May

21

Strong, Beautiful Class Day

Written by

Bwog apologizes for the delay in Barnard class day coverage.  Our camera wasn’t working and we couldn’t have you just take us at our word.

On Tuesday morning, as a faint drizzle turned into a steady downpour, 597 “awe-inspiring women” graduated from Barnard, along with their president.  Let me the spare you the burden of reading the rest of this post: Barnard class day won this year.

Although the college had boasted of a star-studded class day with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Billie Jean King (tennis star), David Remnick (New Yorker editor-in-chief) and Thelma Adair (Head Start founder), only hizzoner addressed the graduating class.  The rest received Barnard medals of distinction.  New Yorkers are accustomed to seeing Bloomberg on TV for the occasional press conference, and he usually appears somewhat lovable, schlumpy and uninspired.  But during his class day speech he was practically animated—funny at all the right times, legitimately inspiring at others—and reminded everyone why he’s Joel Klein’s boss and not vice versa.

He began by mocking JShap’s poodle, Nora, who he called a “one poodle canine security patrol” and questioned the dog’s legal right to parade about an otherwise dog-free campus.  He then addressed the subject of the wall around the Vag’s construction zone with the tone of an amused civil servant.  “You’ve all spent your senior year learning to be graffiti artists,” he said. “May I remind you—your tagging days are done.  What happens at Barnard stays at Barnard.” 

“Except, you’re not staying at Barnard,” he added.  And from there on, he advised the graduating class not to worry about their salaries, but to “make sure your first job will teach you and humble you.”  He recounted his experience being fired from Salomon Brothers, which led to his decision to start Bloomberg LP in 1981, and his emergence in the political arena in 2001.  He urged graduates to go into public service, noting, “there’s never been a better time for women to enter government” and gave shout-outs to a few city hall interns.  “Go get ‘em” he bellowed, to a standing ovation.

Following this, Jshap was treated to a surprise speech—“Each and every one of us is more than a little verklempt to see you go”—and another standing ovation (there was much standing and clapping and cheering).  And after the degrees were conferred—“political science and theater…interesting…” commented Dean Denburg—Jshap gave her own farewell address, which unfortunately was a rundown of all her speeches given in the last 14 years in sparknotes form.  “You are entering the working world in some seriously interesting times,” she intoned, echoing the vaguely foreboding the-economy-sucks-the-government-sucks sense every speaker this year has suggested.  And what will she be doing while Barnard grads are wage-slaving?  “You’ll see me on campus,” she said, in bookstores, at lectures, and in Starbucks.  “I’ll be the relaxed one with my triple grande nonfat latte.”

Prior to this, senior class president Remi Coker, SGA president Laura Stoffel, and Ruth Talansky, gave speeches.  Bwog admits to missing most of Coker’s speech, but the last five minutes were quite nice—an assertion of “how far we’ve come” as seen in the V-show.  Stoffel’s had a theme of “pioneering” while Talansky’s had a theme of “legos” and interconnection and began “I would like to talk to you about legos.”  Bwog, while a fan of pioneers, legos, and themed speeches in their respective independence, found the interconnection a bit much.

More photos brought to you courtesy of Barnard’s PR people.  The top two were taken by David Wentworth and the bottom three are by Monika Graf.


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27 Comments

  1. actually

    i loved the serendipity of talansky's speech, though i was at first skeptical of the lego theme. it worked out really well. and i think the bc class day was wonderful for more than just bloomberg's speech, however much i appreciated it. everyone was animated, and everyone was interesting. it was a great class day indeed!

  2. seas  

    it is absolutely ridiculous that there was no coverage of seas class day. bwog...with one of your own graduating from seas this year, one would think you would take an interest (seeing as you only ever report on what you care about).

  3. Why

    Is the coverage of graduation(class days, commencement) so bad? Because all the Bwog writers that are not graduating have left, and those that are are too busy? You guys should get one person to stay on and cover all the ceremonies. One photo of CC class day, one picture of prez bo at the SEAS one, and a borrowed one at GS? Comeon.

  4. I thought

    I'd never say this, but:

    REGIME CHANGE FOR BWOG!!!

  5. so..

    does barnard not have a valedictorian and salutatorian?

  6. aluha

    why the hell do the barnard grads wear the same robes as columbia grads?!?

  7. ...

    not going to lie here. bwog's been sorta shitty for many months. there really should be more new people involved with the site.

  8. I love

    how the only people still commenting on Bwog at this point are the losers still hanging around campus. No one cares about commencement coverage--a lot of grads don't even show up for it.

  9. Anon.

    Talansky's speech about the legos and connections was great. It was a fantastic reflection on education at Barnard and the stunning fact that as graduates of Barnard, we have all joined a group of alumnae - who by their connection - will support what we are able to do in the world.

    In any way, it was far better than practically yelling at the audience that you were able to lower the cost of class rings and schedule a bonfire. Also - did people really "Raise their eyebrows" at that. I think not!

  10. Boobies  

    597 women = 1194 breasts. Nice.

  11. Nope,

    They're only an "affiliated institution". Epic fail.

  12. 123213123213

    I love Barnard women. No, just one. Woman.

  13. fix

    "he advised the graduating class not to worrying about their salaries"

  14. oh columbia

    four years pass and there are still people hating on barnard, some things never change :). Here's to one thing I won't miss: arrogant, insecure, Columbia students (not all of you are). Just so you know, I never ever want to be like you because even though you got a better SAT score, you are ugly inside and out. Good bye!

  15. barnard grad

    Columbia (both CC and SEAS) students make anti-Barnard statements as if they think Barnard students actually care. Just to clear it up once and for all, we really don't care what you think about us. We have enough self-confidence to embrace our own education and identities -- so much so that we don't feel the need to even respond to your remarks. (Maybe our confident silence intimidates you?) So, if it makes you happy and helps you sleep at night, keep making your anti-Barnard statements. They won't change the Barnard/Columbia relationship anyway, and Barnard students will continue to embrace their school. If anything, your comments will only strengthen our love for dear old Barnard.

    And by the way, our diplomas say "Columbia University", along with "Barnard College"(in Latin), and are awarded by the Trustees of CU. So, I guess that's why we wear the same robes.

    • dude

      you just responded to our remarks

      way to go

      • barnard grad

        By "responding," I meant that Barnard students don't reply to anti-Barnard comments with negative things like "Columbia sucks." We keep silent and confident the way Barack Obama keeps silent whenever Hillary Clinton fucks up.

    • jeez

      That's the whole issue with the majority of Barnard students. You refuse you embrace your own school for what it is and instead are happy to wear Columbia sweatshirts, use your Columbia e-mail address, and get a Columbia diploma. You have your own Board of Trustees...are they so useless that they can't issue you a diploma?

      Barnard girls are the worst kind of insecure...completely unaware of their inferiority complex. Just because you have an Ivy across the street doesn't make yours a bad school. Be proud of who you are instead of pretending to be who you are not.

      • wtf

        wtf, if you have such a problem with us, why don't you hold a protest or petition the columbia trustees? it's obvious that the majority of you are intelligent enough to understand the columbia/barnard relationship and can handle the status quo without thinking it's a threat to your manhood. you might want to learn from your peers on this one.

        Why wouldn't we embrace our own school? I see no signs of our "disowning" Barnard. Case in point: http://www.columbiaspectator.com/node/53557

        If you have a problem with the way Barnard issues its diplomas, why don't you take it up with the administration instead of taking your angst out on Barnard students on the BWOG??

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