Saturday, February 16, 2013

Are Women's Colleges Outdated?

In this Huffington Post article, entitled, “Are Women's Colleges Outdated?,” the author Tom Matlack writes about his experience while accompanying his daughter on a campus tour of Barnard College, a women’s college located in New Your City.

Not initially convinced of the values of a women’s college, his mind is changed when the Barnard Campus Guide says, "Why wouldn't you want to send your daughter to an institution whose sole purpose is to insure the success of women? Three percent of women graduating from high school go to women's colleges, and yet 30 percent of congresswomen went to women's colleges and 20 percent of the female CEOs. There's a reason that is the case and that's why we are still here."

Read the entire article by clicking here.

As insightful as Tom’s article is, I also enjoyed reading the many comments from Barnard alumnae, sighting two of them below.

Betsy Summers posted on 04/14/2011
“Proud Barnard (and Barnard Theater) Alumna here... My father actually found Barnard and encouraged me to apply. I'm his only daughter, and he was so proud of everything I accomplished there. Though a co-ed college was certainly attractive to me as a 17-year old, being surrounded by awesome, smart, focused, and amazing women totally trumped any reticence. True, I ran into lots of stereotypes about Barnard women, but it made me stronger, focused, and I made fantastic friends on both sides of Broadway. Now being president of my alumnae class (06), and with our 5th year reunion approaching, I return frequently to thoughts of Barnard and how it shaped me. Barnard has produced some incredible women, and I think it helps that potential really spring to life in a conscious way that co-ed colleges don't. And Barnard Theater, oh man, how awesome. I gained exposure to Barnard, Columbia School of the Arts, NY Off-Broadway, and then created my opportunities (with the help of an amazing Barnard professor) down in St. Thomas. I really enjoyed the article; it was quite refreshing, and I'm going to share it with my dad with a big thanks to him for inspiring me to go to Barnard.”

Christina Sok posted on 04/13/2011
“I was at first skeptical about women's colleges before I went to Barnard, especially since my Grandmother who had gone to a women's college was raving about it (it seemed rather antiquated). But after graduating from Barnard, I'm the one raving about it. Barnard really did give me the confidence to challenge myself and compete harder than before. The strong, intelligent women at Barnard are inspiring and involved not only on Barnard's campus but all across Columbia's campus. There are so many opportunities to meet men on both campuses, and Barnard women are found as leaders of so many clubs at Columbia. The intimate community at Barnard is an enriching place where each student is really cared for academically and personally. I know some of my Columbia male friends wished they could enroll at Barnard, including my boyfriend who graduated from Columbia. Now in the working world, I have come across so many influential leaders who went to Barnard. I think having the opportunity to attend a great liberal arts college like Barnard with the strong emphasis on women's education and growth, would be a privilege to any young woman out there.”

I hope you also caught the comment Tom posted on 04/14/2011

“I just want to give a big shout out to all the outpouring of Barnard love in these comments and which I have received directly for posting what I thought was a little blog about my being a block head but, through my daughter's eyes, seeing something true and good about the role of women's colleges most specially Barnard. It is quite something to see my idle thoughts shared rather casually create such a stir. Thank you for taking *me* seriously. It all speaks volumes for the quality of the institution, its students, and alums.”

As a point of reference, Tom's article was published on 04/08/2011.

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