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Bridging the Sisterhood Gap: Intergenerational Connections

Elisabeth Esch Bridging the GapNo matter the year she graduates or the path she takes, a Barnard alumna carries a sense of pride and confidence built within the brick walls and gates on 117th Street. Some aspects of the Barnard experience, like the academic rigor and outstanding faculty, remain in place for generations of Barnard women. Whereas others, like residential life and campus traditions, change just as the world around us does. This past June, the classes of 1955 and 2005 met at Reunion to explore the similarities and differences in their experiences as they left Barnard. They called the luncheon, “Bridging the Sisterhood Gap: 1955-2005.”

One of the luncheon’s participants, Jane Were-Bey Gardner ’55, sparked the discussion by talking about expectations of balancing family and a career. Describing the event, she remarked, “It was very entertaining; we all had such a wonderful time. Initially, we did not know how to interact with each other, but then we started talking about how things were the same and different, our likes and dislikes, and Barnard in general. It was a very happy conversation between the classes. It should be an experience that all the classes share.”Class of ’55 Doris Joyner Griffin Mirella d’Ambrosio Servodidio Joyce Glassman

Lisa Rand ’05 noted, “The discussions around the tables often organized around the differences and similarities between our two classes; how the world looked to women graduating in the 1950s and the 2000s; and what Barnard looked like then and now. We held especially fascinating conversations about work-life balance and the division of labor ascribed to women over the past half century, and the changing meaning of ‘having it all’—a perennially ambiguous goal familiar to alumnae of both classes. The event was such a success that the two classes plan on meeting again to continue the dialogue.”

bridging the gap class of 2005 class of 1955It is often noted that history repeats itself and that we can learn from the past. As Barnard continues to grow and shape the minds of future generations of women, the Alumnae Association will continue to connect alumnae from different generations to both celebrate our shared history and learn from each other. Be sure to check alum.barnard. edu for upcoming events.

—M.A. Moutoussis ’06