Bob Barnes, ’57

Corporate Development Officer

Bob Barnes, Class of 1957, is working as a corporate development officer.

Photo from Barnes

Bob Barnes, Class of 1957, is working as a corporate development officer.

Bob Barnes graduated from Clayton High School in 1957, a time filled with school spirit, letter jackets and soda fountains. After high school, Barnes attended DePaul University in Greencastle, Illinois, where he graduated as a liberal arts major in economics. He did his postgraduate work at Northwestern. Now he works as a corporate development officer for the company Fresh Ideas Food Service.

Barnes appreciated Clayton’s campus-like feel and rigorous courses and described it as being the first school in the nation to have this greater sense of freedom and maturity in a high school environment.

Although, looking back at his time at Clayton, Barnes wishes he could have indulged in the learning process, at the time he was more focused on athletics and social relationships with his peers. He was captain of the Clayton track team for four years, where he held a school record for the 440-yard dash for 35 years.

He also was on the football team for three years and the wrestling team for two. Many of his memorable high school experiences centered around social or athletic events.

“We used to go to the Depot, which is where the administration building is now. It was open on Friday nights,” Barnes said. “After football games, you’d go there and they had a soda fountain on the lower level and a fireplace and you could dance. The doors opened up onto the grass. When school was out, everyone would run to the Shaw Park pool on the last day of the school.”

Barnes’ experiences at Clayton impressed on him a sense of loyalty and pride for the school.

“I’m extremely proud that I went to Clayton. I was proud to be a greyhound, I was proud to wear my letter jacket. I still meet with my classmates quarterly. I think that speaks of the respect we have for friendships and the respect we have for maintaining those relationships,” Barnes said.

Barnes also loves that his three grandchildren have and continue to attend CHS.

“What is really cool is I get to relive my experience through [my grandchildren],” Barnes said. “I remember when my granddaughter wore my jacket. That jacket is 60 years old. I get to walk past my locker. I don’t know that many adults have that same connection.”