Barnard alumnae are leaders in their families, communities, and professional fields. Volunteer leaders in the Alumnae Association help to cement the bonds among alumnae and the bond between alumnae and the College. In this vein, Barnard Bonds profiles AABC volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to Barnard. To nominate an alumna to be profiled, please email her name and class year to email@example.com.
Interviews administered and edited by Barbara Ballinger ’71.
Edited by Barbara Ballinger ’71
Outgoing AABC President Terry Newman ’79 has spent the last three years leading the Alumnae Association and working diligently to engage the Barnard community about professional development, fundraising, and much more.
In this interview, she discusses what she learned during her tenure, her career as an executive coach, and what to expect from Barnard going forward.
I grew up in Fairfield, CT, a suburban town that was fairly removed from NYC when I grew up but now has a large commuter population. I live in Stamford, CT, an urban residential diverse city of 125,000 with wonderful parks, restaurants, theaters, and a fun downtown.
I worked for 28 years primarily in institutional asset management where I managed sales, client service, and marketing teams including as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. I also worked at Bankers Trust and started my career at Instinet, a computer network that allowed institutions to trade stocks anonymously. It was the original FinTech company!
Five years ago, I became certified as an Executive Coach and founded Newman Management Consulting where I advise and coach leaders and teams to achieve greater impact in their roles. I also develop and run customized workshops and leadership retreats. My areas of expertise include coaching leadership teams, high potential women leaders, technical teams and global, multicultural teams. The Treasury and Syndications unit with IFC, part of The World Bank Group, is my largest client; staff comes from 54 countries.
One of my proudest accomplishments was creating a $100,000 AABC Scholarship Fund by using $50,000 from a dormant AABC bank account as a match for $50,000 raised from 30 alumnae leaders who served on the board with me.
Another accomplishment, steered primarily by the Alumnae Website Advisory Committee (AWAC), under the leadership of Anastasia Andrzejewski ’97 and many dedicated alumnae, was the creation and launch of our terrific new alumnae website, Our Barnard (our.barnard.edu).
Also, I also worked hard with Rochelle Cooper ’84, Chair of the Professional Leadership Development Committee (PLDC), to reinvigorate its role as a programming committee holding storytelling, networking, and negotiation events attended by several hundred alumnae across a wide range of ages. A Women on Boards event planned in partnership with [law firm] Debevoise & Plimpton was cancelled due to weather but is now planned for September.
Finally, Lisa Lin ’98, Chair of the Nominating Committee, undertook the opening of the nomination process to alumnae volunteer leaders and introduced a competitive election for some positions. This resulted in a more transparent, robust election that engaged more alumnae.
Overall, I am proudest of increased virtual and in-person engagement with alumnae at regional events and those on campus such as a record-breaking attendance at reunion of 1,500.
I learned how many complex nuanced issues the college and the Board of Trustees have to grapple with including deciding upon an admissions policy for transgender students, negotiations with contingent faculty, and changing the endowment investment policy to exclude companies that deny climate change.
In both areas, my role was limited. With regard to the Presidential search process, I suggested that the listening sessions with the search committee be web-cast so that alumnae outside the tri-state region or those who couldn’t be there in person could still participate. I also spoke with Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald ’81, Chair of Barnard's Board of Trustees, to recommend names of alumnae who should be considered for the search committee and those who had expressed interest in serving on the committee.
It had not been a goal to become President of the Alumnae Association, but I had been a volunteer for many years primarily as Fund Chair for my class and as a member of Leadership Committee. One of my classmates nominated me for Vice President; it was the ideal platform to learn more about the AABC and its board and to participate in several committees including Reunion, Leadership Assembly, Annual Giving, and Awards.
After my term as Vice President, I was nominated for President and I had more time in my life to take on the role. My first volunteer activity was offering a Barnard student an internship when I worked at Bankers Trust back in the early 1990’s.
Attend an event either on campus or in your region. Explore the Our Barnard alumnae website to watch a taped lecture or event and give on Giving Day because every gift counts. For alumnae in NYC, there is a Young Alumnae Committee and there are regional clubs throughout the country and around the globe that could benefit from your participation, energy, and ideas. Finally, volunteer to be a Barnard Alumnae Admissions Representative (BAAR) to interview prospective students.
Students today are under more pressure than I think many of us experienced partially due to the cost of college, perhaps too many commitments to extracurricular activities, and maybe a more globally competitive, socially connected world. On the positive side, I learned that our students and young alumnae are more engaged with the College and their fellow alumnae in a way that my generation wasn’t. More than 170 alumnae from the class of ’07 attended Reunion.
I also learned that there are more student traditions that help them develop a Barnard identity such as the Midnight Breakfast and Convocation. Finally, Barnard students now start giving back as seniors by participating in the Senior Fund, which starts many on a path of giving back to Barnard once they are alumnae.
I have one more year as an Alumnae Trustee where I serve on the Development, Campus Life, and Budget & Finance Committees. In my role as Alumnae Trustee, I look forward to helping support The Bold Standard capital campaign and introducing Sian Beilock, Barnard’s new president to our alumnae through creative programming. Additionally, I have one more year of service on the AABC Board where my key role will be to support Jyoti Menon ’01 as the new AABC President.
Meredith Nevins Mayer ’47, President of the Class of 1947, grew up "in a house on 147th street with a heterogeneous bunch of kids," and then in Bronxville, NY, which she "did not like very much." While at Barnard, she majored in European History and minored in English.
In this interview, she discusses staying active as an artist, why she remains engaged with Barnard, and attending her 70th Reunion.
I work at a printmakers’ studio—Manhattan Graphics Center—two or three days a week. It's a great place, which I helped to found. I was teaching art at Fieldston (a private school in New York City) and wanted to teach silk-screen printing. I took classes at a place that was about to fold and got involved there. I'm also a practicing artist; I enter shows but don't pursue selling my art. Teaching took most of my energy, and I also have three children and a husband.
Barnard broadened my interests and my ambition; it built my self-confidence as well as my horizons.
There is probably no overall lesson from Barnard I learned, but I would say it has helped me remain curious about almost everything.
Working for Barnard is a way to keep in touch with the stimulation you received in college--as well as repaying a debt. For me that debt was huge--a Columbia professor’s daughter who paid no tuition. Everyone gains satisfaction from working for a vital cause, and what is more vital than helping students gain a first-rate education?
As class president I have been helping in a very minor way--primarily, urging attendance.
In my spring letter to classmates, I stressed the uniqueness of the occasion, and I wrote that it would mean a great deal to other class members if you come. You can also see what's Barnard like now by attending lectures.
Edited by Barbara Ballinger ’71
Adi (Adrienne) Serbaroli ’02, Bylaws and Governance Chair of the AABC and leader of the Barnard Club of Louisiana, grew up in Munich, Germany and Yonkers, New York. While at Barnard, she majored in Political Science.
In this interview, Adi discusses staying involved with Barnard from a distance, how the College prepared her for the Marine Corps, and her involvement with the running community in New Orleans.
I am a captain and judge advocate (attorney) in the Marine Corps.
While the rigorous military training required to become a Marine has just about nothing to do with what I experienced at Barnard, I believe that the support and confidence Barnard gave me during those four years provided me the moral and physical courage I needed to lead Marines.
Since graduation, I’ve served as a Barnard Alumnae Admissions Representative, and as such have interviewed dozens of prospective students in Rhode Island, Virginia, D.C., California, and Louisiana, depending on where I lived. Last year I became the Chair of the Bylaws Committee on the AABC, and I am also currently leading the Barnard Regional Club of Louisiana.
I feel at home with people associated with Barnard, and more than ever I appreciate what we have at Barnard – diversity, open-mindedness, compassion, intellect, curiosity, purpose, and a strong sense of community among women who possess these attributes.
I believe a willingness to work as part of a team to accomplish a shared mission is certainly something that I practice every day as a Marine, and is the point of being involved with the AABC as well.
Life is going to be filled with challenges, and at times you’re going to be faced with what might feel like failure. However, failure is an excellent teacher. Don’t be scared of it; just keep practicing moving forward in the face of it because ultimately your efforts will lead to success.
Wherever you live, chances are there are some Barnard women in your area, getting together from time to time. Find out how to get in contact with them, and join in. Or, if there is no established group in your area, call Barnard Alumnae Relations, and the staff will work with you to start something. It’s not as hard as it seems, I promise!
I enjoy getting involved with the community through local nonprofits. Currently I serve as a board member and volunteer coach for Girls on the Run New Orleans. Additionally, I enjoy the benefits of being physically active. Recently I ran a 50-mile race, and every week I lead a group of women in early morning workouts in the park. Fitness is a great way to keep stress at bay and stay socially engaged.
Lisa Lin ’98, Chair of the Nominating Committee of the AABC and President of the Barnard Club of Northern California, grew up Alief, Texas, majored in English while at Barnard, and now lives in San Francisco, California.
In this interview, Lisa shares what Barnard has taught her, her decision to stay home and raise her son, and why it's important to stay engaged during—and after—your Barnard years.
All the life-long friends that I made in just two short years. (I was a transfer student from UCLA.) These are women who I will always know, love, trust, and respect, and that is irreplaceable.
I’m a stay-at-home mom now, but was most recently in international development. I specialized in the implementation of large-scale science and technology projects in the developing world. Previously, I had been an entrepreneur. My career in international development began with the split-second decision to take an opportunity that presented itself quite unexpectedly!
I think my time at Barnard taught me to take chances and to grab opportunities as they come, even more than I was already prone to do. I was able to practice risk-taking in a relatively safe environment at Barnard. That likely helped me be more comfortable doing it in the “real world."
I had my little boy at the age of 40, and decided that raising him on a daily basis for the first few years was more important to me than work even though I really enjoyed my work. Watching him grow and learn is what I enjoy most these days.
I was our class fund chair early on, was Communications Chair with Barnard-in-Washington, have attended both NYC and LA galas, started and run the Barnard Alumnae LinkedIn group, and resurrected and am the president of the Barnard Club of Northern California. I am currently also on the AABC Board of Directors as Chair of the Nominating Committee.
I participate as an alumna because I believe that a strong alumnae network is a vital part of the Barnard experience and its long-term value proposition, and because I really enjoy interacting with my fellow alumnae.
Keep good girlfriends around you because you will help each other get through life.
I would take advantage of all that the university campus has to offer—more classes, free lectures, events, etc. I can’t believe how much I didn’t do. What a waste.
Getting involved can have a multiplier effect in that you’re helping entire generations of young women. I find it inspiring when you realize how many women’s lives you can touch. Also, just do it. Don’t over think it. Reach out to Alumnae Relations and ask how you can get involved.
Attending Barnard is a deliberate choice. It’s a choice not to get lost in the noise of big name schools, but to get immersed in subjects that interest you and ones you didn’t even know existed. It’s a choice to be at a school with a fiercely feminist past and present. And it’s a choice to be surrounded by inspiring women like yourself from all walks of life as you make your way together.
Sara Heiny ’17, President of the Barnard Student Government Association (SGA) and member of the AABC Board of Directors, majors in English and minors in History, concentrating in Science, Technology, and the Environment.
In her Barnard Bonds feature, the Indianapolis native discusses her goals as SGA President, recent happenings on campus, and playing in pit orchestras for musical theater productions.
I chose to attend Barnard because I was fascinated by the prospect of learning in a women’s college environment that was so closely connected both to Columbia University and New York City. Touring the college as a junior in high school, I knew as soon as I stepped on campus that I wanted to be able to walk across campus like a Barnard woman and study with a close-knit group of peers and professors.
I decided to run for SGA President after participating in the Academic Curricular Review and seeing all the things I could accomplish as the SGA Rep for Academic Affairs. After working with SGA for two years or so, I felt like I had a very strong and positive relationship with many of the Barnard administrators and wanted to continue fostering those relationships so that we could really shape the social and academic landscape at Barnard for the benefit of future generations.
My goal has been to make Barnard more inclusive by being conscious of the diverse religious practices, socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as races, ethnicities, and gender orientations that we have on campus. We have to celebrate our diversity, not just tolerate it.
And finally being in New York City. I love being part of the Barnard community. Every direction I turn, I see women who inspire me. No matter their academic disciplines, their aspirations, or their experiences, students at Barnard have their own unique take on the world and they’re not afraid to own it and express it. Being part of Columbia and being imbedded in the resources of New York City as well means that students at Barnard have opportunities to choose the types of environments they want to immerse themselves in, or in the range of scholars and professionals they’d like to learn from.
Literally everything: the post-election climate, the union negotiations, President Spar’s resignation, the senior class’ concerns for commencement, and the ways in which every Barnard student is struggling to make sense of their new realities. There has been a whiplash of emotions and announcements for so many students and each and every one of us are searching for support and stability in a time of great change.
There are plenty of things I want to stay on top of at Barnard after I graduate. As someone who has invested 2+ years of her college career to the redesign of Barnard’s curriculum, and as a current Senior Interviewer in Admissions, I want to make sure that our curriculum continues to work for future admitted students. I also want to make sure that any initiatives or policy change I initiated during my year as President will continue to exist for those students – so long as the students feel it is necessary.
Playing in pit orchestras for musical theater productions is my absolute passion! I love performing in the pit and being part of a live performance, particularly when it’s not centrally focused on me. Outside of that, I like to walk up and down Broadway or Riverside Park when the weather is nice.
Just after we graduate, I think the biggest thing that alumnae can do to help us out is be visible. Where did you go after college? Was your path to a career or grad school clear to you? Did you struggle to find your way? Did you stay in the city or did you go far away? These are so many simple life questions that Barnard seniors want to ask of alumnae.
However, while we’re in college, we really need better financial support. Tuition went up ~6% last year, the price of submitting an application to Barnard was raised from $60 to $75, our contingent faculty are asking the college for living wages and better benefits, and our endowment is growing, but small. A dream of the Academic Curricular Review, which produced the Foundations curriculum, was to provide funding for Barnard students to assist their professors in international summer research projects. From where we stand today, we still have work to do to achieve that goal.
Daphne Larose ’10 majored in Computer Science and minored in Africana Studies while at Barnard. Now she is a software engineer in Silicon Valley, helping our newest Shared Interest Group, Young Alumnae in Tech, come to fruition.
In her Barnard Bonds profile, Daphne discusses her passion for reading, working with BCIT while at Barnard, and underrepresented communities in the tech sector.
I love that Barnard still feels like home to me every time I visit.
I am a software engineer. I actually decided to pursue computing while at Barnard, but I initially came to Barnard in the hopes of breaking into the field of fashion journalism. Spring of my sophomore year, I began working as a technology intern with BCIT and fell in love with computing. I decided on the major at the very end of my sophomore year without having taken any prior courses and spent the last two years of my time at Barnard pursuing a CS degree.
My time at Barnard taught me that I had options and gave me the courage and supportive environment to explore those options in whatever way I wanted. I tried out every major under the sun before arriving at CS and if I could do it again, I would go about it in the same way.
I have a deep passion for reading (I've been running a black feminist book club in the Bay Area for over a year) and art. I enjoy biking, playing video games as well as learning how to make them and getting involved with other organizations doing really great work supporting underrepresented groups in technology.
I have been very active in the tech community, and I focus a lot of my extracurricular time on building a more inclusive space for underrepresented groups. I recently got invited to attend the White House LGTB Tech & Innovation Briefing to discuss ways technology can help solve some of the country's biggest issues.
For a couple of years, I ran a blog connecting and supporting black women engineers across the world. I currently run a meet-up group for black women developers in the Bay Area that meets once a month to write code together in a coffee shop. I have also recently gotten involved with Lesbians Who Tech, and I sit on the committee for an organization called BayBIT (Bay Area Blacks In Tech) that plans events for black people in tech to gather and geek out. I have previously taught classes on programming in different languages, including a four-month workshop on learning C and multiple day-long workshops on mobile programming.
I am honored to be a Barnard alumna in the tech sector, especially knowing that we are working to build a larger community with the fledgling Young Alumnae in Tech group. It is also very heartening to know that the College is working to develop a Computer Science department and discussing the myriad ways they can give Barnard women exposure and instill in them the confidence that will ensure their success in the field of technology and computing.
The best lesson I learned while at Barnard was to not be afraid to speak up and stand my ground. It has served me incredibly well ever since. However, the best lesson I've learned since Barnard is to push myself to listen just as much as I push myself to speak up. Sometimes taking a backseat and simply observing is just as, if not more, effective and insightful.
I would definitely explore NYC even more. I had a tendency to get really wrapped up in the Barnard/Columbia bubble. I also had basically no money, which made exploring NYC difficult at times. I would also take way more art classes. I took a drawing course my first year that included figure drawing and visiting galleries throughout the city. It was one of my favorite classes and I wish I had done more like it.
I would encourage Barnard alumnae to get involved in whatever way feels the right to them and truest to their experience from their Barnard days. I don't believe you need to sit on a committee or help plan every year's reunion to be involved with the College. Even simply sharing your experience with an interested high school student might be enough to light the spark in a potential future Barnard woman.
When I was a prospective student, Barnard's biggest selling point was the energy of its atmosphere. It has the buzz of the city embedded in it while also being a safe haven for creative energy and inspiration. The kind of women I saw when I first came to campus represented who I wanted to be. Barnard is a place for women who want a college that has a plethora of resources both within its gates and beyond them.
Anastasia Andrzejewski ’97, Director-at-Large and Chair of the Alumnae Website Advisory Committee (AWAC), graduated from Barnard cum laude with a degree in History. She is from Rockland County, New York and recently relocated to Charleston, South Carolina with her partner.
For the first Barnard Bonds volunteer profile for Our Barnard, Anastasia discussed her career in marketing and communications, the process of developing the new website, and what the new online community will offer alumnae.
I’m the President of George’s Toy Chest, LLC, an ecommerce retail company. My company sells both new and vintage merchandise. Initially, we specialized in selling antique toys but as we’ve grown our product line has grown as well. However the heart and soul of the business is rooted in all things old. I love the history and nostalgia conjured up by vintage and antique items.
Prior to my current entrepreneurial pursuit, I held a variety of communications, marketing, and research related positions for both corporations and non-profit organizations, including several years as a marketing and media director for an international development organization. However, the mantras I absorbed as both a Barnard student and alumna—to be bold, to be fearless, to be true to one’s self—inspired me to follow my current path and take the sometimes terrifying, and always rewarding, entrepreneurial leap.
I have a master’s degree in Women’s Studies and History from Oxford University where I developed a keen interest in and understanding of the historical importance of pop culture ephemera and curios when writing my master’s dissertation, Female Freaks: The Construction, Exhibition, and Objectification of Gender and Disability in the Nineteenth-Century English Freak Show.
I began my volunteer work with Barnard as soon as I graduated. I was a Class Correspondent for my first five years as an alumna. I was thrilled to reignite my volunteerism with Barnard a few years ago as a member of the Reunion Planning Committee. And, I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen my connection to the College by serving on the Alumnae Association's Board of Directors.
Volunteering empowers me to remain actively connected to Barnard—an institution that has been so important in shaping, encouraging, and inspiring me. Volunteering also allows me to share my gifts—my creativity, ideas, experiences, and resources—so that I can play my part in ensuring Barnard remains to be a dynamic, inspiring, and vibrant institution for years to come.
Professionally, I've always played some sort of communications role. It was exciting to have the opportunity to use my professional talent to support Barnard. We are a world-class institution and our alumnae website needs to reflect that. I was honored to play a leadership role in creating an online home for Barnard alumnae to engage, enlighten, and empower our diverse, inspiring community.
The committee had a series of meetings throughout the whole process—from design concepts through content recommendations. Between our in-person meetings, we communicated electronically the latest ideas for the site and provided our thoughts and feedback. It was a collective, collaborative effort from beginning to end. The entire committee was very conscious of the fact that we were representing the entire alumnae body. To that end, we sought to actively include alumnae by inviting people to become beta testers, site auditors, and launch ambassadors. It is truly a website for and by our alumnae community.
The AWAC was charged with advising and supporting the redesign team led by Matt Hamilton, Associate Director of Alumnae Communications. We aimed to revamp and redesign the alumnae website into a beautiful and easy to navigate site that would engage, enlighten, and empower our community.
The committee consisted of seven passionate alumnae who represent the boldness, intellect, and diversity of Barnard. One key focus in creating the committee was to have generational diversity because the way someone from the class of 1965 utilizes the website might be vastly different than how a member of the class of 2015 does. So, to that end, the committee consisted of:
Joan Freilich ’63, LaVergne Trawick ’69, Francine Glick ’77, Enid Lewin ’84, Shilpa Bahri ’99, Kathleen Christratos ’07, and Faith Rusk ’10
Professionally, I’ve been involved in website design and content management since 1999. My current work in running an e-commerce retail company gives me a great perspective on how and why people access websites and what their expectations are.
Think about why you want a site and what you want it to do. Be specific and purposeful. You want your website to be a reflection of the brand it represents—not simply a receptacle for information.
Just do it. Being connected with Barnard and other alumnae on a regular basis is so rewarding and inspiring. There are a wide variety of opportunities with varying time commitments and responsibilities. You’ll get back more than you give.
The new site is a virtual Barnard campus for the alumnae community—an online home with abundant opportunities and inspiration for social and intellectual stimulation, just like we experienced as students. It is beautiful and easy to navigate, as is our Morningside Heights campus. And, just like our physical college, our online home has a multitude of offerings to enrich our lives intellectually and socially. It truly reflects the hallmark dynamism, clarity of purpose, and diversity of Barnard.
Name: Patricia Ureña
Major: Urban Studies with a concentration in Environmental Science
Where do you live? Bronx, New York.
Where did you grow up? Bronx, New York, and Tampa, Florida.
What do you love most about Barnard now, years after graduation? I love that Barnard has connected me to strong individuals who are constantly trying to achieve more but are also very aware of the issues we face in this society.
What are you doing now professionally, and how did you arrive at your decision? I am the Senior Associate Director of Special Events for the Office of Development and Alumnae Relations at Barnard. As a student, I was very involved in various organizations and noticed that I would always volunteer my time to assist with events. This pattern was also evident in my jobs and internships, so I took notice that the events' world was one I wanted to be in. I worked in the Alumnae Relations office as a Reunion Coordinator during my four years at Barnard, and then worked as the Special Events Assistant during my senior year. As a student worker at Barnard, I felt respected and appreciated. Upon graduation, I worked at Scholastic Inc. I was soon given the opportunity to apply for a position at Barnard and couldn’t help but jump at the chance to return to campus. The work environment that Barnard provides is like no other, and that is why I’ve been happy to grow professionally within these gates.
What non-work activities do you most enjoy? I love spending time with my family, especially my sister (a 2004 Barnard alum), her husband, and my 5-month-old nephew. During the warmer months, I like to spend time outdoors, walking around the various neighborhoods of New York City, or watching an outdoor film. I also enjoy traveling, reading, and cooking.
What are the best lessons you learned while at Barnard and after graduation? While at Barnard, I learned to question things. I felt like I came into college as a naïve young woman, who took things at face value. Barnard opened my eyes and gave me the freedom to think critically about the world we live in. I’ve learned many things post-Barnard, and I don’t think I’ve learned my best lesson quite yet.
If you could rewind your Barnard years, what would you do differently, if anything? I would have interned at companies in different industries and participate in more internships. During college, it would have been easier to dedicate a few months to an internship and just try things out, without the fears one faces doing so as an adult.
Any suggestions for encouraging other Barnard alumnae to participate in becoming involved with the college? If you want to connect with classmates, or women of varying backgrounds, careers, or stages of life, participate in a committee or volunteer your time at an event. It’s less scary than it sounds! Women have to continuously help strengthen each other, as well as strengthen institutions like Barnard.
Why should a young woman matriculate at Barnard rather than at another women’s college or coed college or university? As cliché as it sounds, it does ring true that Barnard is unique. It empowers women to think for themselves, and achieve more than they thought possible. I don’t know any other women’s college that is based in the middle of such a bustling city. The quantity and variety of companies, organizations, and institutions that are available to students is bonkers!
Name: Toni Coffee
Where did you grow up? Staten Island, New York
Where do you live now? Officially, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but I spend five months or more every year in Oxford, England. My husband Donn and I began to spend time in England in the ’70s because all my cousins are there. (He and I met while students; he graduated from Columbia in 1955.) Both of my parents were English. My father came to the U.S. in the ’20s on a "temporary" assignment, and they never left. Donn and I began to visit and met my nice cousins, liked the life there, especially in the spring and summer, and bought a flat. I have been spending more time there since he died. Most years I go back and forth three times and stay between six and eight weeks each time.
What was your major, and did you have a minor then? History, especially British history; no minor.
What have you done professionally through the years? Initially, I did typical suburban volunteer activities while raising our three children in Port Washington, Long Island. Mainly I was involved with the League of Women Voters (LWV) and was president of the School Board. As the children grew, I also worked with Donn in his management consulting business, but chance led me back to Barnard and I became editor of the Alumnae Magazine in 1979. In 1991 (I think), I no longer wanted to work full time, so I became associate editor, mainly writing and editing Class Notes and Alumnae Books until I retired in 2002. We had moved back to Manhattan in 1993, and I was very active in the NYC LWV for several years. I think the League is an extremely important and valuable organization, but I was away a lot and when I was here I wanted time to enjoy NYC so I "retired from retirement". Now my only significant volunteer work is for Barnard and my class.
What was Barnard's campus life like when you attended? Since I would have had a complicated trip from Staten Island by bus, ferry, and subway, I was given a dorm room from the start. Senior year I was married and we lived in the neighborhood—this was not unusual—lots of us were married before graduation. The one big unifying event for commuters and dorm students was the Greek Games. It's hard for anyone who didn't see it to understand what an amazing event it was. It involved all kinds of skills and talents—poetry, recitation (in Greek), music, dance choreography and performance, athletics (including a relay race with a lighted torch), costume design and execution, program design; even management, and lots of us were involved. It brought dorm students and commuters together and since it was a competition between classes we were unified as a class, too. There were lots of other activities similar to today -- student government, clubs, yearbook, Barnard Bulletin (I think it was published twice every week) and many of the most active students were commuters. Two of my best friends then—and still today—were commuting students. We met the first days of freshman orientation.
What messages did you hear about pursuing a career, as well as balancing that with family life? Mrs. McIntosh was well known for telling us you can do everything, and that we should not feel we had to choose between career and family. We all knew she and her doctor husband had a large family and, of course, she had a demanding career. We all seemed to hear that she said we could do it all at once although we learned later—at our 20th Reunion, I think—that that was not what she meant. We invited her to meet with us one afternoon during the Reunion to talk about life after college. One woman said, "You said we could do everything, and we did, but we are tired." "Oh, no," she said, "I didn't mean all at once. Start on your career, take time off for your family, and go back (to your career)." We had not heard it that way! Many of my classmates eventually had interesting careers, but it was a different era. At that time, if you went into publishing, you worked as a secretary or as a researcher and that was it. No one went into finance. Some did go to medical school, and a very few to law school.
You've been so active at Barnard, would you share what you've done and most enjoyed? When I worked on the magazine I got to know many of the staff and some students and faculty members, and it was a huge pleasure to be part of the continuing life of the college. After I retired many of those relationships continued and I stayed involved in various alumnae committees. It was always good to come back and see familiar faces. I felt very much at home here. Activities with my class have been the most important, but I know people of all ages and I have come back for Reunion almost every year.
You recently attended your 60th reunion. Were you involved in the planning, and would you share what was most wonderful about the weekend? The best part was seeing classmates—there were almost 50 of us, which is great considering we're now in our 80s. We once shared an important time of our lives and have lived through the same period of history, and that is a powerful bond. As always at a Reunion, we seemed to be able to pick up conversations from five years ago as if we had never been apart. I was involved in the planning in a peripheral way. My primary focus was on fundraising, as co-chair with two others. Our class has traditionally had a high percentage of participation in the Annual Fund and we wanted to maintain that.
Any thoughts you'd like to share about the changes on campus—buildings, new activities, different presidents? With such a small amount of land, it's crucial that every bit be used well. Two of the buildings of the ’50s, McIntosh Center and the library, no longer exist, but they were a terrible use of space and deserved to be removed. The Diana Center seems to be serving many useful purposes, and it looks as if the new building that will replace the library will be an excellent addition. I regret the closing of the swimming pool, but understand that it was just too costly. Because of our partnership with Columbia, Barnard students can participate in Division I Intercollegiate Athletics. I regret that very few take advantage of this opportunity.
What would you say to encourage someone to get involved at Barnard? This is a great place. For students, Barnard is the best of all possible worlds: an institution run by and for women in the most exciting city in the world, with an extraordinary faculty, an amazingly diverse student body, a broad and demanding curriculum, and the resources of a great co-educational university, in the most exciting city in the world. All of that makes it an exciting and satisfying place to spend time, to contribute time and ideas, to meet interesting people, and to help insure the continuation of a great tradition.