On Thursday, May 8, alumnae and friends of Barnard College gathered at New York’s historic Plaza Hotel for the Annual Gala, a dinner and scholarship auction to benefit the College’s financial-aid program. The event honored recipients of the Frederick A.P. Barnard Award: Dorothy Urman Denburg ’70 and Constance Hess Williams ’66. Mai Eldib ‘08 of Sotheby’s served as auctioneer.  This year’s gala raised close to $2.5 million for scholarship aid.

“For many of our students, scholarship aid makes the dream of attending Barnard a reality,” said Barnard President Debora L. Spar. “The support we receive from alumnae, families, and friends is truly invaluable.”

“Barnard was my dream school for years, and without this scholarship I unfortunately would not have been able to attend,” said scholarship recipient Hillary Gabriele ’17. “As I complete my first semester, I am confident that coming to Barnard was one of the best decisions I have made so far.”

“Barnard is deeply committed to educating talented young women regardless of their financial means, and the annual Scholarship Gala plays a major role in making this possible,” said Nanette M. DiLauro, Barnard’s director of financial aid, who noted that in this academic year alone, Barnard students received more than $34.5 million in scholarship aid.

US News & World Report ranked Barnard among the “Most Generous” schools and the College’s financial-aid advising program received national recognition in a Time magazine article about student debt.

Following the Annual Gala, the evening continued with the third annual Gala Nights, an event founded and spearheaded by a committee of socially engaged young alumnae. Also in support of scholarships, the goal of this soirée is to encourage young professionals to support current students, give back to the College and community, and participate in the New York philanthropic scene.

About the Honorees

Connie Williams ’66 
served as a Barnard Trustee from 1989 until 2000. She created Barnard’s Constance Hess Williams ’66 Fund for Political Internships, as well as the Constance Hess Williams ‘66 Directorship of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. In recognition of her tremendous service to the College, Connie received the Barnard Distinguished Alumna Award in 2006. From 2001 to 2008, Connie was a member of the Pennsylvania Senate and from 1997 to 2001 represented the 149th District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is widely known for her strong record of community involvement with a special emphasis on education, the arts, and economic opportunities for women. In 2013, Governor Tom Corbett named her a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Connie has been Chair of the Board of the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 2010. She is also a trustee of the National Museum of American Jewish History, Steppingstone Scholars Inc., and a former trustee of The Episcopal Academy, The Baldwin School, Pine Manor College, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Dorothy Urman Denburg ’70 was an indispensable member of Barnard’s administration for four decades, not counting her stellar years as a Barnard student. She first served as Associate Director of Admissions, supervising the recruitment program and selection of the freshman class.  She subsequently served as First Year Class Dean, Associate Dean of Studies, and then Dean of the College for 17 years.  Most recently, Denburg was Vice-President for College Relations, overseeing alumnae affairs, career development and relations with various college and university consortia.  As Vice President for College Relations from 2011 to 2013, Denburg found new and engaging ways to connect our alumnae to the College, and our students to our alumnae. Her efforts have helped double the number of alumnae clubs to a total of 52, both stateside and abroad. In addition, she organized faculty lectures in cities throughout the world, and secured support to increase programming for 350 alumnae and 40 gap-year students in Israel.