“Your challenge inspired me to dig deeper and possibly allow a young woman the access to a top-notch education: a chance my mother never had,” Sharon Doyle Johe ’61 wrote to Diana T. ’55 and P. Roy Vagelos, M.D., ’54PS. Johe was one of several Barnard alumnae inspired to write to the Vageloses (pictured) and to follow their lead, after Dr. Vagelos presented his wife with a surprise, $10 million gift in the form of a challenge grant to support Barnard’s financial aid program. The Vageloses are well known on campus for their more than three decades of philanthropy and service; Dr. Vagelos announced the gift during the Annual Gala, which honored the couple, at the Plaza Hotel in May 2017.

The largest single endowed gift to financial aid in College history, it was the foundation of the Vagelos Match for Financial Aid, through which scholarship gifts of $5,000 or more were matched, dollar for dollar. Together, other donors committed more than $10 million to meet this challenge. Pauline Shender ’99 was one of them. “Knowing that another fortunate young woman is able to pursue her passions at Barnard … is truly a blessing,” she wrote to Diana Vagelos. “Thank you for making it possible.” •

Photo by Asiya Khaki ’09