Face to Face

By Nicole Anderson ’12JRN, Editor

Photograph of Nicole Anderson

In June, as the College was transitioning into summer mode, I went up to campus for Staff Appreciation Day. Under a tent in Futter Field, we gathered to celebrate the contributions of Barnard’s many long-serving and hardworking staff. Community safety officers and Information Technology specialists, finance and mail services staff were among the dozens of people recognized by the College. There were some familiar faces and some faces new to me.

One of the more unusual consequences of starting a job three weeks before a global pandemic is that I haven’t had the opportunity to meet many of my colleagues in person, aside from those in my department, even two-plus years later. And so that morning felt particularly moving — not only to put faces to a name or to an email but to see people cheer and laugh together and to be able to fully comprehend, by being in the presence of all my colleagues and peers, the complex and interconnected ecosystem of people that help Barnard function and thrive.

The fact is, there is simply an ineffable joy and energy that comes from being together, side by side, in the same space. The Summer issue is, if anything, a celebration of this very feeling. This year, many of the College’s beloved events and gatherings welcomed the Barnard community back in person. In these pages, you’ll read about the Annual Gala at the American Museum of Natural History, the return of Reunion festivities on campus, and the hundreds of people who gathered at Radio City Musical Hall to commemorate the graduating class of 2022.

While there is certainly something special about these in-person moments, I am grateful for the technology that we’ve had at our disposal over the past few years, which has enabled us to work effectively and efficiently and to expand our reach to those near and far. These tools have made the College and the Magazine more accessible and inclusive, and we certainly will continue to employ them in the future. In our “Barnard Year of Science Top 10,” we share some of the highlights from our campus-wide celebration of STEM — many of the events connected with people across generations and disciplines through a hybrid and multimedia format, which, as a result, engaged a wider and more diverse audience. In the Magazine, our storytelling is all the richer when we have the ability to forge these connections in different ways — whether on Zoom or sitting across the table from one another.

I have to say that some of my favorite moments this year were those on campus — getting a tour of the Arthur Ross Greenhouse, checking out the Kehinde Wiley paintings in Milbank, and peeking through open doors to see a student tap dance class in session. As a fellow alumnae editor said to me when I started this job, “Experiencing the vibrancy of campus is the good stuff.”

Latest IssueWinter 2023