Treasures of New York: Barnard College

Air date: 05/15/2014

Treasures of New York: Barnard College Debuts in May on WLIW21 and THIRTEEN

Hosted by Barnard College alumna and award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon, the film takes viewers through the history of the first college in New York City to grant degrees to women


In 1889, Barnard College opened with 14 women, who each paid one hundred and fifty dollars for classes in Greek, Latin and Math. For over 125 years, the school has created a place where women can receive the same undergraduate educational opportunities as men. Inspired by the rich history of its accomplished alumnae, dating back to its founder Annie Nathan Meyer, the school’s programs are dedicated to training women to be leaders. The school prides itself on creating a positive environment for women to excel.

The list of accomplished Barnard College alumnae includes dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp, anthropologist Margaret Mead, writer Zora Neale Hurston, entertainer Joan Rivers, musician Laurie Anderson, author Erica Jong and businesswoman Martha Stewart among many others. The history of the school and the stories of its continued relevance are revealed in Treasures of New York: Barnard College premiering on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 6 p.m. on WLIW21 and Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

Hosted by acclaimed actress and Barnard College alumna Cynthia Nixon, and told through archival images and interviews with alumnae, current students and school officials, the film brings to life Barnard’s mission to train tomorrow’s leaders. Treasures of New York: Barnard College features interviews with Debora Spar, Barnard College president; Ellen Futter, former Barnard College president and current president of the American Museum of Natural History; Anna Quindlen, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author; Suzanne Vega, singer and songwriter; Rosalind Rosenberg, historian; Robert McCaughey, Barnard College professor; Judith Kaye, former chief judge of New York; Avis Hinkson, Barnard College dean; and Greta Gerwig, actress, among others.

After the initial broadcast, the full episode will be available for online streaming at  The Treasures of New York website offers past episodes and conversations with visionaries behind New York’s greatest institutions.

Treasures of New York: Barnard College is a production of WLIW LLC in association with WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV.

Stacey Reiss is writer and producer. Rebecca Fasanello is field producer. Liz Muentes and Hillary Sieber are associate producers. Diane Masciale is general manager of WLIW21 and executive producer of local production, including the Treasures of New York series.  Executive-in-Charge is John Servidio. Treasures of New York: Barnard College is made possible by the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family and Diana and Roy Vagelos.



About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as NatureGreatPerformancesAmericanMastersPBSNewsHourWeekendCharlieRose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as GettheMathOhNoah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTSReel13NJTVNewswithMikeSchneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEENExploreiPadApp where users can stream PBS content for free.


About Barnard College

The idea was bold for its time. Founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City, and one of the few in the nation, where women could receive the same rigorous and challenging education available to men. Today, as the world-renowned liberal arts college for women at Columbia University, Barnard remains devoted to empowering extraordinary women to become even more exceptional. For more information, visit


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