Editors’ note: Space limitations prevent us from printing some of these heartfelt letters in full; please go to alum.barnard.edu/winter09letters to read more. We will address Barnard’s intercollegiate athletic program prior to the Consortium in our next issue.
As a former Barnard College athlete, I enjoy reading any articles relating to the achievements of student athletes. So your article in the Fall 2008 issue about the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium was great to see. Unfortunately, however, you have missed honoring the true heroes of Barnard College athletics—three students of the 1970s who fought for and helped create the college’s intercollegiate program in the first place. They are Valerie Schwarz Mason ’80, Lynn Moffat Wray ’78, and Diana Wood Kutlow ’80, and they each deserve a place in the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame. Athletic Directors Marian Rosenwasser and Margie Greenberg also deserve recognition. Without the tireless efforts of these women, it is doubtful Barnard would have had the “thriving NCAA Division III program” (referred to by Sharon Everson in the article) to merge with Columbia when it went coed in 1983.
—Shari Teitelbaum ’79, P 11
As a student athlete who was involved in the formative years of the athletic program referred to in “Sports Builds Life Skills” you can imagine my disappointment when there was not even a nod to the Barnard women and faculty who helped put the program on the map. From my vantage point, no honor roll or list of the most influential women would be complete without the names of all of the Barnard women who participated on and built the teams and program in the years leading up to the Consortium. It was their dedication and spirit that laid the foundation for the 25 years of sisters who followed them.
—Valerie Schwarz Mason ’80
New York, NY
As a former captain of the fi rst Barnard- Columbia Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Teams, I read with interest the article “Sports Build Life Skills.” While I am glad to see women’s sports highlighted, you have neglected to ... acknowledge the very athletes who were responsible for beginning the women’s athletic program. While the very first Barnard athletes were making do with meager practice facilities and little funding, we were also actively planning a bigger and better future. The Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, consisting of captains of all the teams, met monthly with Marian Rosenwasser. What exists today is in no small part testament to the efforts of this group.
—Merle Myerson, MD, EdD, ’78
[I am] someone who bridged the pre- Consortium and Consortium time periods (I was a Barnard Bear and then a Columbia Lion). To help in educating our current student-athletes on this wonderful history, perhaps Barnard could include another article about these pioneers.
—Philippa Feldman Portnoy ’86
New York, NY
I used to just flip through Barnard Magazine, but I just spent the past hour reading the articles and admiring the new layout. This new version feels not only more timely, but also, more personal. I especially enjoyed the article on Doris Miller—as memorable and vital as she was to my experience at Barnard, it was touching to read how many others her kindness and humor reached.
—Dana Lieb ’90
San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico