From the President

My first year at Sarah Lawrence seems to have flown by in a whirlwind of activity. Above all, it was a year shaped by getting to know the Sarah Lawrence community here on campus and around the world. As I meet Sarah Lawrence alumni, time and again the stories they tell—stories that inevitably revolve around the transformational impact of their Sarah Lawrence experience—offer a profound testimony to the work and dedication of our faculty and staff and to the power of the education we provide. While our 44-acre campus is small by many standards, we have an outsized impact around the globe: from international students on campus, study away programs, and worldwide faculty research and teaching, to the work of our alumni across many continents. I hope you share my sense of inspiration as you read about our global impact through the lives whose stories are gathered here.

As this issue of the magazine reaches you, the fall semester is well under way. The usual campus activity is complemented by the construction of the Barbara Walters Campus Center and the imminent installation of an amphitheater between the Performing Arts Center and Rothschild-Taylor-Garrison (still affectionately referred to as the “new” dorms). This adaptive reuse of a historic open-air, marble amphitheater came to the College as a gift from Josephine “Josie” Merck ’69. It will transform a presently underused space (long ago the location of the tennis courts and, before that, badminton!) into a locus for connection and conversation, and a new venue for outdoor performances.

Creating points of connection, conversation, and interaction is much on our minds as we follow last year’s vibrant exploration of “Democracy and Education” with a focus now on “Difference in Dialogue.” Events in this yearlong series will feature a panel that probes the bounds of free speech with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and Sanford Ungar, director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University; a group of college and university presidents discussing inclusive excellence and campus climate; and a forum on religious pluralism bringing together divergent perspectives on the intersection of religious belief and democratic ideals. Alongside these and many other events, the College Archives is making a range of materials about the history of diversity, protest, and activism at SLC available on our website. We hope you will follow the “Difference in Dialogue” events that unfold throughout the year and join the conversation when you can.

President Cristle Collins Judd

Cristle Collins Judd, President 

upfront-pres-dining-tableOne of the pleasures of the presidency is spending time delving into our archives to deepen my understanding of Sarah Lawrence’s past as a key to building our future. Alongside discoveries about significant moments in our history are some more lighthearted ones. For example, did you know that Wedgwood once made plates with four scenes from Sarah Lawrence’s campus? While Wedgwood produced such plates for many colleges, it turns out that Sarah Lawrence plates (like a Sarah Lawrence education!) are rare and hard to find. Vicki Churchill Ford ’60, MSEd ’87 has generously donated a set of 10 to the President’s House, and the Bronxville Historical Conservancy recently added four more. Do you have Sarah Lawrence plates lurking on a shelf in a cupboard or your attic? If so, I would love for you to share a story about them with me. And if you are continuing to use them—wonderful! But if they are gathering dust somewhere, please consider giving them to the College. We would love to include these treasures from the past in future special events!