Barnard Convocation 2017

good afternoon Barnard College and distinguished guests welcome to convocation and the start of a new academic year and now presenting the student leadership at Barnard College presenting the distinguished Faculty of Barnard College presenting the trustees of Barnard College presenting the senior leadership of Barnard College presenting the president of the Alumni Association of Barnard College presenting the provost and the Dean of Barnard College and finally presenting the chair of the Board of Trustees Jolyne Caruso Fitzgerald our keynote speaker Carol Dweck and president of Barnard College see on by locked Madam President it is my honor in the presence of the trustees faculty alumni staff students and distinguished guests of Barnard College to declare this 2017

convocation ceremony now open in recognition of the illustrious achievements and important contributions of our over 35,000 alumni led by the chair oh please please join me in welcoming our Alumni class officers led by the chair of the Young Alumni committee Elyse fabrica class of 2012 who’s carrying the banner for our first graduating class 1893 good afternoon and welcome my name is Jolyne Caruso-Fitzgerald an exceedingly proud alumna of the class of 1981 and chair of the Barnard Board of Trustees I’m truly honored to be here today and delighted to have this opportunity to bring greetings from the board convocation is a tradition that celebrates the start of the academic year and is an official beginning for the class of 2021 what makes this day what makes this day even more special is that it also marks the beginning of president by Locke’s tenure as Barnard’s eighth president the anticipation and joy that you all feel today is equally shared by us as we embark on another exciting chapter in Barnard’s great history from the day I set foot on bar nerds campus back in 1977 I was an active and involved student and while I was wide-eyed and unsure in those early days and weeks as many of you may be feeling right now I can say with certainty that my undergraduate years here have played a major role in shaping Who I am today and in part because of that I’ve remained a highly engaged alumna in the many years since I was nominated to the board of trustees seventeen years ago and became chair in 2010 and in this time I’ve learned a great deal about the inner workings of the college but more importantly I have learned so much from our students who continue to amaze me with their intelligence and fierce determination to make their mark on this world I’m constantly inspired by our distinguished faculty the great administrators who lead the way and as I reflect on for decades that Barnard has figured in my life I am proud to say

that our mission and our place in higher education has never been as relevant and strong and bold as it is this very moment I hope you’ll all join us as we work to maintain the strength of this outstanding institution in whatever ways feel most meaningful to you I hope that you will nurture the bonds that you forge here with your classmates with your professors and with the administration and I hope and believe that you will find these efforts will reap numerous benefits throughout your life as they certainly have for me so whether you’ve moved in as a first year and you’re still unpacking or your senior who’s contemplating questioning and probably stressing over what life is going to be like after Barnard please know that you all have a strong network of alums who will be here for you every stage of your life we invite you to continue to celebrate the greatness that is Barnard for a very very long time to come thank you I am Jyoti Menon proud alumna of the class of 2001 president of the Alumni Association of Barnard College and Barnard trustee it is an honor to stand before you today on behalf of the Alumni seated in this majestic space and all 35,000 of us around the globe we share a devotion to Barnard and are certain that each of you the first-year students who are just getting your college stride and they’re returning students who gain confidence and wisdom year after year will match our love for this place if you haven’t already welcome to the 2017 2018 academic year to the magic of New York and to the wonderful family that is Barnard good afternoon I’m Linda Bell provost and Dean of the faculty and on behalf of the entire Barnard faculty I’m honored to formally welcome you our Barnard students as we inaugurate the new academic year I also want to extend my warmest welcome on behalf of the faculty to our president zeon by luck for her first convocation with us here this afternoon president by luck we are very excited to have you here each fall at convocation we pay tribute to tradition as we celebrate the greatness of the Academy and marked the beginning of the academic year for all four classes gathered here with us today just as commencement signals the conclusion of study for those students who have completed their requirements and are poised to receive a degree both ceremonies are markers of the passing of time of the cycle of learning and of the significance of the academic enterprise in which faculty and students are true partners these are two of my favorite occasions they both sparkle with barnard spirit draw generations together and give us a unique opportunity to reflect on what a Barnard education means in the world Nelson Mandela famously said education is the most powerful weapon to change the world at this particular moment in history it Sheen it seems short-sighted almost irresponsible to focus exclusively on what we do at Barnard we live in troubled even dangerous times outside our gates is a complex country and world divided too often by actions that threaten civil society and the progress of human it’s just as surely as they reveal bias deceit and disrespect it’s a world in the midst of rapid technological advances that bring with them great challenges and opportunities a changing job landscape demanding new competencies and fluencies new ways of communicating and acquiring information new scientific

discoveries altering what we know about our environment our bodies our universe and the promise of yet unimaginable shifts in the way we structure and in the way we live our lives I know it sounds daunting but your Barnard education will help you navigate it all it has been thoughtfully framed to teach you to think critically about the world around you and crafted yet to be flexible to changing requirements and needs and the truly amazing Barnard faculty who teach you renowned scholars dedicated teachers members of the National Academy Guggenheim Award winners Pulitzer Prize winners Carnegie Foundation fellows recipients of prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities the National Science Foundation the National Institutes of Health they serve as examples of active citizens and thought leaders whose ideas are shaping what we know about the world and the direction it is taking they are here for you and they are dedicated to your learning as you begin this academic year your first or your last or somewhere in between embrace your Barnard education and take active responsibility for the world that you will soon inherit be a sponge learn grow reshape I am a reminded of words from Maya Angelou that I have long found compelling and that I will paraphrase quite literal liberally here that the beauty of a butterfly is derived from the fact that it must evolve and change throughout the course of its very brief lifetime for those of us who accept that knowledge is infinite change is inevitable reach beyond what you learn in the classroom develop the skills to question with rigor and with authority and the flexibility to adopt and change for who you are today should inform but in no way limit who you become tomorrow I am truly excited for each of your individual journeys and together with the faculty committed to providing every opportunity for your success as we begin yet a new academic year maybe at magnificent year for each and every one of you thank you hello my name is Angela Beam I am the president of SGA Barnard Student Government Association I am so excited to be here today to help kick off Barnard 128 the academic year first off it’s my honor to welcome president dialog to Barnard on behalf of SGA president Barack is many things a cognitive scientist a former though duly noted member of the Olympic Training Program for soccer a champion of women in stem an educator and now our fearless leader under our new president’s leadership we hope Barnard will set an example for institutions across the globe by consistently speaking up for what is right by taking action when necessary and by remembering our identity as a women’s college as we lift up those of non dominant identities president firelock we welcome you with open arms and cannot wait to see where you take Barnard as we come together to begin yet another academic year now is the time to become more engaged on campus Barnard value student voices and is responsive to thoughtful recommendations by adding your voice to campus conversations you’ll be contributing to the effort to maximize the positivity of both student experiences at Barnard as well as the call just impact beyond the gates take the student group divest Barnard for example last March as a result of their three year-long student-led campaign the Board of Trustees voted in favor of Barnard’s divestment from coal tar sands and fossil fuel companies that deny the climate crisis this historic decision made Barnard the first institution to

divest from climate change deniers pretty incredible perhaps even more remarkable is that Barnard’s diverse movement was started by relentlessly championed and driven by students upon divest Barnard’s passionate appeal members of all facets of the Barnard community students faculty staff and trustees joined together on the task force on divestment to help Barnard take a definitive and empowering stand on our commitment to social responsibility change can also happen in smaller steps for example I’m particularly proud of SGA’s work to combat food insecurity on campus over the past year we continue to support the meal points donation program helped to sponsor the Columbia University food bank and even worked with Dining Services to add additional guest swipes to all Barnard meal plans in May we put together internship starter packs which included a gift card for groceries and a thermos among other necessities such as a Barnard laundry card detergent feminine hygiene products and a MetroCard we hope to continue diminishing the presence of food and security on campus and aimed to take more strident steps towards ensuring all students on an equal playing field although these positive contributions to Barnard and beyond were certainly student driven our missions were facilitated by the Barnard administration and Faculty’s efforts to foster space in which student voices are not only heard but also acted upon I hope you’ll join me in giving back to Barnard by continuing to advocate for improvements and necessary change as you see fit and if you’re looking for a starting point I encourage you to engage with SGA come to our meetings every Monday at 8 p.m. and the Macan Taj dining room we begin each meeting with an open floor anyone can stop by share their thoughts Aaron’s ideas and feedback your group can request a student body vote known as a referendum lobby for a statement of support or have a conversation with SGA about how we can support and advocate for you in meaningful and actionable ways lastly in addition to being a place for incredible growth Barnard also fosters enormous personal change two years ago I volunteered at Barnard’s Alumni Reunion over the course of the weekend I was assigned to escort the class of 1948 this gave me the opportunity to ask an alum who had been connected to the college for almost four times my lifespan what her favorite part about Barnard was her response how much I grew while I was here today nearly seventy years after that distinguished alum graduated despite enormous institutional development and campus-wide progress students continue to reflect on their time at Barnard as a period of incredible illuminating growth let’s all do our part regardless of which part of the Barnard community we represent or how much time we have left here to ensure that 70 years from now and surely beyond that students feel compelled to upholds the Barnard legacy and follow our footsteps in enacting positive change both on campus and in the world thank you my name is Sarah Krosnick and I’m the chair of the Barnard Honor board I’m excited to lead today’s recitation of the honor code I asked that all current students please stand and join me in reciting the honor code that is printed on your program we the students of Barnard College resolved to uphold the honor of the college by engaging with integrity in all of our academic pursuits we affirm that academic integrity is the honorable creation and presentation of our own work we acknowledge that it is our responsibility to seek clarification of proper forms of collaboration and use of academic resources in all assignments or exams we consider academic integrity to

include our use and care for all print electronic or other academic resources we will respect the rights of others to engage in pursuit of learning in order to uphold our commitment to honor we pledge to do all that is in our power to create a spirit of honesty and honor for its own sake thank you Hello Barnard! It’s such a tremendous honor to mark the staff at start of the academic year together I’m really awed by the moment and the magic of this beautiful place and so very happy to be here I want to start by acknowledging our extraordinary alumni who spanned decades of Barnard classes our distinguished faculty who truly embody academic excellence are devoted trustees who offer us endless guidance and support and of course the staff and administration of the college without whom we would not run as we do most of all I want to recognize you the students for the class of 2018 this gathering marks the start of your last year at Barnard for the newly minted class of 2021 it’s really just the beginning and for the classes of 2019 and 2020 and our transfer students you are well on your way I am delighted to welcome each and every one of you truth be told I find myself needing a moment to catch my breath Here I am standing at the podium in full Barnard regalia inside the soaring nave of Riverside Church as the president of Barnard College it’s really a humbling and staggering realization the perspective from this vantage point is truly amazing and since everything is a matter of perspective let me help put things in context for you on April 4th 1967 dr. Martin Luther King jr. stood here and delivered his speech entitled beyond Vietnam a time to break silence what congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis has called the speech for all humanity in 1972 Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the

eulogy at baseball great Jackie Robinson’s funeral service right here after the attacks of 9/11 secretary-general of the United Nations Kofi Annan delivered an address right here and Bill Clinton Nelson Mandela Arundhati Roy Desmond Tutu Cesar Chavez Marian Wright Edelman have delivered words of wisdom and heart from this very same podium I can assure you that none of this makes my breathing any easier but it does remind us all that we are a part of history larger and greater than ourselves according to the Barnard icon archives the earliest record of Barnard holding its own convocation was 1950 on September 27th in the first months of the Korean War the community gathered in what was then the Barnard Hall gym to hear from Columbia University President Dwight d Eisenhower two years before his inauguration as president of the United States Eisenhower began with this it is a pleasure to open a school year at a time when school has assumed probably its greatest importance in its meaning to the world and Barnard Dean Millicent McIntosh two years before she was named Barnard’s first president follows his remarks with this you have a marvelous opportunity at this moment when you as an individual may really count for something if we choose wisely and make our lives work for the kind of civilization America stands for we shall be winning the battle they’re powerful words are as apt today as they were 67 years ago so we come together on this remarkable September afternoon to celebrate the start of academic year and to affirm our responsibility as a community to really count something it’s a tall order but then again this is Barnard in a few short months I’ve seen partners dedication and conviction in action as I’ve spent time with faculty worked with my colleagues traveled around to meet with alumni and now that you the students have come back to campus I know my first impressions will be confirmed Barnard is a place where we strive for academics excellence a diversity of viewpoints in an open exchange of ideas we’re a bold approach to education permeates all aspects of campus life this is the college that I’m coming to know and this is the college that I am prepared to lead and this is certainly an interesting moment in history to step into this role I’m stepping onto a path that 11 extraordinary women the deans and presidents who came before me so masterfully paved Barnard in 2017 is in many ways not Millicent macintoshes Barnard but one of the most vital ways what lies at the call at heart of the college remains the same the liberal arts have always defined Barnard and the liberal arts I will argue are more important than ever today at this moment I’m looking out on a sea of Barnard students wearing their class colors and ready to take on the challenges ahead and what I already know about you is this you are motivated and curious and you have come to Barnard to make the most of what you already possess and to build a life that matters and we’re here to help you do that through the lens of the liberal arts you are going to be freeing your mind liberating it if you will from a more compartmentalised way of viewing the world you can take risks and make connections you can think critically and cross disciplinary boundaries you can engage in difficult dialogue and debate and consider multiple perspectives and you can openly pursue knowledge for its own sake not as a means to an end these are essential skills today and always but definitely today the Barnard faculty I can tell you is dedicated to this approach to learning the curriculum supports it in the country and our world desperately need it open any great work of literature for example you will enter the characters lives and at some point in the story you will empathize when you’re asked to put your thoughts into writing and I don’t mean just a hundred and forty characters you will deepen your understanding of those thoughts and

you will be able to share them with others in any history class ranging from medieval to 20th century to ancient Greek or otherwise you will explore the impact of culture and ideas on civilization and in the social sciences you will – no human behavior in the visual and performing arts you will see the power of creativity is boundless and touches our deepest humanity and in the sciences technology engineering and math the stem field in which over 1/3 of you at Barnard will likely major like all of the fields you encounter you will learn to ask questions fine answers and back up those answers with evidence even once in a while you will learn to change your mind a Barnard will education will give you all of this the ability to empathize and connect an openness to opposing views and new ideas and insistence that some things really can be proven and in this time of great national divisive ‘no Sande divisive ‘no sakra globe where there is a dearth of respect for wisdom and truth these are the qualities that can bring us together and even change the course of history I’m a scientist but I wouldn’t be a very good one without the liberal arts education I received through that education I learned how to learn how to think how to consider alternatives and how to change course when that made the most sense my research on performance anxiety and trying to understand why things sometimes go wrong when the pressure is on was fueled by my classes in anthropology sociology history and the visual arts it’s not just the laboratory that allowed me to do my best thinking it has always been a much broader more holistic view of how people behave and what makes us tick and I imagine that like some of us sometimes I had to figure out how to get things right by failing one personal story to help illustrate this point during my first year in college I was in the chemistry sequence for science majors and I definitely didn’t feel like I fit in the first midterm exam came along and even though I’d prefer it prepared for the test I bombed it in a class of 400 students or so I got the worst grade in the class the worst I remember seeing this grade when it was posted on the wall that’s how grades used to be posted and I thought I have to drop out of college that’s it I’m not gonna make it but then I started studying in a group where at the end of the study session we closed our books we put our way our notes and we actually competed with each other for the right answer if you could have looked inside my head during that first midterm exam you likely would have seen a neural pain response similar to the response that I see in my human subjects when they’re feeling immense pressure or test anxiety but when I took that final after practicing under stress my mind was quiet and let’s just say I got a much better grade it wasn’t just about learning the material it was learning how to unlink I was learning how to learn and how to show what I knew when it counted at Barnard is my hope and my best guess that you will find the freedom to explore your interests and your passions and that you will discover new ones in the process we are eager to give you the most up-to-date version of what this college is giving and has always given its students an excellent liberal arts education and with it we will give you the tools you need to advocate for your own knowledge and experiences when Millicent McIntosh said you have a marvelous opportunity at this moment when you as an individual may really count for something she must have had a premonition about the barnard classes to come I have no doubt that you will really count for something and that you will succeed whatever success means to you and whatever path you choose to do it on and I look forward to watching it unfold thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this incredible journey and now it’s truly a tremendous honor to introduce our keynote speaker Dr. Carol Dweck Carrol graduated from Barnard in 1967 and earned a PhD from Yale University in

1972. She’s currently the Lewis and Virginia Eaton professor of psychology at Stanford University and one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation I think it’s just leading I don’t think it’s one of she’s also a member of the National Academy of Sciences one of the highest honor to bestowed on Sciences scientists in her field her research is focused on how to foster success how to motivate children and adults to learn at their best and given the overlap in my research interests in her area I’ve asked her questions across the years and she’s always been welcome to engage me she’s always been a true inspiration Carol has helped professorships at Columbia and Harvard and has lectured all over the world her signature book is called mindset the new psychology of success and her work has been featured while everywhere in a TED talk major publications the New York Times New Yorker Times The Washington Post the blastn globe you name it I’m so pleased to welcome her back to Barnard please join me in welcoming Carol Congratulations president Beilock and congratulations to Bernard for choosing her. 1963 the year I entered Barnard was extraordinary why because Martin Luther King delivered his immortal I have a dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial maybe Riverside Church was booked that day Betty Ford Ann published her book The Feminine Mystique the expose the manifesto that sparked the modern women’s movement and Nobel laureate Bob Dylan burst on the scene with his first hit album singing songs of freedom and equality of answers that were blowin in the wind but it was also a time of continued conflict and turmoil the Vietnam war suddenly escalated there was continued racial tension and violence and in November of my freshman year President Kennedy was assassinated it’s as clear in my mind as it as if it was yesterday I was deeply affected by all these events who wouldn’t be but fresh out of high school I was not yet part of that world the real world I was an onlooker I didn’t have passions a mission or even well formed opinions Barnard helped to change that great people great events great institutions transform the way we look at things Barnard did that for me and my classmates first Barnard gave us not just knowledge but tools to understand our world whether it was the tools of literary analysis historical political analysis or scientific analysis all of which I grew to love the whole idea of training your mind to penetrate the secrets of the world was thrilling these tools were the greatest gifts I have ever received Barnard gave us values respect for the core values of freedom equality justice rights and not least our own rights to learn to grow to become someone and Barnard gave us permission to become someone to look ahead to a life of contribution and influence a sense that even if many doors were not yet open to us they were there for us to open make no mistake I was still a naive pretty clueless adolescent lacking a mission or well-formed opinions but armed with

these tools values and inspiration I majored in psychology and not long after that in graduate school I launched the program of research I continued to this day it’s a program of research about human potential and about how to maximize it for everyone in our research my students colleagues and I have shown that people can have different mindsets about talents ability intelligence for example you can think of your intelligence as a fixed trait you have a certain amount and that’s it that’s a fixed mindset and it makes you worry all the time about just how much you really have or you can think of your intelligence as a quality that can be developed this is a growth mindset a growth mindset doesn’t mean that everyone’s the same or everyone can be Marie Curie but it does mean that everyone can develop their abilities through dedication good strategies and lots and lots and lots of mentoring in our research we see that students who hold a growth mindset about their intelligence tend to seek more challenges show more resilience and often achieve more in the face of difficulty we’ve shown that workshops that teach students a growth mindset can raise their achievement particularly for vulnerable students we’ve shown that praising intelligence telling kids they’re smart can backfire it creates a fixed mindset and makes them afraid of challenges and setbacks in another sphere our research has shown that prejudice and aggression can stem from believing people lack or groups lack the capacity to grow and change we’ve shown that even in areas of conflict around the globe focusing the two adversaries on people’s and growths and and groups potential for change can make those on both sides more willing to explore paths to peace I wanted this idea the idea that abilities and personal qualities in general can be developed I wanted this idea to Spier people to reach beyond what they would otherwise have reached for in fact over time I came to realize that were it not for that idea I never would have reached for what I reached for you see I grew up in an era that was obsessed with IQ my sixth-grade teacher seated us around the room in IQ order and from that moment on my primary goal in life was to be smart not to learn reach grow or contribute but to be smart and above all to be known as smart welcome to the fixed mindset many of you here today have grown up with similar pressures maybe you’re a job in high school was to get the highest grades and highest test scores so you could get into a great school all right you did it you got those grades and test scores and here you are but I tell you now that is not your job anymore of course you want to do well but please know that getting A’s is not your main job here your job is to use the tremendous resources of this great college and university to become the person you want to be the person who over time will make your unique contribution to the world and its people as you embark on your process of becoming that person use the growth

mindset right from the start understand you are here to grow if that little fixed mindset voice in your head and believe me we all have it somewhere starts whispering you are not as smart as the others don’t take that hard course you might not do well well thank it for its well meant advice but ask it to support you as you do take that course what if you don’t do so well in the course understand that college is something you learn to do over time ask for help and recognize that many of the confident looking students I was one of them confident looking are struggling to each fall I teach a Freshman Seminar at Stanford sixteen brand new students thrilled and deeply terrified every two weeks I go around the seminar table and ask each student what are you struggling with what are you afraid of some confess that they are hopelessly lost in a course even failing some share that they haven’t made any friends almost everyone worries about making public mistakes and think everyone worries about that and thinks it will mean they don’t belong there but just hearing their fears and struggles are shared and seeing how eager their fellow students are to jump in and help them join our study group come out with us this weekend is a revelation to them then several weeks into the term I give them an assignment do something how rageous li growth mindset something way way way out of your comfort zone but something truly meaningful something the person you want to be would do and write me an essay about it due next Monday can it be something I already did they always ask absolutely not I always reply and then they do the most spectacular things one young woman was devastated when she was at passed over for an editorial post on the school newspaper in favor of her roommate for her assignment bold but terrified she contacted the newspaper and asked if they had another writing job for her they did one young man painfully shy was spending all his time alone in his room the whole college experience was passing him by bold but petrified he ran for president of his dorm and won he became the very center of social life there of course not every student meets with success on the first try but every single one of them says they would do it again looking around our world today we see it needs us as badly as it did in 1963 in some cases even more there are problems that need our commitment there are rights we still need to work for maybe more than we realized and there are conflicts deep rifts all around us that need healing so please keep asking yourself who do I want to become what role do I want to play in the world of today and tomorrow and then think about the great resources and opportunities at Barnard that can help you slowly but surely become that person maybe do something outrageously growth mindset to help the process along thank you our fabulous seniors 2018 are you here our fabulous seniors who most

certainly have graduation on your minds I’d like to encourage you to give thought to your legacy on campus what will you do this year maybe something outrageous that will be the highlight of your college years to the awesome classes of 2019 the class of 2020 who are defining your college experiences with kerlick curricular exploration and co-curricular engagement and to our newest and the most selective class in the history of the college the Barnard class of 2021 your presence on campus is already making a difference and we’re excited to see who you will become over the next four years I welcome you all to this new academic year filled with opportunities to expand your horizons make connections and be more than you ever dreamed you could be may the boldness that is so Barnard grant you the courage to speak and live your truth in these times and always to my sister alumni I greet you and welcome you back to the campus that have influenced you in more ways than we can even count your presence here today speaks volumes about your love for our alma mater and is only one of example to our students of how love leads to action on behalf of our students I thank you for being amazing role models and for paving the way for their success may the beauty and the power that is so Barnard always inspire you to set and achieve new goals to my faculty and staff colleagues here’s a new year in which your efforts will bring to fruition all that you imagine for the good of the college may the bravery that is so Barnard enable you to stand for all that is just we are Barnard loud and proud Barnard bold and brilliant Barnard we are Barnard and we are definitely ready for the academic year of 2017 2018 thank you Madam President it has been an outstanding day I now have the distinct honor of declaring this convocation ceremony adjourned I extend a warm invitation to each of you to return to Barnard campus for a reception so that the academic recession may be concluded in an orderly fashion please remain seated until our faculty have left the seating area so on behalf of my fellow faculty and all who hold education in the highest regard we wish everyone much success this academic here and look forward to all that is to come