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Alumnae Join Trustee Ranks

Judith Daynard Boies ’59

Of course Judith Boies is thrilled to be joining the Board of Trustees—“This is a great new project,” she says. There are certainly no lack of projects for Boies, who also enjoys travel, especially to her beloved Italy, as well as attending the ballet, opera, theatre, and chamber music concerts. Another new, exciting, project: the imminent arrival of an English springer spaniel puppy.

A lawyer who is currently counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Boies is an expert in trust and estate law. She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy and her law degree from Columbia. For someone who admits that she had little contact with the College from her graduation until about eight or nine years ago when she took advantage of Alumnae Affairs’ open invitation to return to campus to audit classes, Boies has more than made up for lost time. A former chair and member of the fellowship committee and an early member of the Project Continuum subcommittee of the Alumnae Association, Boies is a founding member and currently an instructor for the Financial Fluency program.

Returning to classes as an alumna auditor was truly life-changing, says Boies. A native New Yorker who graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and commuted to Barnard, Boies found the College “such a changed place, such a vibrant and exciting place.” She was particularly enthusiastic about courses with Alan Segal in religion, Peter Platt for Renaissance drama, and Jennie Kassanoff in English (where Boies finally made her way through Moby Dick). She was definitely impressed by the sophisticated level of discussion about the texts, especially in Prof. Platt’s class. Given that her “point of contact was the faculty,” she’s delighted that one of her trustee committee assignments is with faculty relations. Boies also plans to bring her professional expertise to the audit committee.

A mother to twin sons and three step-children (including Barnard alumna Jennifer Christman ’84), Boies has 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 4 to 18, and lives in New York City with her husband, Robert Christman

Binta Brown ’95

For Binta Brown, it’s all about service. “I was raised to serve others and to help maintain institutions that serve others,” says this native of Arlington, Virginia, who lives in New York and is a corporate partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, “I give each day my all.” With a family equally devoted to their strong Catholic faith and the civil-rights movement, Brown, her older brother, and younger sister, Kafi D. Brown ’98, early on absorbed the strong examples of service embodied especially in her paternal grandparents. “We give to things that matter. That’s just who we are. I believe in having a well-rounded life of service.”

Brown has shared her talents as a board member of such organizations as the New York Philharmonic’s Young New Yorker Patrons Program; the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Associate Program; the environmental group, Riverkeeper, in the Hudson Valley (where Brown has a country home); and Project Enterprise in Harlem, with an emphasis on micro-finance. Her pro-bono law practice has focused on economic development initiatives assisting women in war-torn regions, and advocacy on behalf of women’s rights around the world.

“I’ve always had a lot of different things going on,” says Brown, who happened to grow up learning to play 11 different instruments. At Barnard, she earned her bachelor’s in political science, with minors in history and economics. A member of the President’s Advisory Council since 2007, Brown also serves on the Alumnae Association’s bylaws committee. With her professional expertise as a bank-finance lawyer, Brown, who graduated from Columbia Law School, adds, “I want to bring those skills to the trustees. I hope my knowledge of credit markets will be useful.”

She especially cares about undergraduates and has acted as a mentor. “I’m keenly interested in students and the student body. Whatever I can do to help students— whether it’s showing them the kind of lives they can have, or the kind of work they can do—[I want] to encourage them to pursue their dreams,” says Brown.

She’s also interested in helping students of color and developing women’s leadership. “It’s about making the world better,” she avers. “I’ve been given so much. I want other people coming behind me to have the same opportunities and options. I care profoundly about the institutions that helped to shape me, and want to help ensure that the College becomes better and better. We have to have strong institutions like Barnard.”

Alison Estabrook ’74

For someone who is internationally renowned for her work in the field of breast cancer, physician and medical professor Alison Estabrook is surprisingly modest about her new role as a Barnard trustee. “It’s a learning thing for me,” she says. That’s a role reversal of sorts for Estabrook, who, as chief of the division of breast surgery at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and professor of clinical surgery at Columbia, is sought after as a speaker and member of local and national breast cancer groups. Still, she expects that her science and medical expertise will certainly add something to the Board, and the College. “Barnard does well with women and science,” she affirms. “I’m really interested in how well science is being taught and in the variety of what they offer.” Estabrook remembers her undergraduate experience, where the security of learning among women at Barnard, of “finding your own voice among women without competition,” contributed immensely to enabling her to pursue advanced science studies. “It was a very good combination,” she says.

A New York native who attended the Lycée Français and later the United Nations International School before enrolling at Barnard as a biology major, Estabrook has maintained close ties with the College. Her younger sister, Elizabeth, is a member of the Class of 1979, and Estabrook served on the President’s Advisory Council and the Science Advisory Council before joining the board.

Even with limited time for non- professional pursuits, Estabrook is a devoted equestrian who rides her two horses competitively. Married to William Harrington, MD, she lives in the city of Rye, in Westchester county, as well as in Manhattan.