The year 2018 at Barnard was filled with exciting events. We reflect on some of the most memorable moments.
1. Art and Equity – January 31
Toyin Ojih Odutola, the Nigerian-born artist known for her pen-and-ink sketches that explore the concept of race, was named the 2018 Lida A. Orzeck ’68 Distinguished Artist in Residence shortly before her first solo exhibition, “To Wander Determined,” opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She discussed the political roles and obligations of artists at a campus event.
2. A New Vision for Barnard – February 9
President Sian Leah Beilock was inaugurated as Barnard’s eighth president at Riverside Church. Beilock outlined her plan for the College, which rests on four pillars: emphasizing STEM; continuing to extend learning beyond the classroom to all of New York City; strengthening the College's mission to be diverse and inclusive; and enabling students to succeed after they graduate through the creation of Beyond Barnard. Inauguration festivities touched every corner of campus, and the Empire State Building was lit up in Barnard blue to honor the occasion.
3. Fearless Femmes in Feature Films – February 22—25
A record-breaking 6,000 attendees attended the eighth annual Athena Film Festival. Highlights included tennis icon Billie Jean King, who spoke with student athletes after a screening of her biopic Battle of the Sexes, and a town hall event that discussed the #MeToo movement.
4. We Are the Wolves – May 16
The Barnard community celebrated the Class of 2018 at Radio City Music Hall on a drizzly day in May. Abby Wambach, the soccer champion and activist for pay equity and LGBTQ rights, delivered a rousing, inspirational speech on the essential qualities of leadership that instantly went viral. Wambach’s book, based on her Commencement address, will be released this spring.
5. Reunited and It Feels So Good – May 30—June 2
Generations of Barnard graduates flocked to campus during the summer break to reconnect with fellow alumnae and re-experience college life. More than 1,500 alumnae took advantage of a variety of events including academic discussions, workshops with Beyond Barnard, the beloved Moth-produced storytelling session, and the gala dinner and awards ceremony.
6. Convocation Jubilation – September 13
Barnard’s annual tradition of Convocation, which brings together the entire Barnard community, was held at Riverside Church. Award-winning news reporter and anchor Maria Hinojosa ’84 gave a fiery keynote speech, describing her work to change the narratives of women and minorities in the newsroom and charging students with owning their power and speaking up now in this critical period of American democracy.
7. Opening Doors, Opening Minds – October 2—3
Years of planning and construction culminated in the grand opening of The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. This dynamic hub houses seven innovative centers that encourage interdisciplinary learning and emphasize the importance of STEM literacy in all academic fields. Barnard announced in September that Rebecca N. Wright will arrive in January 2019 to serve as the Druckenmiller Professor of Computer Science and the Director of Vagelos Computational Science Center, where she will inaugurate a computer science program at the College.
8. Barnard Blooms – October 8
This year, the Arthur Ross Greenhouse celebrated its 20th anniversary, adding to a legacy of more than nine decades of plant research on the roof of Milbank Hall. The facility is home to more than 450 species of plants, providing faculty and students the opportunity to engage with research related to their fields of study and beyond.
9. STEM Synergy – October 18
The College announced a new 4+1 program that will allow Barnard students to obtain their B.A. together with an M.S. from Columbia Engineering in just five years. Barnard students have similar opportunities for accelerated programs at other Columbia graduate schools, including the School of International and Public Affairs, the Harriman Institute Program, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences and the Mailman School of Public Health.
10. Your Path, Your Purpose – all year!
Beyond Barnard, one of President Beilock’s signature initiatives, has united the Career Services office with departments that assist students and alumnae with on-campus employment, graduate and professional school advising, fellowships, and experiential education. At a recent brunch that launched the new mentoring program, 137 students met their alumnae mentors and began relationships that will be mutually beneficial for years to come.
11. Unique Student Experiences – all year!
One of the benefits of a Barnard education is the ability for students to engage deeply with faculty. This year, Professor of History Premilla Nadasen launched her Mississippi Semester curriculum, which enabled students to spend their spring break with Nadasen and explore, hands-on, the ways in which historical, political, economic, and social issues affect low-income communities. But students don’t have to leave campus to pursue research; the 2018 Summer Research Institute saw its largest group to date — 161 students — working with faculty mentors in a wide variety of fields.
And of course, students find fulfillment in many places. Barnard is chronicling the lives of five students from the Class of 2021 as they engage in their academic and personal endeavors. View their stories and photos so far, and stay tuned for more exciting news in 2019!