Barnard women have always been political activists; the very founding of a college to provide women with a quality education equivalent to that received by men, in 1889, was certainly a political statement. last year’s presidential election electrified the campus, but activism on behalf of candidates does not necessarily translate into running a campaign of one’s own. We wondered why this was the case, so we assembled a group of alumnae politicians to ask them why more women, not necessarily just Barnard women, are not running for office. alumnae from Public advocate Betsy Gotbaum ’61, recently named “Upper Westsider of the Year” by The Westside Spirit weekly, to student Chelsea Zimmerman ’10, president of her Barnard class for four years, weighed in to answer our questions. also offering her assessment is history professor Rosalind Rosenberg, who candidly and thoughtfully presents her ideas about the reasons for this reluctance, especially in light of women’s significant gains in the fields of law, medicine, and business.

We invite you to join us as we recount a journey made by ann Whitney Olin Professor of Professional Practice in architecture Karen Fairbanks to the former Kingdom of Bhutan, one of the world’s newest democracies, and a South asian country determined to maintain its rich cultural heritage as it makes its way into the twenty-first century. an array of Fairbanks’s photos accompanies the piece.

The alumnae association pages of our Fall issue always highlight first-years with generational connections—mothers, sisters, grandmothers, and occasionally, great- grandmothers. In this issue, four Barnard “legacy” families, all reflecting a longstanding belief in the College and its goals, are the focus of our photo essay.

Barnard’s location in New York gives its students easy access to world-class museums of all kinds from natural to cultural history to fine arts. This semester students were given the opportunity to enroll in a seminar, “The Frick Collection,” that brought them into a first-class museum for direct contact with major artworks from a broad range of periods. This pilot seminar, with support from the Mellon Foundation, promises to be the first of such opportunities in other disciplines and further underscores Barnard’s commitment to educational innovation that capitalizes on the College’s location in a major global metropolis.

Finally, we want to take a moment to thank those who have demonstrated unswerving and extraordinary generosity to the College by maintaining their support during this period of fiscal uncertainty. Specifically, we are speaking of donors and friends connected to “underwater” endowed scholarship and internship funds. “Underwater” refers to endowed restricted funds whose value is less than the original gift value. For example, if a donor established an endowed fund in 2002 with $100,000, the market value of that fund today may be $95,000, meaning that fund is underwater. a New York State law prohibits Barnard (or any nonprofit) from invading the principal of such funds; therefore, certain endowed scholarship or internship funds cannot award income until their market values recover.

In late summer and early fall, the development office began to contact donors and friends connected to endowed scholarship and internship funds that were underwater. Our donors responded to this news by giving an extraordinary amount of money for scholarship awards and internship grants that can be spent immediately, and will be directed to students just as the named endowed funds would have been awarded. These gifts have helped the College maintain its commitment to meeting students’ needs for support. as of this writing, commitments to expendable student support (internships and scholarships) total $196,592.60 and they continue to grow. Those who have helped or plan to do so have earned our enduring gratitude.

Please enjoy the issue and let us know if you did, or didn’t...

—The Editors