With Saint Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, I wanted to focus on the legacy of the shamrock. More specifically, I wanted to share some history about the Barber National Institute shamrock.
We all know that the shamrock is the familiar emblem of Irish culture. Often, I have been asked, “Do you have a shamrock for your emblem because the Barber Family is Irish?” While we do come from an Irish heritage, the shamrock truly has a meaning that extends beyond just our lineage.
I recall sitting with Dr. Barber as she explained her concept of the shamrock to artist Frank Fecko. Each of the three leaves has significance: faith, hope, and love.
Through faith, hope, and love, we can reimagine the opportunities available to people with disabilities and their families. We can build bridges and break down barriers. We can help create a brighter future for those who want to be seen, heard, and respected for their valuable contributions.
Dr. Barber’s dream for better lives for children and adults with disabilities could have remained a dream, but in fact became a reality because of the continued support of our staff, the Erie Community, and an ever-expanding group of stakeholders. This is where the shamrock’s stem comes in. It represents our community of supporters, our children and adults, families, staff, and friends. Frank used Dr. Barber’s guidance to design our shamrock, an emblem we have used every day since!
Today, the shamrock endures as our promise to future generations that the Barber National Institute will continue our commitment to serving children and adults with disabilities and their families. It’s comforting to think that we will continue to see this “lucky” green symbol for decades to come!