Dear Alumnae Sisters,

The fall term is well underway. Leadership Assembly will have occurred by the time you read this letter, and the schedule of events and activities for the College family is in full swing. Since this is my final year as AABC president, I find I am prone to reflection. I have been thinking about the ways in which we, Barnard people, are indeed a family, connected in many ways. In just the past few weeks I have had long “catch up” conversations by phone with several women who attended Barnard in the Seventies, as I did. I’ve exchanged e-mails with members from two different classes in the Fifties. I received a lovely handwritten letter from a member of the Class of 1948. I have added administrators and fellow alumnae to my professional network on a social networking site. I had a late lunch with a couple of faculty members. I received and sent jokes, newspaper articles, and job postings to an e-group. I have exchanged text messages with a young alumna. I had an ice cream cone date with a senior to discuss an internship. At committee meetings in the Vagelos Alumnae Center, I have had lots of coffee, hugs and kisses, and stimulating conversation. So many different and wonderful interactions that have enriched my life!

Human beings are gregarious creatures. The Barnard family offers us opportunities to cultivate so many different types of relationships. We can connect with members of our class through the magazine’s Class Notes or a visit to our class Web page. I’m sure your class correspondent would love to hear from you. Your class officers can use your help in planning reunions and mini-reunions and making Phonathon calls. For those of us who also want intergenerational connections, there are opportunities to mentor a Barnard student or connect with a more seasoned homebound alumna through a Project Continuum program. You could also plan to take a trip with the Barnard travel program. Alumnae committees and departments of the College plan events and activities for a remarkably diverse group of women that always end with lots of conversation. Did you know that you can audit a class? Imagine sitting in a class, learning things in new areas of study, like neuropsychology.

Take advantage of your membership in the Alumnae Association to revitalize your old connections and make new ones. Join the alumnae network. You can connect to your Facebook page directly from Carry a Barnard tote bag so your sisters will be able to identify you. Hire a Barnard babysitter. Join a committee or a regional club. Barnard was the cornerstone of one point in our lives. Because of that experience we have a shared history. Leveraging those wide-ranging and multi-level connections has been rewarding for me. If you have had the same experience, let me know. If you haven’t been connected in the past, now is the time. Barnard continues to be a place that provides a rigorous and challenging education that takes women seriously. Contact Alumnae Affairs at 212.854.2005, so the knowledgeable and helpful staff can help you make your connections!

As ever, Frances Sadler ’72

-photograph by Elena Seibert '78