As I write this letter, Barnard is in a time of transition and continued growth. Interim President Rob Goldberg did a wonderful job filling the vacancy left by Debora Spar, displaying great talent, passion, and respect for the job. Our new curriculum is in place, and the Class of 2020 is the first to experience it. We have seen tremendous progress in the construction of the Milstein Center and are excited about the funds we have raised for our capital campaign, The Bold Standard. Most recently, we graduated the Class of 2017—welcome to our alumnae family!

Photograph by Juliana Sohn

Barnard now has a new president, Sian Beilock, and this summer she is getting up to speed on all things Barnard. I had the privilege of getting to know her as a member of the presidential search committee. A cognitive scientist and academic administrator, she brings extensive experience to the role. As President of the AABC, I look forward to working with her to find opportunities for her to become acquainted with the alumnae community.

As I take on the role of AABC President, I can’t help but reflect on my experience as a student and an alumna. I’m reminded of my college search, when I didn’t even know about Barnard. But on a beautiful spring day, I walked through Barnard’s singular gates and fell in love. The small campus, the friendly, inquisitive students, even the McIntosh student center, all contributed to a place that felt like home, and where I knew I would learn and grow. I could not have made a better choice! After I graduated from Barnard, I immediately became involved with my class council, the Young Alumnae Committee of the AABC, and fundraising. My experience at Barnard is what makes me want to give back—whether through hours or dollars.

The Career Development Student/Alumnae Mentorship program is one that I have been a part of since its conception, and I’ve seen it develop into a very useful community where students and alumnae connect and build meaningful relationships. Mentoring is something that I am extremely passionate about. We all have experiences that we can share with alumnae and students, making the Barnard community that much stronger and more valuable. Of course, learnings are shared both ways, as there are plenty of things that our younger alumnae and students can teach us. For instance, I’ve learned how to use Snapchat, take better selfies, and use hashtags for all Barnard happenings!

We have over 35,000 alumnae around the world with a variety of experiences and accomplishments at Barnard and beyond. I am honored to serve as the President of the Alumnae Association, and I hope to meet as many of you as possible and learn your Barnard story. There are many opportunities to return to campus or meet Barnard alumnae around the world. I hope many of our paths cross. •


Jyoti Menon ’01, President, Alumnae Association of Barnard College


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