousands of students during his 33-year tenure.

Dr. Barr, who has been a faculty member at Baylor since 2003, is an accomplished scholar and author. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and specializes in the history of women, gender, and religion in medieval Europe. She has published several books, including The Pastoral Care of Women in Late Medieval England and The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, the latter of which has received widespread acclaim.

In addition to her scholarship, Dr. Barr is a dedicated teacher and mentor to her students. She is known for her engaging lectures, her commitment to student success, and her efforts to create a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment. She has served Baylor in a number of ways, including as Graduate Program Director in History, as Associate Dean in the Baylor Graduate School, and as Faculty-in-Residence in Allen/Dawson Residential Hall.

Upon receiving the James Vardaman Endowed Professorship, Dr. Barr expressed her gratitude and pride in being part of Dr. Vardaman's legacy. She said,

“Receiving the James Vardaman Endowed Professorship is the greatest honor of my academic career. Jim Vardaman exemplifies what I strive to be as a professor at Baylor. His presence in the History department when I was an undergraduate student, as well as his sister’s presence in the English department, significantly impacted the trajectory of my life. I, like so many hundreds of students, am better because of the Vardaman family. I am so grateful and so proud to be a part of Jim Vardaman’s continuing legacy.”