Barnard Timeline Since 1945

                                            Barnard College: A Timeline of Events Since 1945

Year Event Tags
1945-46 Several faculty return from wartime service to take up their academic positions. Several senior faculty, who had delayed their retirement because of the war, retire. Faculty
1947 June — The 70-year-old Virginia C. Gildersleeve retires as dean after 39 years. Moves with Elizabeth Reynard to Bedford, NY and Cape Cod. Administration
1947 October — The 49-year-old Millicent  C. McIntosh installed as Barnard’s 4th dean. Bryn Mawr graduate and Hopkins PhD, she had been headmistress of NYC’s  Brearley School. Mother of five children Administration
1948 Administrative restructuring, with more attention to student services and advising. Creation of the office of Dean of the Faculty. Thomas Peardon named to post.  Administration
1949 Launch of Barnard Development Campaign  Finances
Barnard receives $1,000,000 grant from Rockefeller Foundation.  Finances
1950 Barnard introduces an “up or out” faculty tenure system, after Harvard does so but before Columbia.  Faculty
1952 Barnard establishes an Education Program to prepare some of its students to be classroom teachers; a McIntosh initiative that met some faculty resistance.  Curriculum
1953 McIntosh’s title changed from “Dean” to “President” at the urging of the Ford Foundation; intended to emphasize Barnard’s autonomy. Gildersleeve disapproved. Administration
1954 Barnard sells undeveloped lot on Claremont back to the Rockefeller Foundation; to be site of Interchurch Center.  Campus
1958 Lehman Hall/Wollman Library opens on campus; to house  library and  offices for history, political science and economics. Campus
1961 Reid Hall opens as Barnard’s third dormitory on southeast corner of campus. Underwritten with major gifts from the family of Helen Rogers Reid, BC 1903  Campus
1962 Student Center groundbreaking; later designated “McIntosh Center.”  Camous
1962 President McIntosh retires after 14 years in office. Retired to Tyringham, Mass. Administration
1963 Rosemary Park becomes Barnard’s second president (fifth head). A scholar of German literature, she had been president of Connecticut College. Administration
1963 Barnard begins active recruitment of African American students Students
Henry Boorse becomes Dean of the Faculty. Had been chair of the Physics Department. Administration
1967 President Park resigned to accompany her new husband to posts at UCLA. Administration
1968 Martha Peterson becomes Barnard’s 3rd president; had been dean of students at the University of Wisconsin Administration
1968 McIntosh Student Center opens on campus. Campus
Barnard Junior Linda LeClair suspended for misrepresenting her off-campus housing arrangements to the Honor Board. Students
April 23-30 – Approximately 300  Barnard students spend time in some of Columbia’s five student-occupied (“liberated”) campus buildings in violation of University rules. Student Life
April 30 – 115 Barnard students among the 700 Columbia University students arrested when NYC Police cleared the occupied buildings. College authorities secure their release. Students
Barnard’s black students organize “BOSS,” [Barnard Order of Soul Sisters] , in call for changes in curriculum and recruitment. Students
1969 Plimpton Hall opens on Amsterdam Avenue and 121st St. as a dormitory. Named for longtime Trustee Treasurer George A. Plimpton
1969 14-story Helen Goodheart Altschul Science Tower opens  Camous
1970 Leroy Breunig becomes Dean of the Faculty; had been chair of the French Department. Administration
1970 William McGill becomes Columbia’s 15th president; faces decade-long struggle to bring University into budgetary  equilibrium. Columbia
1971 BC trustees agree to reimburse Columbia for any net differences in the cross-registration of students. Also agree to annual payments for access to CU libraries and gym. Annual payment estimated to be $3,000,000 to $4,000,000.  Columbia
1971 Barnard commencement disrupted by student protests focused on US bo1970mbing of Cambodia. Students
1972 Trustees authorize the creation of “Experimental College,” housed in the Hotel Paris on West End Avenue Curriculum
1973 An intercorporate agreement between Columbia and Barnard gives Columbia the last word on Barnard tenure appointments. Establishes and Ad Hoc procedure overseen by the University Provost to do so. Columbia
1975 Martha Peterson resigned the Barnard presidency; became president of Beloit College Administration
1975 November — The 50-year-old Jacqueline Mattfeld chosen to be Barnard’s 4th president; a musicologist, she had been a dean at MIT and provost at Brown. Administration
Columbia dean of graduate faculties, George Fraenkel, seeks to merge the Barnard and Columbia faculties as a University-wide cost-cutting step. President Mattfeld and most of Barnard faculty oppose these efforts. Columbia
1976 Spring — President-elect Mattfeld and President McGill off to a rocky start; soon not talking to each other.  Columbia
1976 Dean of Columbia College Peter Pouncey and CC faculty  call for Columbia College to begin enrolling women. President McGill fires Pouncey, declaring such a move would likely destroy Barnard. Columbia
1977 February – Charles S. Olton becomes dean of the faculty. An historian, had been an administrator at Buffalo State. Administration
1978 Heightened tensions between Columbia and Barnard administrators over levels of curricular cooperation. Columbia
1979 Mattfeld strategy of increasing enrollments to balance annual budgets leads to crunch on on-campus housing. Students protest increases in room and board.  Finances
1980 June — President Mattfeld is abruptly terminated by the Barnard trustees ; a 30-year old attorney and recently elected trustee, Ellen V. Futter (BC 1971), is installed as acting president. Administration
1980 July – 30-year-old trustee Ellen V. Futter named acting president, while search for permanent replacement begins. Administration
1981 April – Futter named Barnard’s 5th president; at 31,  the nation’s  youngest college president.  Administration
Fall – President Sovern calling for “defacto co-education” at Columbia College, to be achieved by more Barnard students taking more of their classes (including the Core) at Columbia. If implemented, would make Barnard payments to College much larger and many Barnard faculty redundant.  Columbia
1982 January — Three weeks after Columbia announced its decision to begin to admit women in the fall of 1983, Futter and Columbia President Michael  I. Sovern effect revisions in the intercorporate agreement that agrees to Columbia doing so. Impact on Barnard perceived to be negative. Columbia
1983 Faculty approves Freshman Seminar Program as required component of all first-year student programs. First product of intensive curricular review in face of Columbia going co-educational. Curriculum
Cross-registration financial arrangements lead to sharp swings in Barnard annual payments to Columbia. Finances
Columbia and Barnard effect a consortium allowing Barnard women to compete on Columbia intercollegiate teams in Divison I competition. Students
1986 Barnard board borrows money from New York Dormitory Authority to undertake construction of a new dormitory, needed if College is to offer on-campus housing to all admitted students.  Trustees


1987 July — Robert A. McCaughey, professor of history, becomes dean of the faculty. Serves until June 1993. Administration
1987 Barnard board of trustees places restrictive cap on future tenuring of Barnard faculty as a cost-containment action. Trustees


1989 Barnard celebrates its centennial  with year-long activities. Events
1989 Centennial Hall opens on Barnard campus as a dormitory; renamed Sulzberger Hall in 1991 following a naming gift from the Sulzberger family. Campus
1991 Barnard trustees approve a selective program of senior faculty research leaves {SFRLs] as a supplement to the standing sabbatical policy Trustees


1992 May — Ellen Futter resigns as Barnard president to become the head of the American Museum of Natural History; College Counsel Kathryn Rodgers becomes acting president. Administration
1993 April — Judith Shapiro becomes Barnard’s 6th president; a Columbia-trained anthropologist, she had been provost at Bryn Mawr. Administration
1994 July — Elizabeth Boylan becomes Dean of Faculty; title  later expanded to include Provost. A biologist, had been an administrator at Queens College. Administration
New arrangement for cross-registrations reduces the swing in annual Barnard payments to Columbia. Columbia
2001 September 11 – Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center  in lower Manhattan . Event
Revamping of tenuring arrangements for Barnard faculty; now subject to scrutiny of a Columbia-appointed standing committee [TRAC], with modest Barnard representation. Faculty
2007 Financial  collapse takes toll on Barnard fund-raising and equity holdings; Barnard endowment lost $50,000,000 (20% of its total). Finances
2008 Judith Shapiro retires as Barnard president Administration
2008 July — Debora Spar becomes Barnard’s 7th president; a political scientist, she had been on the faculty of the Harvard Business School. Administration
2009 The Diana Center opens on site of the torn down McIntosh Center; principal funding from trustee Diana Vagelos and her husband, Roy Vagelos. Campus
2009 Athena Center for Leadership Studies launched as a presidential initiative at Barnard. Kitty Kolbert first director  Administration
2009 Barnard mounts its first Global Symposium in Beijing, China  Event
2009 Linda A. Bell becomes provost. An economist, she had been an administrator at Haverford College. Administration
2013 Barnard begins preparations for its 125th anniversary in the fall of 2014. Events
2014 Year-long celebration of Barnard’s 125th birthday; festivities include a campus open-house, a lighting of Empire State Building and several campus events  Events
2014 Fall – Series of evening seminars for alumnae and retired faculty on “Making Barnard History” launched; sponsored by Barnard 125 Steering Committee, Office of Alumane Relations and the Office of the Provost. Bob McCaughey moderator.  Events
2015 March — Barnard hosts its 6th Global Symposium on campus.  Events
 2016 January — Demolition of Lehman Hall underway to make way for a new Teaching and Learning Center
2017 February — Debra Spar announces her departure as president
2017 June — Sian Leah Beilock named Barnard’s 8th president and 12th academic head
2018 Milstein Teaching and Learning Center Opens on the site of the demolished Lehman Hall
2020 March — College emptied by onset of COVID 19 — spring classes taught remotely
September — AY 2020-21 classes to be taught remotely
2021 September — Barnard returns to pre-COVID-19 pandemic arrangements, with in-person classes
2022 July — President Beilock selected as president of Dartmouth College; to leave Barnard June 2023

Last updated: August 6, 2022
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