Women Shaping History 2008
I must confess that, during the past twelve years of publishing Education Update, the March issue celebrating the accomplishments of women, has been one of my favorites. Perhaps it was because I am the proud product of an all-women’s liberal arts college, Barnard College in New York City; perhaps it was because my mother was a strong leader, encouraging me and my sister to learn and excel; perhaps it was because my father was a true Renaissance man (and still is at the age of 98!) sharing his love for all subjects; perhaps it was because it has always been more difficult for women to juggle education, career and children as well as compete in the intellectual world, a conflict which the women in these pages are still embroiled in today.
There is much to admire and emulate in the women you will read about this month. They come from many different places and have careers that are as varied as surgeon and quilter (although ironically, both those careers use needle and thread!) These women have overcome the odds and found their own voice, their inner fulfillment, their passion.
Two of the women we are honoring are college presidents: Judith Shapiro, President of Barnard College and Augusta Souza Kappner, President of Bank Street College. They have blazed a trail of knowledge, influencing generations of young people to pursue learning and make a contribution to society. I am fortunate to call them “my friends” and pay them homage in these pages as they step down from the presidency to pursue other paths.
President John F. Kennedy in 1961 spoke of four essential qualities by which our brief time in history would be measured: courage, judgment, integrity and dedication. Our honorees this month embody those quintessential traits.#