Barnard College: Wikis


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Barnard College
Barnard Logo.jpg
Motto Hepomene toi logismoi
Motto in English Following the Way of Reason
Established 1889
Type Private
Endowment $168.1 million[1]
President Debora Spar
Faculty 319
Undergraduates 2,356
Postgraduates none
Location New York, NY
40°48′35″N 73°57′49″W / 40.8096°N 73.9635°W / 40.8096; -73.9635Coordinates: 40°48′35″N 73°57′49″W / 40.8096°N 73.9635°W / 40.8096; -73.9635
Campus Urban
Colors Blue and white          
Mascot Millie, the dancing Barnard Bear
Athletics 15 varsity teams

Barnard College is an independently incorporated women's liberal arts college affiliated with Columbia University. [2] Barnard College is also a member of the Seven Sisters. Founded in 1889, Barnard has been affiliated with Columbia University since 1902. While the college is legally and financially a separate institution, there is a high degree of academic integration within the University, with Columbia classes open to Barnard students and vice versa. Barnard students and faculty are represented in the University Senate and student clubs are open to all students. Barnard degrees are awarded by Columbia University[3] and all Barnard faculty are granted tenure by the college and Columbia[4]. Although Barnard students participate in the academic, social, athletic and extracurricular life of the broader University community, Barnard is responsible for its own separate admissions, health, security, guidance and placement services, and has its own alumnae association. Despite being an independent institution Barnard College is a Faculty of Columbia University.[5]

The 4-acre (1.6 ha) campus stretches along Broadway between 116th and 120th Streets in the Morningside Heights neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. It is adjacent to Columbia's campus and near a number other academic institutions and has been used by Barnard since 1898.



Barnard College

Barnard's original 1889 home was a rented brownstone at 343 Madison Avenue, where a faculty of six offered instruction to 14 students in the School of Arts, as well as to 22 "specials", who lacked the entrance requirements in Greek and so enrolled in science. When Columbia University announced in 1892 its impending move to Morningside Heights, Barnard built a new campus on 119th-120th Streets with gifts from Mary E. Brinckerhoff, Elizabeth Milbank Anderson and Martha T. Fiske. As the college grew it needed additional space, and in 1903 it received the three blocks south of 119th Street from Anderson who had purchased a former portion of the Bloomingdale Asylum site from the New York Hospital.[6] In 1900, Barnard formalized an affiliation with Columbia University, in which it continued to be independently governed, while making available to its students the instruction and facilities of the University. Barnard currently pays an annual fee to Columbia to maintain the affiliation.

The college was named after Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard, an American educator and mathematician, who served as the president of the then-Columbia College from 1864 to 1889. Frederick Barnard advocated equal educational privileges for men and women, preferably in a coeducational setting. The school's founding, however, is largely due to the efforts of Annie Nathan Meyer, a student and writer who was not satisfied with Columbia's effort to educate women.

Barnard is one of the Seven Sisters founded to provide an education for women comparable to that of the Ivy League schools, which (with the exception of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania) admitted only men for undergraduate study into the 1960s. Columbia College began admitting women in 1983 after a decade of failed negotiations with Barnard for a merger along the lines of the one between Harvard College and Radcliffe College. In 2008, Barnard had the lowest acceptance rate of the five Seven Sisters that remain single-sex in admissions.[7] Barnard has an independent faculty and board of trustees. Most of the school's classes and activities, however, are also open to students at Columbia University, in a reciprocal arrangement to benefit the academic and social life of the College and the University.[3]


A view of Milbank Hall, Barnard College

Admissions to Barnard College is considered most selective by U.S. News & World Report and ranked as 30th best liberal college in the United States.[8] Barnard College considers itself the most selective women's college in the nation.[9]

For the class of 2011, Barnard College admitted 28.7% of those who applied. The median ACT score was 30, while the median combined SAT score was 2100.[10] For the class of 2012, the admission rate was 28.5% of the 4,273 applications received. The early-decision admission rate was 47.7%, out of 392 applications. The median SAT Combined was 2060, with median subscores of 660 in Math, 690 in Critical Reading, and 700 in Writing. The Median ACT score was 30. Of the women in the class of 2012, 89.4% ranked in first or second decile at their high school (of the 41.3% ranked by their schools). The average GPA of the class of 2012 was 94.3 on a 100-point scale and 3.88 on a 4.0 scale.[11]

For the class of 2013, the admit rate was 31.0%, with 4,174 applications received. The early-decision admit rate was 51.8%, or 210 out of 409 applicants. The median SAT Combined was 2050, with median sub-scores of 660 in Math, 680 in Critical Reading, and 720 in Writing. The Median ACT score was 30. 90.3% of the class of 2013 ranked in first or second decile at their high school (of the 35.0% ranked by their schools). The average GPA of the class of 2013 was 94.6 on a 100-pt. scale and 3.84 on a 4.0 scale.[12]

Barnard Library

The Barnard Library is located in Lehman Hall. Its collection includes over 200,000 volumes which support the undergraduate curriculum. It also houses an archival collection of official and student publications, photographs, letters and other material that documents Barnard’s history from its founding in 1889 to the present day. Barnard's rare books collections include the Overbury Collection, the personal library of Nobel prize-winning poet Gabriela Mistral, and a small collection of other rare books. The Overbury Collection consists of 3,300 items, including special and first edition books as well as manuscript materials by and about American women authors. Alumnae Books is a collection of books donated by Barnard alumnae authors.


Barnard Library Zine Collection

Barnard collects zines in an effort to document the third-wave feminism and Riot Grrrl culture. The Zine Collection complements Barnard's women's studies research holdings because it gives room to voices of girls and women otherwise under or not at all represented in the book stacks. According to its Library collection development policy, Barnard's zines are "written by New York City and other urban women with an emphasis on zines by women of color. (In this case the word woman includes anyone who identifies as female and some who don't believe in binary gender.) The zines are personal and political publications on activism, anarchism, body image, third wave feminism, gender, parenting, queer community, riotgrrrl, sexual assault, and other topics."[13]

Barnard's collection documents movements and trends in feminist thought through the personal work of artists, writers, and activists. Currently, the Barnard Zine Collection has over 2,000 items, including zines about race, gender, sexuality, childbirth, motherhood, politics, and relationships. Barnard attempts to collect two copies of each zine, one of which circulates with the second copy archived for preservation. To facilitate circulation, Barnard zines are cataloged in CLIO (the Columbia/Barnard OPAC) and OCLC's Worldcat.

Culture and student life

Student organizations

Barnard College Greek Games statue

Every Barnard student is part of the Student Government Association (SGA), which elects a representative student government. Students serve with faculty and administrators on college committees and help to shape policy in a wide variety of areas.

Student groups include theatre and vocal music groups, language clubs, literary magazines, a biweekly magazine called the Barnard Bulletin, community service groups, and others. Barnard students can also join extracurricular activities or organizations at Columbia University, while Columbia University students are allowed in most, but not all, Barnard organizations.

Barnard's McIntosh Activities Council (commonly known as McAC), named after the first President of Barnard, Millicent Mcintosh, organizes various community focused events on campus, such as Big Sub and Midnight Breakfast. McAC is made up of five sub-committees which are the Multi-Cultural committee, the Time-Out committee, the Network committee, the Community committee, and the Action committee. Each committee has a different focus, such as hosting and publicizing multi-cultural events (Multi-Cultural), having regular study breaks and relaxation events (Time-Out), giving students opportunities to be involved with Alumnae and various professionals (Network), planning events that bring the entire student body together (Community), and planning community service events that give back to the surrounding community (Action).

Two National Panhellenic Conference organizations were founded at Barnard College. Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, was founded on January 2, 1897, the Alpha Epsilon Phi, founded on October 24, 1909, though both are no longer on campus. Barnard students now participate in four National Panhellenic Conference sororities - Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Sigma Delta Tau.


  • Midnight Breakfast marks the beginning of finals week. As a highly popular event and long-standing college tradition, Midnight Breakfast is hosted by the student-run activities council, McAC (McIntosh Activities Council). In addition to providing standard breakfast foods, each year's theme is also incorporated into the menu. Past themes have included "I YUMM the 90s," "Grease," and "Take me out to the ballgame." The event is a school-wide affair as college deans, trustees and the President, Debora Spar, serve food to about a thousand students. It takes place the night before finals begin every semester.
  • On Spirit Day, there is a large barbecue, the deans serve ice cream to students, different activities are hosted, and the whole student body celebrates. The school sells "I Love BC" T-shirts, and gives out free Barnard products. The event is co-organized by the student-run activities council, McAC (McIntosh Activities Council) and the Student Government Association (SGA).
  • At the Fall Festival, cider and caramel apples are served.
  • During the fall semester, students help to construct and then consume a mile-long sandwich known as "The big sub". Every year another foot is added onto the sub as it stretches across campus. The event is organized by the student-run activities council, McAC (McIntosh Activities Council).
  • In the spring of each year, Barnard holds the Greek Games, which brings together each class for friendly competition. The event is organized by the student-run activities council, McAC (McIntosh Activities Council).


Barnard athletes compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and the Ivy League through the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium. There are 15 intercollegiate teams, and students also compete at the intramural and club levels. From 1975-1983, before the establishment of the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium, Barnard students competed as the "Barnard Bears". [14] Prior to 1975, students referred to themselves as the "Barnard honeybears".


Barnard College has issued a statement affirming its commitment to environmental sustainability, a major part of which is the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2017.[15][16] Student EcoReps work as a resource on environmental issues for students in Barnard's residence halls, while the student-run Earth Coalition works on outreach initiatives such as local park clean-ups, tutoring elementary school students in environmental education, and sponsoring environmental forums.[17] Barnard earned a "C-" for its sustainability efforts on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009 published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. Its highest marks were in Student Involvement and Food and Recycling, receiving a "B" in both categories.[18]

Nine Ways of Knowing

Nine Ways of Knowing is a distributed requirements for graduation, including one course in each of the following disciplines: social analysis, cultures in comparison, historical studies, reason and value, quantitative and deductive reasoning, visual and performing arts, and literature. The program is flexible and allows students to choose from a long list of courses in each area. Students are also required to take two courses in a laboratory science, and study a foreign language through the fourth semester.


In the spring of 1960 Columbia University President Grayson Kirk complained to the President of Barnard that Barnard students were wearing inappropriate clothing. The garments in question were pants and Bermuda shorts. The administration forced the Student Council to institute a dress code. Students would be allowed to wear shorts and pants only at Barnard and only if the shorts were no more than two inches above the knee and the pants were not tight. Barnard women crossing the street to enter the Columbia campus wearing shorts or pants were required to cover themselves with a long coat similar to a jilbab.[19][20]

In March 1968, The New York Times ran an article on students who cohabited, identifying one of the persons they interviewed as a student at Barnard College from New Hampshire named "Susan".[21] Barnard officials searched their records for women from New Hampshire and were able to determine that "Susan" was the pseudonym of a student who was living with her boyfriend, a student at Columbia University. She was called before Barnard's student-faculty administration judicial committee, where she faced the possibility of expulsion. A student protest included a petition signed by 300 other Barnard women, admitting that they too had broken the regulations. The judicial committee reached a compromised and the student was allowed to remain in school, but was denied use of the college cafeteria and barred from all social activities. The student briefly became a focus of intense national attention.[22][23][24]

Notable Barnard alumnae and faculty

See also



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 9, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b The Barnard/Columbia Partnership, accessed July 26, 2006
  4. ^ Principles and Customs Governing the Procedures of Ad Hoc Committees and University-Wide Tenure Review, accessed November 27, 2009
  5. ^
  6. ^ Plimpton Papers, Barnard College Archives
  7. ^
  8. ^ ""America's Best Colleges 2008: Barnard College: At a glance"". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  9. ^ Alix Pianin (April 9, 2009). "Barnard’s admit rate rises for 2013". Columbia Daily Spectator. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  10. ^ Barnard Admissions
  11. ^ Barnard Admissions
  12. ^ Barnard Admissions
  13. ^ Barnard Library Zine Collection, accessed June 23, 2008.
  14. ^ magazine-spring09/6
  15. ^ "Sustainability At Barnard". Barnard College. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  16. ^ "Sustainability - Barnard Growing Greener". Barnard College. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  17. ^ "Groups and Organizations - The Earth Institute at Columbia". Columbia University. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Ban on Shorts Threatens Classic Barnard Couture". The New York Times: p. 1. April 28, 1960. 
  20. ^ "Administrative Regulations: Campus Etiquette". Barnard College Blue Book. pp. 87–88. 
  21. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (March 4, 1968). "An arrangement: living together for convenience, security, sex". The New York Times. 
  22. ^ Newsweek, April 8, 1968, p. 85 and Newsweek, April 29, 1968, p. 79-80.
  23. ^ Rosenberg, Rosalind (1999-09-21). "The Woman Question". Barnard College. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  24. ^ Bailey, Beth L. (1999). Sex in the heartland. Harvard University Press. p. 201. ISBN 0674009746.,M1. 


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