What’s inside As we go to press, the magnolia tree whose survival so close to the new Nexus generated much concern, fields its final flowers of the season—thankfully, just as the cherry blossoms are bursting into bloom. In the first spring of the newly landscaped Arthur Ross Courtyard, the daffodils struggled with the changeable April weather, but the yellow tulips that came later are thriving. Our patch of campus in New York City, admittedly small, continually surprises us with its well-tended beauty. Spring also heralds the quickening of the College calendar, and this year the activity began in mid-March with President Spar’s landmark visit to Asia—for a women’s symposium in China, and for visits with alumnae, educators, and friends in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seoul. The energy and ideas for the future generated by this trip will be found on the President’s Page, in the feature well, and in the Alumnae Association pages. Also in this issue, Greg Brown, newly named chief operating officer of the College, candidly discusses Barnard’s financial picture in the wake of the struggling economy. Susan Herman ’68, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union since October 2008, addresses current and future concerns and how the election of Barack Obama might impact civil liberties. Student internships have always been a way for students to test their interest in specific fields, but as today’s seniors face the reality of a sluggish job market, many are turning to internships to not only familiarize themselves with a career path, but to help get a foot in the door of their chosen profession. In these pages, five of them give appraisals of their choices. Rounding out the issue are features about the environment and a look back at the athletic teams once known as the Barnard Bears. Please enjoy the season with us, and we hope you were able to attend Pass the Torch, our annual fund-raising dinner. If not, we’ll see you at Reunion, June 4-7. The campus will still be beautiful. — The Editors
Karen Schwartz ’93 is the author of the novel Clearing the Aisle and The Brooklyn Chronicles, a fiction serial that ran in The New York Sun. She very much enjoyed interviewing Professor Mona El-Ghobashy (page 12), with whom she actually overlapped as an undergraduate. “We didn’t know each other,” Schwartz explains, “but it was a fun coincidence.” A contributor to various publications, including Glamour, Self and More magazines, The Forward newspaper and nextbook.org, she lives outside New York with her two children.
Dutch-born Martien Mulder combines portraiture, fashion, landscape, and still-life photography. Now living in New York, her pictures have appeared in magazines such as Purple, French Vogue, and 10 Magazine; exhibitions have been staged in both New York and Tokyo. For this issue she shot the student interns where they worked (page 26). “The students were so enthusiastic about their internships and proud of their workplaces, I was really amazed!” she says about her shoot day, “and all the students were psyched to be photographed.”
As a first-year, Mary Witherell ’83 created the inaugural sports page in Barnard Bulletin, the campus newspaper. It was the first step in her lifelong career in journalism as a magazine writer, editor, and manager. To prepare for writing “Remembering the Barnard Bears” (page 24), Witherell spent several nostalgic hours rereading her more than 90 articles about her beloved Barnard Bears. While she was editor-in-chief of the Bulletin in 1982, Mary covered Barnard’s announcement that it would not merge with Columbia and later, the negotiations for an athletic consortium between the schools. She has always agreed with both decisions and is proud of the tremendous growth the women’s athletic program has achieved in the past 25 years.
Dorothy Hong is a photographer residing in New York. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, she served as The Fader magazine’s photo coordinator before she began shooting fulltime. In 2007, she was named as one of Photo District News’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch. Currently she is working on her first solo exhibition, opening in the summer of 2009 at the Vision Quest Gallery in Genoa, Italy. For this issue she photographed alumna Annie Leonard (page 32) in addition to sitting in on visual-arts classes at the College to document a typical day (page 10).