On Wednesday, October 26, the entire Barnard community came together from near and far, during Columbia Giving Day 2022, to secure critical funds for the College’s extraordinary students and to celebrate our “ties of comrad’rie.”
With the goal of generating support for the next generation of Barnard leaders, the College community rose to the occasion, donating $2,116,553 and counting to the Barnard Annual Fund, which helps to underwrite financial aid, classroom materials, Access Barnard, and more.
Overall, Barnard finished in second place in alumnae/i participation, ranked third in the top tier of programs — ahead of fundraising powerhouses Columbia Engineering, Columbia Business School, and Columbia Law School — and earned additional challenge funds by being one of only four programs to “raise the bar” with 3,505 total gifts, an increase of 3.7% from 2021.
By finishing in top spots at the end of the night, Team Barnard secured at least an additional $15,900 in challenge funds from Columbia Trustees, which will be added to the amount donated by the community, with more challenges still to be tallied.
This year, Barnard also hosted several College-specific challenges, designed to promote some friendly competition among peer groups:
- In Barnard’s Class Gift Competition, the Class of 2019 secured the top spot in the Young Alumnae (2013-2022) Division with 55 gifts, and the Class of 1969 solidified their dominance by leading the All Other Alumnae Division. Both classes earned bragging rights and the opportunity to have their class year displayed on posters around campus.
- In honor of their 25th Reunion, five members of the Class of 1998 — including Jennifer Risi, Ellyn Artis, Lisa Lin, and two anonymous donors — pledged an additional $25,000 if their Class placed in the top five of the Barnard Class Gift Competition. They did so by making 62 gifts on Giving Day, finishing in a three-way tie for fourth place with the Classes of 1989 and 2009.
- The 2013 vs. 2018 Challenge had another milestone tie-in, pitting the Classes of 2013 and 2018 against each other in honor of their 10th and fifth Reunions coming up this June. The Class of 2013 claimed the trophy for this one by making 43 gifts on Giving Day.
Full Giving Day 2022 results are available here.
ONLINE EXCITEMENT ROCKED OUR SOCKS
In addition to donating throughout the day, the Barnard community loudly and proudly shared memories, photos, and love for the College on social media.
The lessons I learned and the community I gained at @BarnardCollege inspire and motivate me on a daily basis. It's where I was inspired on a career path, met lifelong friends, and developed a strong sense of self. I couldn't be prouder to now get to give back. #ColumbiaGivingDay https://t.co/TYJsxEbblF— Eleanna Varangis (@evarangis) October 26, 2022
It's today! Wed Oct 26th! I just did my part in helping @BarnardCollege @barnardalumnae win the #ColumbiaGivingDay challenge! And you get free socks!— Yasmin Khakoo, MD, FAAN, FAAP (she)🎗☪️ (@DrYasminKhakoo) October 26, 2022
https://t.co/M26e5nki3X 🧠💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/rQQjYsA9P1
Excited to be able to support future students @BarnardCollege on this #ColumbiaGivingDay in honor of a big reunion coming this spring! pic.twitter.com/JEgpzxGoMx— Ellyn Artis (@EllynArtis) October 27, 2022
There was particular affection, both in person and online, for this year’s limited edition pair of Barnard Giving Day socks, which will be sent as a token of gratitude to all members of the community who donated $100 or more to Team Barnard in honor of Giving Day.
Melyssa Mendoza ’00 commented enthusiastically on Instagram, “I can’t wait for my new pair of socks. Gotta keep my collection growing!” And our very own “internationally renowned Barnard sock model” (aka president of the Alumnae Association of Barnard College and Alumnae Trustee Amy Veltman ’89) staged a legendary photoshoot featuring the latest design.
GATHERINGS ON CAMPUS AND BEYOND
For the first time ever, Barnard hosted large-scale Giving Day events on campus, complete with activities and receptions. Members of the community also gathered regionally for the first time since 2019 to celebrate our robust, worldwide connections.
“Giving Day is not just about securing essential funds for our amazing students,” said Lisa A. Yeh P’19, senior vice president of Development and Alumnae Relations, during her opening remarks. “It’s also about fostering our incredible global community.”
On Futter Field, students, faculty, and staff gathered under the tent for a lunch fête complete with fresh popcorn, sliders, apple cider donuts, and more. There was also a station for members of the community to write down words of gratitude as well as their favorite Barnard memories.
As day turned to night, faculty and staff were joined on campus by alumnae, parents, and friends for our first Giving Day cocktail reception, and the energy swelled even more with anticipation. Three inspiring alumnae — Alex Guarnaschelli ’91, Toby Milstein Schulman ’14, and Pam Wiznitzer ’07 — hosted the event, which also featured a special performance by Bacchantae. They shared words fit for the occasion.
“We can be the dreamers of the biggest dreams, and we can achieve whatever we put our minds to,” said Pam Wiznitzer ’07, a celebrated mixologist, beverage consultant, and author. She reflected on her Jewish identity as well as what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry: “We should speak up and take hold of the microphone and the conversations in rooms. We should build a table with endless seating when they tell us there’s no room at the current table. We are the contrarians. This is what Barnard has given me.”
In her remarks, social entrepreneur Toby Milstein Schulman ’14 praised her relationship with Barnard and shared how it impacted her life: “Supporting Barnard has been one of my top priorities since I graduated, and I support the College because it has truly shaped me into the person I am today. The mom I am, the daughter I am, every single facet of my being is Barnard, and I thank Barnard every single day.”
World-renowned chef, cookbook author, and television personality Alex Guarnaschelli ’91 spoke of her career journey and stressed the importance of investing in the next generation of Barnard leaders: “Accidental competition-show cook who likes artichokes might be my title, but that’s what Barnard does to you. It makes you think you can kind of do whatever you want and really you can … so enjoy your night here and thanks for giving on Giving Day.”
In addition to events held on Barnard’s campus, alums got together regionally in support of the College. The San Francisco Giving Day Happy Hour, hosted by the Barnard Club of Northern California, brought together more than three dozen attendees, and the Barnard Club of Boston and Barnard in Washington gathered for happy hour celebrations as well.
Contributions to the Barnard Annual Fund made on Columbia Giving Day — and every day — help create opportunities for Barnard students by directly funding immediate priorities across campus, such as financial aid, Access Barnard, campus improvements, classroom materials, and support for every student activity, academic department, performance, lecture, and exhibition.
Sally Vallimarescu, executive director of Individual Giving at Barnard, was excited by the uptick in participation and overall vitality of the community this year. “After two extremely successful Giving Days in 2020 and 2021, I’m impressed by the way Team Barnard continues to build momentum and shine light on the power of our collective generosity,” she said. “It’s days like this that fill me with gratitude and remind me of the scope of our impact.”
Every year, Giving Day at Barnard is bigger than the last, a testament to the entire community’s commitment to supporting students, bettering the future, taking care of each other, and holding the college on a hilltop dear.