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Barnard on the Hudson

In early June, a group of 28 alumnae and their guests spent a beautiful summer weekend exploring the Hudson River Valley and learning from Barnard faculty about the region’s history, its ecology, and the art inspired by the area.

The second annual "Barnard on the Hudson" program, sponsored by the Office of College Relations, brought together Barnard women ranging from Class of ’49 to Class of ’07. Together with friends, children, and even a few grandchildren, they enjoyed an afternoon aboard the Clearwater sloop, a half-day hike in Black Rock Forest, and a visit to Sunnyside, Washington Irving’s historic Hudson Valley home.

Throughout the weekend, Barnard faculty members provided context for the various outings through interdisciplinary lectures. The group heard from history professor Bob McCaughey about early Dutch and British settlements and the types of ships that made commerce possible. While on board the Clearwater, biology professor Hilary Callahan shared knowledge of the river ecosystem, and during the hike talked about Black Rock Forest’s flora and fauna. Art history professor Elizabeth Hutchinson spoke about the art and architecture of the Hudson Valley, as well as American Romanticism and Washington Irving. 

“The interdisciplinary lectures were totally enjoyable, articulately delivered with a full command –and real love—of the material,” said Barbara Wisch ’70, a professor emerita of art history at SUNY Cortland who participated in the excursion. “All the professors made it a delight to return to the classroom, and they welcomed questions throughout the entire weekend, which was fully appreciated by all.”

“This two-day learning adventure was a chance for alumnae and their guests to get to know and appreciate some of our stellar faculty, enjoy each other’s company, and experience how the city and its surrounding resources are incorporated into Barnard’s curriculum,” said Dorothy Denburg '70, vice president of college relations. “And it was a lot of fun, too.”