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gala2019

Annual Gala Raises Nearly $3 Million for Student Financial Aid

AlumnaeGiving On April 30, 2019, Barnard alumnae, students, friends, and family gathered at the Plaza Hotel in New York City for the College’s Annual Gala. Each year, proceeds from this event help to underwrite student financial aid at Barnard and sustain the College’s enduring commitment to empowering extraordinarily talented young women, regardless of their financial means, through education.

(L to R) President Sian Leah Beilock, Nell Bailey ’19, Honorees Greta Gerwig ’06, and Kathryn Kolbert, Julia Delgado ’19, Honoree Lois Champy ’67, Nehad Abdelgadir ’19This year’s event, co-chaired by Nina Rennert Davidson ’95 and Caroline Bliss Spencer ’09, raised nearly $3 million toward this endeavor, and honored Greta Gerwig ’06, Kathryn Kolbert, and Lois Champy ’67 (MArch ’71, MIT) for their work to inspire women—at Barnard and beyond.

Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood and co-founder and artistic director of the Athena Film Festival, presented Greta Gerwig ’06 with the Joan Rivers ’54 Trailblazer Award. This award’s honoree exemplifies the boldness, creativity, courage, and strength of character that were integral to Joan Rivers’ groundbreaking career. Gerwig is only the fifth woman to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Director category, and the first to be nominated for a directorial debut. 

Kathryn Kolbert was honored with the Frederick A.P. Barnard Award. An illustrious women’s rights advocate, Kolbert argued the 1992 landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey before the Supreme Court and was involved in every reproductive rights case the Court considered from 1985 to 1998. She served as the founding Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard and currently serves as the producing director of the Athena Film Festival, which she co-founded. 

Lois Champy ’67 also received the Frederick A.P. Barnard Award for her service to both Barnard and the world of architecture. Champy became a licensed architect at a time when women represented less than 5% of the profession. She has been on the Board of Trustees of Barnard College since 2006, serving on the Executive, Campus Life, and Development Committees. She has served as the chair of the Buildings, Environment, and Technology Committee since 2011, and was instrumental in the planning and design of The Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning.

“We are grateful to have these exemplary women in our community,” President Sian Leah Beilock said. “They have opened doors for women everywhere.” 

In her opening remarks, President Beilock expressed her gratitude for the night’s attendees, saying, “We simply cannot do what we do, or look ahead to even bigger and better things, without your contributions and your dedication.”

President Beilock also covered some key Barnard highlights from this academic year, including the opening of The Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning, Barnard’s record-breaking participation and fundraising totals from Giving Day 2018, the introduction of more 4+1 Pathways for Accelerated Graduate Study in partnership with Columbia, and information on the admitted Class of 2023—the most selective and diverse cohort in the College’s 129-year history.

 

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Meet Barnard’s Student-Athletes: Swimmer Arianna Noya '19

Athletics One facet of the Barnard experience that many students value is the opportunity to compete in NCAA Division I Athletics through the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium. Barnard is the only women’s college to offer Division I athletics.

Our interview with Arianna Noya ’19, a freestyle swimmer on the Columbia Women’s Swimming and Diving team, is the latest installment in an ongoing student-athlete series. Noya, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Miami when she was 6, is majoring in neuroscience and behavior and will work in health care market research after graduation. She plans on returning to school to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

How has being an athlete informed your college experience?

I can’t imagine not being a student-athlete. I dedicate 20-plus hours per week to swim practice, weightlifting, and competition, so learning to be efficient with my time has been key to balancing school and athletics. More importantly, being an athlete has given me a sense of community at school and introduced me to my best friends. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to swim on a team with some of the most passionate and driven women in varsity athletics. While swimming is oftentimes perceived as an individual sport, swimming for Barnard and Columbia has always been a team sport for me. It’s amazing what my teammates and I are able to do as a result of our unconditional support for each other.

How did you first become interested in swimming?

When I moved to Miami, my mom encouraged me to join the swim team in our city. Swimming is a popular sport in Florida, and I loved the water, although I preferred gymnastics. Before I knew it, my dad was driving me to my first swim meet. I’m sure I earned last in every race, but my coach convinced my parents that I should continue to practice for a few more weeks. I was furious, but I stayed, and my coach was right. It only took a few more weeks and I was hooked. Swimming soon became my favorite part of the day. Growing up and through college, swimming has always been a significant part of my life and shaped me into the person I am today.

When you’re not competing or studying, what do you like to do?

I love spending time with my team outside the pool, trying new restaurants, exploring the city, grabbing dessert, or tanning on the lawns in front of Butler Library. I also enjoy alone time in my room, listening to music, and watching movies.

(L-R) Noya, with teammates Mary Ashby ’19, Jessica Antiles ’19Why have you chosen to major in neuroscience and behavior?  

I’ve always had a strong inclination toward science, but neuroscience is particularly unique in that it incorporates different aspects of biology, psychology, and chemistry, which is why it caught my attention freshman year. I’ve always found it fascinating that the brain is the source of all human behavior, thought, and emotion, and the classes I’ve taken at Barnard have confirmed

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Brian Simpson – Director of Communications & Strategy at Riverside Church

Since 2015, Brian Simpson has served in a variety of director-level communication and information technology roles at The Riverside Church in the City of New York, playing a key role in Riverside’s branding efforts and new website launch. He came to Riverside from Arizona, where he served as director of communications at the Association of Arizona Food Banks (AAFB). Brian spearheaded all marketing, public relations, and outreach efforts on behalf of AAFB, which provides public policy advocacy and logistics services to five member food banks and their network of 1,200 partner agencies in all fifteen Arizona counties. Brian received his MBA from Ottawa University, where he also worked as a Marketing Manager, and he graduated with a BA in Communication from the University of Arizona.

Mourning Another Hateful Tragedy

We reel, again, in the wake of yet another horrifying act of violence. We grieve with the Congregation Chabad in Poway, CA, and all our Jewish siblings. It is an all-too-painful reminder of how Anti-Semitism continues to corrupt our communities, the deadly fruits of bigotry. Today, we weep with those who weep, and pray this hatred might be banished from our midst—that no one should suffer its abuses.
This act of terror is not an isolated incident. The harrowing truth is that it is part of a broader pattern of white supremacist violence targeting houses of worship. In March, 50 Muslims were massacred as they prayed in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earlier this month, police arrested a man for burning three historically black churches in Louisiana. Just last week in Texas, a man attempted to set the North Austin Muslim Community Center ablaze and in Bethlehem Pennsylvania someone burned Iglesia Penetecostal beyond repair. And, the tragedy this weekend echoes the horrifying shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue last fall. Every person deserves to worship peacefully, yet, continually, centers of religious life have been targeted—transforming houses of peace into sites of unspeakable violence.
All of these attacks have come at a time when the President has repeatedly used his pulpit to regurgitate white supremacist talking points, attempting to excuse the inexcusable. Just last Friday, President Trump defended his decision to say there were “very fine people,” among the neo-Nazi protestors who shouted, “Jews will not replace us,” in Charlottesville. “ went because they

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