As my term as president of the AABC comes to an end, I find myself grasping for something to connect all my years of education and service to the college I love. So, on a warm day in early spring, I took a slow walk through campus and I found her: the iconic statue of a female torchbearer donated by the Class of 1902 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Greek Games.
Strong, proud, and fearless, she has watched over Barnard for almost 90 years. She was there to greet me on the day I walked through the gates for the first time, and she was there to say farewell when I graduated. She has been a constant as I returned to campus for countless meetings and reunions over the past three decades. She has been there for all of us and has literally weathered every storm for over a century. She is showing signs of age, but is still inspirational. Like so many Barnard alumnae, she faces the challenges of the world with spirit.
Therefore, I was excited to learn that the Class of 2014 Senior Fund will go toward the restoration of this wonderful symbol of the strong Barnard women who attend and graduate from this college. As one senior put it, “She will shine once again.” I am excited to support the senior class with a challenge gift to encourage participation in this effort to restore the statue to its glory.
My own march forward for Barnard is coming to an end for now. Proud of my service to the College, I will cherish my memories of the many alumnae from past decades, recent graduates, and everyone in between. It has been my privilege to meet and work with so many wonderful women. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the alumnae with whom I have served as board and committee members, and regional club leaders. The most gratifying part of being AABC president is to be in the company of intelligent, creative, and inspiring women. And it has been an honor to meet and work with all the current student leaders who will become alumnae.
A special thank-you to Erin Fredrick and her hard-working Alumnae Affairs staff, who strive to make every event, every meeting, and every program a success. Together, we have succeeded in bringing the Alumnae Association to a new place and reconnecting more alumnae to the College than ever before.
I plan on returning for events and reunions, and to spend time with our students. I will be here to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the College next year, although my days of planning and leading are coming to an end. But on that spring day as I sat near Spirit of the Greek Games, a relay runner carrying the torch, I saw in her a symbol for me: this June I too will pass the torch to other women who will lead the way for the College—Barnard proud!
Mary Ann LoFrumento ’77 President, Alumnae Association of Barnard College