Florida Surgeon Named Distinguished Alumnus by ABAC Alumni Association

Staff Report From Tifton CEO

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Dr. Glen Arthur Barden from Lakeland, Fla., has been selected as the 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient by the ABAC Alumni Association at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  This award is normally presented at the Alumni Awards Luncheon at Homecoming in April but the luncheon was postponed due to the pandemic. The event will be rescheduled, possibly during the fall term. 

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented annually in recognition of alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional achievement, community service and service to ABAC.  It is the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus by the Alumni Association.  It was first presented in 1969.

   A 1958 ABAC graduate, Barden completed his education at the University of Florida and the Emory University Medical School.  He finished an internship at Vanderbilt University in straight surgery and completed residencies at Vanderbilt in general surgery and at Duke University in orthopedic and hand surgery.  Barden served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1966-68.

Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Barden had a long career as an orthopedic surgeon in Lakeland, Fla.  He was the Managing Partner/CEO of the Watson Clinic and served on the Watson Clinic Foundation Board for 20 years.  He was the founder of the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, a clinic founded to help the medical needs of the working uninsured in Polk County.  The clinic assists an average of 8,000 patients a year.

Barden made nearly 20 medical mission trips as a volunteer with groups such as Samaritan’s Purse.  He traveled to Ethiopia for extensive medical mission work and has served multiple stints at a non-profit emergency field hospital in Iraq.

After retiring in 2008, Barden joined the faculty at the University of South Florida where he taught hand surgery.  Named Philanthropist of the Year for Lakeland in 2014, he is a former president of the medical staff of the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.  Barden has also supported the educational efforts of the ABAC Foundation for the past three decades.