As Montclair State University's first woman president, Susan A. Cole ’62 led the institution through two decades of impressive growth
Dear Barnard Alumnae,
I’m thrilled and honored to be writing for the first time as president of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College (AABC). I graduated in 1989, when the nearest caffeine hit was La Rosita, below 110th Street.
Just as I’ve changed in the years since graduation, so has Barnard. The spirit of educating women driven to make a mark on the world persists, and the way Barnard continues to do so is energizing. The College is seeking to be more inclusive and intentional about the important role it plays in creating effective leaders for tomorrow. And now you can get a strong cup of coffee without leaving campus! Before becoming president, I chaired the Alma Maters Committee, which facilitates discussions around various aspects of motherhood. Every spring, we host “Navigating the College Admissions Process,” with Jennifer Gill Fondiller ’88, P’19, Barnard’s vice president for enrollment. I credit this indispensable program with teaching me how — and how not — to help my daughter, who’s about to begin her senior year of high school, and with preventing at least four arguments.
In the seven years I was present at this event, we would have up to 50 people in attendance. Due to COVID-19, we moved the event online, and had 180 people attend from around the world!
That brings me to some good news. Because of innovations in delivering content online, and a renewed focus on engaging alumnae wherever they land beyond the gates, you no longer need to live near campus or even budge from home to enjoy the breadth of programming created specifically for alumnae. You can visit our.barnard.edu to see the value that Barnard continues to offer, wherever you are.
While I was surprised to discover that COVID-19 brought Barnard new ways to support alumnae, it is less surprising that Barnard also needs support from us right now.
As President Beilock often says, Barnard “punches above our weight.” Through smart stewardship, the College has been able to continuously improve and widen access — despite our endowment being dwarfed by institutions of similar size and caliber and the fact that we participate in alumnae giving at a percentage rate woefully lower than comparable schools. At this juncture, smart stewardship may not suffice. Please consider how you can help Barnard students with whatever you can give, whether it is time or, if you find yourself able, your financial support.
During my three-year term, if I could get each of you who have never given to Barnard to donate even five dollars a year, I would be ecstatic. Those dollars would show prospective students that we are all invested in what becomes of the women who come after us. Your participation shows current Barnard students the robust power of our alumnae community.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible and helping Barnard continue to grow, together. Thank you in advance for your support and for the opportunity to serve you over the next three years.