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Contacts and Connections

Frances SadlerHello, Beautiful Barnard Alumnae,

I write this letter as the fall semester comes to a close, and what an exciting semester it has been for me. More than 100 alumnae volunteers represented their class or club at the Leadership Assembly in October. Feedback about the revised format has been positive. Armed with new information to support them in their leadership roles, and fueled by lively conversation and a look at the Barnard experience for today’s students, your representatives left campus prepared to answer questions about campus life and talk about ways you can stay connected to the College and each other. If you want more information, please contact your class officers and regional club leaders.

When I traverse the campus or attend an event, I am still amazed by the bright, articulate Barnard students that I encounter. The complex world of the twenty-first century needs the energy, enthusiasm, and thoughtful intelligence of these young women and others like them. We, as Barnard alumnae, can make a meaningful contribution to their development as mentors, advisors, and even employers. For example, during the spring semester, there will be several receptions for seniors with alumnae organized around specific career fields; contact Alumnae Affairs if you would like to participate. An affinity group for student-alumnae psychology majors began in the fall, and I am sure many other such groups will form in the coming months. The Career Development Office is planning to launch a student-alumnae mentoring program and will sponsor Take a Barnard Student to Work Day again this year.

The Higher Education Opportunity program (HEOP) is always looking for alumnae who can be mentors for the students in its program. Barnard students also appreciate the variety of internship opportunities available to them in all sorts of fields; these jobs often help them make or crystallize career decisions.

Mentoring is not only for those of us who live in the tri-state area, you can be a mentor wherever you live. As students graduate and return home, or relocate to a new city for a job or graduate school, ongoing Barnard connections can be reassuring. I can personally endorse this activity because my mentoring relationships have developed into long-term intergenerational friendships. I cherish them; they feed my soul. With today’s technology, you can mentor a student via webcam or through e-mail communications as well as in person. Barnard creativity can find a way, if there is a will! Each of us has something valuable to share with the young women who have come after us, just as we have benefitted from the knowledge and experience of those who preceded us. I am calling on you to make time in your schedule to give of yourself to enrich the Barnard community.

Together, we can accomplish great things.

As ever, Frances Sadler ’72

-Photograph by Elena Seibert '78