MURFREESBORO — Murfreesboro firearms manufacturer Ronnie Barrett is the latest recipient of the Joe M. Rodgers Spirit of America Award from Middle Tennessee State University.
The Jennings A. Jones College of Business presents that award annually “to a businessman who has demonstrated the best of the spirit of America through significant contributions in government, education, and/or civic and charitable organizations.”
Barrett was presented the award by College of Business Dean Jim Burton during the annual College of Business Award Reception in mid-April. Barrett is the 14th recipient of the award.
Barrett is the founder and CEO of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc., located in Murfreesboro and most famously known as the maker of the .50-caliber rifle. A native of Murfreesboro, Barrett built his company into a multi-million-dollar business that serves all branches of the U.S. military as well as over 73 different governments.
Past recipients of the award include: Chris Karbowiak, Charlie Daniels, John R. Ingram, Joel C. Gordon, Jack O. Bovender Jr., Andrea Loughry, Gov. Winfield Dunn, Tommy Smith, Bud Wendell, Jack Vaughn, Aubrey B. Harwell Jr., Bob Corker and Marvin Runyon.
The award was established in honor of former U.S. Ambassador to France Joe Rodgers, who was the inaugural chairholder of the Jennings A. Jones Chair of Excellence in Free Enterprise.