From 117th to the Wider World
Though I took a couple of classes here at Barnard while I was a graduate student across the street, I’m relatively new to the College—to Millie the Bear, to the Liz’s Place coffee shop in The Diana Center, to that big brass “B” inlaid in the herringbone brickwork as you enter the gates at 117th Street. Each new day, though, I learn more about how relevant and necessary—how vital, really—Barnard’s work and community are in today’s world.
As the new editor of this magazine, my aim is that you should find the vitality of the larger Barnard community reflected back at you in these pages. I want you to have a sense of what is happening on campus and in the lives and work of many of the College’s tens of thousands of alumnae. But I also want you to know how Barnard extends its influence into the larger, wider world. Whether the College’s impact is felt in individual lives and social networks, as you can see in our story about alumnae from the class of 2007 (and in its sidebar about a gutsy trio of ’47 grads, who went on to support each other through Columbia medical school and throughout their professional lives as doctors), or whether Barnard’s effect is felt in the way its graduates are transforming reality as we know it, that influence is a real and powerful thing. (In regard to transforming reality as we know it, check out our feature “Who’s Afraid of Big Data?” It’s about how, in this time when data is ever more present and available in our lives, the College’s Empirical Reasoning Center trains students from all disciplines how to use data and numbers to illuminate research and scholarship. Also, if you’re in New York, contemplate the work of Toyin Ojih Odutola. This year, the internationally renowned Nigerian-born visual artist will serve as Barnard’s second Lida Orzeck ’68, PhD ’73 TC Distinguished Artist-in-Residence and have her work featured in a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum, beginning October 20th.)
Here on campus, the big news, of course, is the start of President Sian Beilock’s tenure as Barnard’s eighth president. If you’re anything like me, after reading her interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Natalie Angier ’78, you’ll understand what good hands the College is in.
So I hope this magazine brings to you what Barnard has brought to me so far: a sense of wonder at what women can accomplish, a determination to make a difference, and a window into how the College and its people are informing and transforming the world. I look forward to your teaching me more.
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