Letter from President Spar

"Giving to The Bold Standard means taking a stand for women, for opportunity, and for the power of education to change lives."

- President
Debora L. Spar

It’s no secret that Barnard is rich in scholarship, intellect, and academic opportunity. But it’s also known that Barnard has never been a wealthy institution. We were founded on an idea—that women deserved equal education and opportunity—rather than on a large financial endowment. Over the College’s 126 years, we have actively opened our gates to all those who deserve to be here. We continue that tradition today by adhering to a fully need-blind admissions policy, admitting increasingly diverse and selective classes of students regardless of their financial background.

We have always “punched above our weight”—the College accomplishes a great deal with relatively little resources when measured against comparable institutions. But the time has come to change that. The Bold Standard / A Campaign for Barnard is an ambitious fundraising initiative which will be invested solely in the excellence of our faculty, the brilliance of our students, and the quality of the physical environment in which they teach and learn.

Funds raised through The Bold Standard will change the way Barnard runs and dramatically increase its potential for impact. Gifts will be used to promote our deserving faculty into prestigious named chairs, to nearly double the amount of endowed funds dedicated to financial aid, to underwrite signature programs such as the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, to bolster academic research programs, and to construct a new academic building that will provide much-needed classroom space and house a re-imagined library for the 21st century. This website outlines the campaign’s priorities and the ways in which you can actively participate in the College’s future.

Barnard College is the story of every young woman who has come to Morningside Heights to challenge herself. Each of these Barnard women is unique, all are valuable, and every single one deserves our best possible effort and support.

This is Barnard’s moment—our chance to put the College on the kind of solid financial footing that it has never known before. I ask you to be a part of it.


Debora L. Spar