Torchbearers 2011 gathered over 200 alumnae, students, parents, and friends in jubilant celebration of student support programs at Barnard. The event took place in The Diana Center on March 8, 2011 and featured an Internship Reception, Cocktails, and Dinner. Throughout the evening, several groups of donors and students shared their thoughts on giving to Barnard students in filming sessions in the Dasha Amsterdam Epstein Theatre Workshop. This provided a new method of carrying out the true purpose of Torchbearers: commemorating the distinctive bonds between the donors and student recipients of scholarship, internship, and fellowship funds at Barnard.

Torchbearers kicked off with an Internship Reception, which was organized by Career Development. Two dozen internship grant recipients presented their internship experiences at individual stations. The interns creatively used a variety of presentation formats, including PowerPoint, poster boards, and hand outs. Participating students were awarded the 2011 Torchbearers Internship of Distinction. Valerie Chow, the Program Director for Internship Program and Civic Engagement, shared a few words of thanks and an update on the increasingly competitive internship grant program, which is funded by generous alumnae and friends of the College.

A Cocktail Reception and Dinner followed the Internship Reception. President Debora L. Spar welcomed guests and Diana Rastegayeva ’11 served as the emcee. Sylvia Montero ’72, the speaker on behalf of donors and friends, gave a moving speech about the support and encouragement she received from her family and from Barnard. This support inspired her to establish the Eligia and Cruz Montero Scholarship Fund, an endowed fund in honor of her parents. During her speech, Sylvia affectionately introduced her mother, who was in attendance and rose to receive a wholehearted applause.

Diana closed the event with her own speech and words of gratitude. She observed that March 8th is the centennial International Women’s Day, which is especially meaningful for her family as they celebrate their Russian roots. Diana, who is a recipient of the Ellen V. Futter ’71 Scholarship Fund and the Francene Rodgers ’67 Athena Fellowship Program, also spoke about the opportunities for choice and exploration she has had at Barnard thanks to generous donations of student support.

Barnard has hosted Torchbearers for over 10 years. While the event has grown and changed through the years, the resounding sentiments of shared respect and appreciation among all of the attendees remain the same.