The Acacia Project

Place matters. The mountains, the redwoods, the flora and fauna, the Pacific in the distance, San Francisco across the bridge—these are our roots. We’re not simply in San Rafael—we’re of San Rafael. As Marin County’s only university, we’re a neighbor, a civic partner and a community resource.


The Acacia Project allows us to make thoughtful, crucial adjustments to our physical campus, taking into consideration our impact on the natural environment and the surrounding neighborhood. 

The project is guided by a number of key principles: We want to make the campus more pedestrian-friendly. We want to thoughtfully address transportation flow. We want to bring our teaching and learning spaces in alignment with contemporary needs. We want to create more community space. We want to incorporate sustainability into all of our work.

A few key features:

  • The development of an academic core. A strategic rethinking of how our academic programs relate to each other and to the campus at large. A celebration of the intellectual life of Dominican. 
  • The reimagining of residential life. We’ll develop a holistic, integrated residential experience, at once a comforting home and a dynamic community.
  • The renovation of Bertrand Hall, which will become Barowsky Hall. The home of the Barowsky School of Business—a symbol of what we’re capable of when we come together.
The result will be a campus that feels warm and welcoming, intuitive and inspiring—that feels, in other words, like the heart of Dominican.


We can rightly claim to have one of the most beautiful campuses in American higher education. Our job is to locate—and make visible—the heart of this astonishing setting. We want a coherent, high-functioning, intellectually stimulating campus that provides space for engaged learning, celebrates our heritage, and—as so many members of our community have suggested—brings the beauty of the outside in.

— Mary B. Marcy, President

Dominican is part of the fabric of Marin County. I see students and faculty engaging with our community. I see graduates of Dominican becoming leaders, locally and globally. There’s such a strong bond between Dominican and Marin—a bond of trust, and pride, and support. Dominican is an incomparable resource in an incomparable place. 
— Mary Jane Burke ’74, Marin County Superintendent of Schools