Annual Scholarship Gala: A night of alumnae, financial aid, and $2.3 million

by Ama Debrah

On April 24, Barnard hosted its sold-out Annual Scholarship Gala at the Plaza Hotel to benefit the College’s financial aid program. Immediately following the main event was the Gala Nights dance party for “young alumni and those young at heart,” also held at the Plaza hotel, which organizers hope will become another Barnard tradition. At the Gala, winners Patricia Harrigan Nadosy ’68 and Elizabeth S. Boylan were presented with the 2012 Frederick A.P. Barnard Award, which is given to those who display the visionary and tenacious characteristics of Frederick Barnard as well as being devoted to helping others achieve their full potential. The entire event raised a record-breaking $2.3 million for Barnard financial aid and scholarships, compared to the $2.1 million that was raised last year.

The Terrace Room

After the cocktail hour in the Terrace Room of the Plaza, the guests (including Stivers ’78 and Erica Jong ’63) moved to the Grand Ballroom for the Gala. Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald ’81 welcomed the guests and called the Gala Barnard’s “best and most fun event,” after which President Debora Spar highlighted the college’s record-breaking amount of applications for the class of 2016 and emphasized the need for financial aid donations. Following the dinner, scholarship student Tess Gannaway ’12, majoring in biology and studying medicine at Tufts in the Fall, spoke about the opportunities Barnard has given her and expressed her thanks to the financial donors for contributing to “a cause that really does change lives.”

Unlike past Galas before 2011, which started with bidding on gifts or prizes, this is the second time that the guests directly bid on the scholarships themselves. During the auction, President Spar announced that a new $10,000 award called the President Scholarship in honor of President Obama’s impending commencement speech will go to students who have to take on extra jobs in order to attend Barnard.

Patricia Nadosy ’68

After the auction, which alone raised over $771,000 towards scholarship funds, were the award presentations for Patricia Nadosy and Elizabeth Boylan. Patricia Nadosy, also a Barnard Trustee Emerita, majored in French at Barnard College and received her MBA from Columbia Business School at a time when women represented only 2% of her 1970 graduating class. She then spent fifteen years working with Morgan Guaranty as a foreign exchange trader and consultant in the International Money Management Group, where she established the Bank’s Foreign Currency Options Trading Department and helped create the Global Capital Markets Training Program. In 1985, she left Morgan Guaranty to start her own foreign exchange options consulting firm, called Optfor Inc. In 1986, Nadosy studied biology at Barnard for her post-baccalaureate studies and earned a Ph.D. from CUNY in Botany in 2002. Nadosy joined the Barnard Board of Trustees in 1994, where she was named trustee emerita and awarded the Columbia Alumni Association Medal in 2007. She is currently the co-chair of the Athena Leadership Council and also helped create Barnard’s Financial Fluency program for alumnae as part of Barnard’s Athena Center.

Elizabeth Boylan,
former Barnard Provost

Elizabeth Boylan graduated with a degree in biological sciences from Wellesley College, earned a Ph.D. in zoology from Cornell University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She joined the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2011 and currently directs the Foundation’s programs on STEM Higher Education while working with other program directors on grants for the Foundation’s Civic Initiatives Program. She is also a member of the Project Kaleidoscope Advisory Board at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society for Developmental Biology. Dr. Boylan was Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Barnard between 1995 and 2011, where she spearheaded the first review and change of the general education requirements of Barnard’s science departments since the 1980’s, helped design The Diana Center and dorms at Cathedral Gardens, and established grants including Mellon’s Center of Excellence award and the Mellon 23.

At the end of the gala, it was announced that the event raised a record-breaking grand total of $2.2 million for financial aid, which is sure to make Barnard a reality for all accepted students.

Ama Debrah is a sophomore at Barnard and Food editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

UPDATE: The Gala event raised $2.3 million, not $2.2 million. Also, the scholarship auction raised $771,000.

Images courtesy of Ama Debrah and New York Social Diary.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s