college historyleadership NEW YORK, NY, August 28, 2018 – Barnard College has announced the appointment of nine new members to its Board of Trustees. This cohort is the largest group of new trustees since the College’s founding in 1889 and comes from a broad range of fields including education, entertainment, science, technology and healthcare. The new class includes philanthropist and education advocate Laura Blankfein ’75; technologist and entrepreneur Gregor Freund P’20; venture capitalist Bill Helman P’14; Warner Bros. executive Craig Hunegs P’20; Athena Center founding member Philippa Portnoy ’86; physician and healthcare advocate Dara Richardson-Heron ’85; philanthropist and technologist Barrie Roman P’20; Chancellor Emeritus of the state board of regents and current SUNY Vice Chair Dr. Merryl H. Tisch ’77; and physician Ann Weinbaum Sacher ’85.
The trustees of Barnard College are responsible for the overall governance of the College, including oversight of strategic direction and large-scale programmatic initiatives, approval of the budget and stewardship of the endowment.
Barnard College is one of the nation’s most selective academic institutions; it received nearly 8,000 applications for 600 spots for the class of 2022. Committed to diversity and social mobility, Barnard is singular in its dedication to empowering women through its innovative curriculum, its unique relationship to Columbia University and the extended classroom of the City of New York. The College is led by cognitive scientist Sian Leah Beilock, who became Barnard’s eighth president in July 2017 after spending more than 12 years at the University of Chicago.
Through Barnard’s distinctive and historic partnership with Columbia, students receive the benefits of a large research university and are taught by Barnard’s world-class faculty who are granted tenure by both institutions. Students can cross-register for more than 1,500 courses, access more than 20 libraries comprised of 13 million volumes and earn a degree conferred by both Barnard and Columbia. Barnard boasts a powerful alumnae network of more than 35,000 graduates spanning the world in higher education, government, industry and non-profit sectors.
“My fellow trustees and I are delighted to welcome this dynamic new class of members to the Board,” said Cheryl Milstein ’82 P’14, who was elected as chair of the board earlier this year. “Our incoming trustees, with the depth and diversity of their experiences, will bring valuable new ideas and perspectives to the table as we engage in the ongoing work of guiding Barnard’s future.”
Laura Blankfein ’75 has been actively involved for over ten years both working hands-on with children and in development for the Association to Benefit Children in New York City, an organization that provides comprehensive services for some of the most needy and vulnerable children in East Harlem. Actively involved in education and philanthropy, Laura has over 20 years of board experience and currently sits on the boards of several New York City schools. Early in her career, Laura was a lawyer, serving as an associate at Phillips Nizer LLP and Reavis & McGrath, and spending nine years as an attorney for the New York City Corporation Counsel.
Laura is active in New