Frances Sadler ’72 with, from left, her brother, Dr. Rufus Sadler, and her husband, Jonathan Haynes.
Frances Sadler ’72 was a first-generation college student when she arrived at Barnard in the fall of 1968 at the height of the civil rights movement. “I threw myself into the dynamics of the campus,” she says, often talking for hours with women of color in a friend’s double bedroom on the sixth floor of Brooks Hall. From these informal gatherings, Sadler co-founded the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (BOSS), which continues to thrive on campus.
Sadler served as president of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College (AABC) from 2008 to 2011. In 2012, she was elected to the Barnard College Board of Trustees. She has been active on numerous committees and task forces, was instrumental in creating the Alumnae of Color Dinner at Reunion, raised funds to establish the Zora Neale Hurston ’28 Scholarship for a black student, and is the first Barnard alumna to be honored by the Black Alumni Council of Columbia University (BAC) with the Black Alumni Heritage Award.
“She contributes to the life of the College in countless, unassuming ways,” says Robert Goldberg, Barnard’s chief operating officer. “She is a real asset to this entire community.”
A New York City native, Sadler began her career as a teacher in the city’s public school system. She went on to a career in health care administration and currently works with the 1199 SEIU Home Care Industry Education Fund to provide education and training for home care workers.
Sadler credits Barnard with providing her with a rich learning environment, lifelong friends, and “an array of multi-generational relationships with women from all over the world that feed my intellect and heart.” She hopes she has provided an opportunity for students of color to see themselves in leadership roles. Says Sadler, “Being a medalist is acknowledgment that doing ordinary things like showing up for things that you believe in does make a difference.” •