The Women's Center, Barnard College, pamphlet, 1971

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The Women's Center
 Barnard College

Introducing the Center 
 The Barnard Women's Cen-
 ter is a new program for an
 old need: the dignity, au-
 tonomy, and equality of
 women. More than a place,
 more than a project, it sym-
 bolizes the way in which a
 college may gather its ener-
 gies on behalf of women. It
 is Barnard's way of reaffirm-
 ing its commitment to educating women to take their
 place in the world, the very premise on which the Col-
 lege was founded.
 For too long society has held to be true a number of
 myths about women, some of them destructive myths.
 Especially destructive to colleges, particularly women's
 colleges, was the notion that women were less rational
 than men, less capable than men, so that educating
 women was less useful than educating men.
 Replacing myth with fact is, of course, the responsi-
 bility of everyone. What the Women's Center hopes to
 contribute is, first, a dialogue about the problems, the
 place, and the potential of women in contemporary life;
 second, new bonds between a college and women away
 from college; and third, fresh insight for undergradu-
 ates about what it means to be a woman in modern
 The Center will draw upon Barnard faculty, which
 now teaches perhaps the most versatile group of
 Women's Studies courses in the nation; upon Columbia
 University and its vast resources; upon New York,
 where so many women of diverse talents and skills
 live; upon the Barnard alumnae.
 When we think of our plans, we ask ourselves if
 they are broad enough to interest many women; if
 they will help create a real body of knowledge about
 women; if they will free women to use their education
 as fully as possible; if they will give undergraduates
 something serious and substantial. Why not, we go on
 to ask ourselves, have a permanent series of seminars
 on Women and Society? Why not systematically bring
 back women of varied experience, alumnae and others,
 to talk to undergraduates? Why not have a committee
 of Barnard alumnae who are lawyers to explore cases
 of discrimination?
 How will we finance our activities? It seems most
 fitting that the income from the bequest of Helen
 Rogers Reid '03, a former Board Chairman and life-
 long crusader for women's rights, will be used to launch
 the first programs of the Center.
 Many people - men and women - have been a part
 of the genesis of the Women's Center. It is impossible
 to generalize about them, but if we have all felt some
 common emotions, surely they include anger (or at
 the very least discontent), because of the past; eager-
 ness, because of the possibility of changing the past;
 and enormous excitement, because of what a college
 community might do.
 In this brochure are a series of brief remarks about
 men, women, and society; about women and Barnard;
 about the Barnard Women's Center. The comments
 touch on the necessity for Women's Studies; Bamard's
 research collection; women, especially Barnard women,
 and the academic world; on women and work; and the
 cultural context into which the Center fits. I hope they
 will show what the Center is, why it came into being,
 and what it may become: a
 place of study, a place for
 students, and a place where
 thought and action nurture
 each other.
 Catharine R. Stimpson
 Executive Committee
 Barnard Women's Center
V I V. «I, .,

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 // 2.

The Case for Women's Studies 
 There are now eleven
 courses on women in the
 regular Barnard curriculum.
 Their appearance has been
 in keeping with Barnard's
 academic style. Some of our
 faculty have had a long-
 standing interest in such
 materials and, in the pres-
 ent climate, have been en-
 couraged to offer courses where they may share this
 interest with students. Other faculty members have de-
 veloped their interest relatively recently, but have done
 so against a background of intense involvement with
 a field where the special experience of women has
 clearly been ignored.
 Barnard's courses on women are given in a variety
 of disciplines, with no major planned at the moment.
 Sometimes they are presented within the framework of
 a colloquium with a changing theme. In this case, the
 "women" theme may be succeeded in some future
 year by another topic. At other times, a course will be
 added as a regular offering. Its fate will be determined
 by the educational and practical considerations that
 guide departmental offerings, along with the impal-
 pable criterion that applies to each course at Barnard:
 Does it have a convincing life of its own?
 Some say that courses on women are needlessly
 particularizing and parochial. Might it not be more
 appropriate to think of such courses as a rearrange-
 ment of familiar materials and an introduction of for-
 gotten or neglected materials? Whether these materials
 occupy center stage, as in courses specifically designed
 to deal with the woman factor, or whether they are in
 varying amounts incorporated in existing courses, they
 heighten our awareness of a whole dimension of
 human life. Indeed, far from limiting our vision, these
 courses allow a more complete estimate of the range
 of human experience and
 One sometimes hears the
 objection: Why courses on
 women? Don't they make
 as little sense as courses on
 men? Scholars are finding
 that differences exist in
 women's experiences and
 that there may well be
 differences in their perceptions of those experiences;
 yet most courses center around the experiences and
 perceptions of males. In existing courses, moreover,
 attention is rarely given to the social and economic
 role of women and to the resulting psychological rela-
 tionship between men and women, which in turn in-
 fluences the nature of society and partly determines
 its values.
 The question arises whether the inclusion of courses
 on women might upset our balanced curriculum and
 weaken its professional approach. If we acknowledge
 that the purpose of a liberal arts curriculum is not
 merely to provide pre-professional preparation for our
 students, but also to give them an appreciation of their
 cultural heritage, then, in an institution where women
 are educated, it is our duty to give them an awareness
 of their legacy as women. The nature of that legacy is
 riddled with problems of sexual definition. Since posi-
 tive answers cannot be supplied, it is even more urgent
 to place the "woman question" within many scholarly
 perspectives. In so doing, our students will become
 aware of the variety of roles women have played, of
 the social and economic
 necessities which prompted
 them, and also of the di-
 lemmas women have faced
 and the resources they
 have called upon.
 Annette K. Baxter
 Professor of History;
 Suzanne F. Wemple
 Assistant Professor
 of History
 The special experience
 of women has been
 too long ignored in
 academic institutions.
The Overbury Collection 
 As with any academic pro-
 gram, the sine qua non in
 the field of Women's Studies
 is a research library. In ad-
 dition to offering a wide
 spectrum of books by and
 about Women, the Barnard
 library houses the Over-
 bury Collection, which in-
 cludes among its nineteen
 hundred volumes unique editions of books by Ameri-
 can women writers and nearly a thousand related
 manuscripts and letters. The bequest of the late Bertha
 Van Riper Overbury of the Class of 1896, the Collection
 ranges from a second American edition of the poems
 of Anne Bradstreet, America's earliest female poet, to
 first editions of such present-day authors as Pulitzer-
 prize-winning novelist Jean Stafford, who delivered the
 first annual Spring Lectures at the College in 1971.
 Among the manuscripts are a portion of Hannah
 Adams’ History of the Jews, published in 18l2, two
 chapters of Louisa May Alcott's handwritten draft of
 Jack and Jill, several sonnets by Edna St. Vincent
 Millay, and two pages from Edith Wharton's French
 Ways and Their Meaning. Autographed letters by these
 same authors also exist in the Overbury Collection, as
 do letters by such celebrated women of the Colonial
 and Federal periods as Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis
 Warren, and one former slave, Phyllis Wheatley, who
 was born in Africa and brought to Boston in 1761.
 Two particularly rare items from the nineteenth
 century are letters written by Margaret Fuller and
 Emily Dickinson. Notable items from the twentieth
 century include several letters written by Gertrude
 Stein and Mrs. Overbury's personal correspondence
 with Pearl Buck, the only American woman ever to win
 the Nobel Prize.
 Of particular value to
 students are the bound
 volumes of nineteenth cen-
 tury periodicals that Mrs.
 Overbury was encouraged
 to collect by Librarian
 Emeritus Esther Greene and
 Professor of English Eleanor
 Tilton. These include a
 complete set of The Dial, which was edited by Margaret
 Fuller from 1840-44.
 The Overbury Collection offers students a history of
 American women both as writers and as women. As
 such, it represents an important measure of the quality
 of American civilization. The Center not only aims to
 increase the size and scope of the Overbury Collection
 of American women writers, but also to seek out dis-
 tinguished collections on
 women of other nations and
 Iola Haverstick
 The Barnard library
 has the nucleus of or
 distinguished collection
 about women which we
 are seeking to expand.

Women in the Academic World
 Why do so few talented
 women go on to academic
 careers? One reason is that
 many of them attend the
 major universities and lib-
 eral arts colleges where
 women faculty and admin-
 istrators are noticeable by
 their absence, particularly
 at the top levels of academic
 and administrative ranks. Women constitute about two
 percent of the full professors in the liberal arts depart-
 ments at such institutions as Columbia, Chicago, Stan-
 ford, and Berkeley, and a lower figure at Yale, Prince-
 ton, and Harvard.
 Another possible reason for the poor showing of
 women in the academic world is overt discrimination,
 although obvious disregard of women scholars is not
 as common today as it was in earlier years.
 The most powerful reason, however, is a psychologi-
 cal/cultural one: the "internal ambivalences" most
 American women feel about combining career and
 family, especially between the ages of 18 and 25.
 (Ellen and Kenneth Keniston have written perceptively
 about such ambivalences.) Men generally devote these
 years to intense preparation for a career. Women who
 marry and have children between 18 and 25 may find
 these activities at variance with serious vocational
 commitment in a way that men do not.
 The problem of aspiration is closely tied to the in-
 ternal ambivalences. If one is uncertain about whether
 one should have a career, one cannot aspire, either
 publicly or privately, to be an art historian, plasma
 physicist, or professor of philosophy. Low expectations
 of women for themselves so infect the society that both
 men and women refuse to think of women as likely to
 occupy important posts.
 The low proportion of
 women in top positions in
 universities is often attrib-
 uted to the fact that they do
 not publish. If this is indeed
 true relative to men Ph.D.'s,
 it is because most women
 Ph.D.’s are not put into posi-
 tions in which they must.
 Often if a woman is teaching, it is in a less prestigious
 institution than her husband's, and there she is under
 less pressure to publish. Sometimes she rationalizes
 her non-research on the basis that it would not be
 helpful to her professionally, anyway, so why bother.
 Her chances of having secretarial help and graduate
 students are probably less than those of men profes-
 sors. In short, the incentives for her to do research are
 generally missing.
 The simple question of time is another serious ob-
 stacle to women's professional advancement. There are
 just not enough hours in the day to do all she must.
 A recent UNESCO study revealed that the average
 working mother had 2.8 hours of free time on a typical
 weekday compared with 4.1 for a working man.
 A final obstacle that a woman Ph.D. (or sometimes
 her husband) faces is the nepotism rule that still pre-
 vails on many campuses. Although more and more
 institutions are now willing to overlook two members
 of the same family teaching in one institution, few
 regard with enthusiasm the prospect of husband and
 wife in the same department, particularly if both are
 on the faculty. Rarely is the wife given the superior
 appointment. Typically she takes a job in another
 institution or works part—time as a “research associate”
 at her husband's institution.
 Women's colleges, and
 certainly Barnard, have
 always encouraged
 students to pursue
 serious lives. But many
 institutions, even those
 now admitting women,
 are inhospitable to their
 intellectual ambitions.
I am not arguing that all talented young women
 should work for a Ph.D. or even should have a de-
 manding career. What I am arguing for is that the
 options should be opened to women who might wish
 to do these things so that they have a greater oppor-
 tunity to do them than they currently have. The options
 are what I am concerned about. Talented young men
 also need their options widened and broadened so
 that every bright young man does not need to feel that
 he must pursue a full-time professional career and
 leave homemaking to his wife. In short, I am arguing
 against sexual stereotyping at home and at work.
 Perhaps the situation is different for Barnard women.
 The most compelling item I can cite about Barnard
 graduates’ academic performance is that a recent
 study of women Ph.D.’s shows that in the years studied
 (the mid-fifties), on a per capita basis, Barnard led all
 institutions in the country in the numbers of its women
 receiving doctorates. It was second nationally in total
 numbers of women Ph.D.'s, leading such eminent (and
 much larger!) institutions as the University of California
 (Berkeley), the University of Chicago, and Stanford.
 Three of the leading ten undergraduate producers
 of women doctorates were women's colleges: Hunter,
 first; Barnard, second; and Wellesley, eighth. (Hunter
 of course, was a women's college until 1964.) This is
 true despite the fact that only about ten percent of the
 women undergraduates were enrolled in women's col-
 leges at the time that these women were students.
 Hunter, Barnard, and Wellesley, which have been
 such leading nurturers of women doctorates, have
 several things in common. All three have that increas-
 ing rarity, a woman president, which Barnard and
 Wellesley have had throughout their histories. All have
 had women in leading administrative positions. Fur-
 thermore, Barnard, Wellesley, and Hunter all had a
 majority of women on their faculties, and Barnard and
 Wellesley still do.
 But at a time when 95 percent of the women who are
 in college in America are in coeducational institutions,
 those colleges and universities should show greater
 concern for the quality of the education they provide
 for women. Rarely have male colleges gone coed
 because they thought it would be better for girls;
 generally it has been because they thought it would
 improve the place for the men who were already
 there. I am not against coeducation, only urging that
 the institution be as truly coeducational in its graduate
 school, faculties, and ad-
 ministrations as it is in its
 undergraduate body. Tokenism has no place in
 higher education today.
 Patricia Albjerg Graham
 Associate Professor
 of History and Education
Women and Work 
 An important function of
 the Women's Center will be
 to implement career plan-
 ning—to help students and
 alumnae think seriously
 about the full range of
 careers, make appropriate
 plans, and go on to achieve
 their vocational goals. This
 is a large order, but we
 believe that at a time when opportunities and options
 for women are expanding, Barnard is in a unique
 position to pioneer in these areas.
 Enlarging on current programs for students carried
 out by the Office of Placement and Career Planning
 and by a number of alumnae committees, the Center
 will encourage and, wherever possible, sponsor new
 projects to help students take themselves and their
 interests seriously and learn how to plan for productive
 lives. Such projects will include a program of group
 counseling where students will have a chance to raise
 questions and explore attitudes about their role as
 women; and an expansion of career advising to stimu-
 late and sustain student interest in such traditionally
 male fields as business, medicine, dentistry, law, en-
 gineering, architecture and urban planning, and to
 include closer ties with professional schools, particu-
 larly admissions committees.
 In addition, the Women's Center will encourage fre-
 quent seminars and career conferences, bringing in
 women, often alumnae, representing different fields
 and different life styles, who are prepared to talk in-
 formally about the satisfactions and problems they face
 as working women. In this way the Center will focus
 on one of Barnard's great strengths — the large number
 of successful alumnae who often express a willingness
 to share their experiences
 with undergraduates. The
 dialogue that the Center
 hopes to foster between
 alumnae and students, and
 professional alumnae and
 non-working alumnae who
 need encouragement, can
 be extremely significant in
 building new confidence,
 understanding, and trust among women of all ages.
 The Center plans to expand the services currently
 offered to alumnae, offering concrete vocational help
 whenever needed. This new emphasis may include
 helping women work out flexible time schedules and/
 or arrangements for getting fellowships or loans in
 order to complete graduate and professional training;
 helping alumnae keep up to date in a field when
 activities outside the home are impossible; setting up
 workshops for groups of mature alumnae who need
 counseling about returning to work.
 Initially the Center will be concerned with providing
 encouragement and support in a few important areas.
 These will include a strong commitment to exposing
 and ending discrimination wherever we find it as it
 affects women seeking employment or entrance to
 graduate or professional school. The Center will en-
 dorse an expansion of our collection of vocational
 material to include more complete information on
 careers, graduate schools, and professional schools, as
 well as details on all the economic, legal, and social
 changes affecting women. The Center will also encour-
 age research on vocational
 activities of women,both for
 our own use and for 
 periodic publication. 
 Jane S. Gould
 Office of Placement 
 and Career Planning
 Educating women
 means more than
 giving them academic
 courses. Programs to
 help them plan careers.
 before and after the
 B.B... are an integral
 part of the Center.

A Sociologist Looks at the Center 
 The anti-feminist feeling
 following World War II
 manifested itself, among
 other ways, in the criticism
 of women's education on
 the grounds that women
 were educated “as if they
 were men in disguise." In-
 stead of making women
 proud to be women, it was
 alleged that the feminist glorified masculine aptitudes
 and goals. At least one critic urged the creation of a
 “distinctively feminine" college curriculum, one in
 which the minor arts of ceramics, textiles, cooking, in-
 terior decorating and the like would not be excluded
 because of the hitherto dominant masculine preference
 for the abstract and the flamboyant.
 In Women in the Modern World: Their Education
 and Their Dilemmas, published in 1953, I condemned
 this view as reactionary. I attempted to show that
 neither the psychological differences between men and
 women nor their different social roles demand a dis-
 tinctively feminine college curriculum. On the contrary,
 the book claimed that the closer a liberal arts college
 comes to fulfilling its goals, the better it serves both
 men and women within the framework of the same
 broad curriculum.
 Much, but not enough, has changed since 1950. The
 soaring rise in the proportion of married women in the
 work force, the considerable percentage of women
 college graduates who are working even at the peak
 of their child-rearing responsibilities, the greater likeli-
 hood that women will outlive their husbands, the con-
 cern with the population explosion - these and other
 changes mean that women do not and cannot define
 their lives solely in terms of wifehood and motherhood.
 It is a cliche to attribute
 social problems to rapid
 social changes and the dis-
 locations they produce, but
 it is equally true that prob-
 lems persist because of re-
 sistances to change. While
 society today is moving
 towards a less rigid differ-
 entiation between the ideals
 of masculinity and femininity, as well as between the
 social roles of the sexes, we suffer from massive in-
 consistencies in values and in institutions. As a result,
 women do not fully realize their intellectual, profes-
 sional and, more generally, their creative potential.
 Discrimination against women in access to professional
 schools and in jobs, pay, and promotions persists and
 must be combatted. More resistant to change are the in-
 direct obstacles to full development of women: the low
 aspirations and lack of self-confidence of women, some
 obsolete stereotypes of masculinity and femininity, the
 paucity of existing facilities (eg. day-care centers), and
 the lack of organizational innovations that would
 ultimately make it feasible for women, who must or
 choose to do so, to combine family life and work on
 much the same terms as men do.
 The current strains in masculine and feminine social
 roles and the Women's Movement exert great pressures
 upon institutions of higher learning for self-evaluation.
 What are the responsibilities of a college such as
 Barnard at this particular point in the history of
 women's education? The answer, I believe, is to remain
 steadfast in its goals and be innovative in its methods.
 The College has always been committed to the fullest
 realization of the intellectual and professional poten-
 tialities of its students, and has always sought to
 The leadership for
 change in feminine
 roles must come from
 women. says this
 eminent member of the
 Barnard faculty —- but
 must eventually include
maintain a scholarly, productive faculty concerned
 with undergraduate education. Today Barnard College,
 by virtue of its tradition and its resources, has some
 unique opportunities to lead in certain curricular and
 extracurricular innovations described in this booklet.
 I am particularly concerned about Women's Studies.
 Courses dealing with feminine and masculine roles
 of past and contemporary societies or with psychologi-
 cal sex differences are as important for male as for
 female scholars and students. Such studies address
 themselves to intellectual problems of broad theoretical
 significance. Moreover, they illuminate the social roots
 of personal conflicts and may thus serve to increase
 rationality in human affairs. But it is my impression
 that male undergradutes do not demand such courses
 and that male scholars are not likely to address them-
 selves to such research, partly because the topics have
 the ring of less prestigious "feminine" concerns. The
 more important reason for the neglect lies elsewhere.
 For all the latent anxieties, and conflicts of values and
 interests that male students and their professors experi-
 ence in this sphere, the whole issue of sex roles is not as
 stressful, and therefore not as salient, for them as it is
 for women - and so the impetus for such research and
 courses is likely to come from women.
 In the long run, Women's Studies, if they fulfill their
 mission, will make a contribution to knowledge of
 universal significance. Similarly, the Women's Center
 will become of concern also to male members of the
 University community. The roles of women in our
 society cannot be changed without also changing the
 role of men. If women must be the prime movers, and
 I believe they must, the sooner we involve men in
 this common endeavor, the 
 brighter the prospects for 
 accomplishing our goals.
 Mirra Komarivsky 
 Professor Emeritus 
 of Sociology  
Women's Studies Courses Offered At Barnard College In 1971-72
 Female and Male: An Interdisciplinary Approach. (tall)
 Evolutionary, genetic, and physiological bases of
 sex: factors determining sex differences, hormones
 and behavior, pregnancy and motherhood, sex role
 strategies in the animal kingdom. Cultural definitions
 of sex roles in comparative perspective: ranges of
 variability and the significance of the constants.
 Psychological development of feminine and masculine
 behavior and behavorial sex differences in contem-
 porary society. Personality theory and sex roles: Freud
 and Erikson. Current problems in sexual, familial, and
 economic aspects of female—male relationships and in
 the status of women. Projections for the future and
 direction of social policy. Professor Mirra Komarovsky
 (Chairman), Professors David Ehrenfeld, Clive Kessler,
 and Barbara Mates.
 (This is a joint offering of the departments of Anthropol-
 ogy, Biological Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology.)
 Female and Male--A Sociological Perspective. (spring)
 Economic, demographic, and cultural changes modify-
 ing the traditional conceptions of masculinity and
 femininity. Stresses in female-male relationships at
 various stages of the life cycle and in the family,
 occupational world, and other institutional settings.
 Class and race differences in social roles of the sexes.
 Not open to students who have taken Female and
 Male: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Professor Mirra
 The Role of Women in Modern Economic Life. (spring)
 Topics to be discussed include the extent of women's
 education; labor force participation by women; eco-
 nomic factors affecting marriage, divorce, and fertility;
 economic discrimination against women; effect of
 government policy on women's position; and inter-
 national and historical comparisons. Mrs. Cynthia
 Images of Woman in Literature. (fall)
 Sexual roles and the place of woman as represented
 in the Bible and in works by Shakespeare, lane Austen,
 D. H. Lawrence, Doris Lessing, and others. Explorations
 of the identity of women writers. Professor Catharine
 Special Themes in Modern French Literature. III.
 Feminism. (spring)
 The role and struggle of women as seen by authors of
 the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings from
 feminist authors and analyses of various literary
 idealizations of women. Authors include Michelet,
 Proudhon, Flora Tristan, Zola, Maupassant, Mauriac,
 Saint-Exupery, Christiane Rochefort, Nathalie Sarraute,
 Simone de Beauvoir. Mrs. Sylvie Sayre.
 French Woman Writers. (spring)
 A literary and cultural study of poets, prose writers,
 and influential groups, with emphasis on: Marguerite
 de Navarre, Louise Labe, the “Precieuses/' Madame
 de Sevigne, Madame de LaFayette, the eighteenth-
 century Salons, Madame de Stael, Marceline Des-
 bordes-Valmore, George Sand, Colette, Simone de
 Beauvoir. Professor Tatiana Greene.
 Colloquium on German Women Writers of the Twen-
 tieth Century. (fall)
 A study of the Works, prose, and poetry, of Ilse Aich-
 inger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Hilde Domin, Nelly Sachs,
 Anna Seghers, Gabriele Wohmann, Christa Wolf. Intro-
 ductory lectures and class discussions. A term paper
 on a topic to be chosen by the student, in English or
 German. Professor Brigitte Bradley.
 The History of Women in the Late Roman Empire and
 the Middle Ages. (spring)
 The origins of the legal and social position of women
 in medieval society as reflected in patristic writings,
 Roman and Germanic codes. The contributions of
 women in the high and late Middle Ages to feudal and
 urban society, courtly love, monasticism, mysticism,
 medicine, and literature, studied through primary and
 secondary sources. Colloquium. Professor Suzanne
 Wemple. ‘
 History of Women in America: to 1890. (fall)
 An examination of important historical and literary
 sources for the study of American women from colonial
 times to 1890. Colloquium. Professor Annette Baxter.
 History of Women in America: since 1890. (spring)
 An examination of important historical and literary
 sources for the study of American women from 1890 to
 today. Colloquium. Professor Annette Baxter.
 Readings in Oriental Studies. (fall)
 Colloquium on major problems of Asian civilizations.
 Focus for 1971-72: The relative roles of male and
 female. An examination, through literary and historical
 sources, of the principal relationships of men and
 women—as lovers and companions, wives and hus-
 bands, mothers and fathers, and in their special roles
 in religious and mundane 1ife——in traditional and
 modern India, China, and Japan. Professors Iohn Meskill
 and Barbara Miller.
Executive Committee
 The Women's Center
 Catharine R. Stimpson, Chairman
 Assistant Professor of English
 Annette K. Baxter
 Professor of History
 Eleanor T. Elliott
 Jane S. Gould
 Director of Placement and Career Planning
 Patricia Alberg Graham
 Associate Professor of History and Education
 Iola S. Haverstick
 Barbara V. Hertz
 Director of Development
 Martha Peterson, ex officio
 Barnard College
 606 West 120th Street
 New York, N.Y. 10027