Faculty Role Models Motivate Commitment to Annual Giving
By the time Dr. Joan Golan graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1970, she felt a strong personal commitment to the College's educational mission. Acting on this commitment, Golan made giving to Sarah Lawrence a priority—and has contributed to the Fund for Sarah Lawrence every year since.
"Whoever you are, Sarah Lawrence gives you the opportunity to explore and find yourself, your own interests," she says. "I want to keep this rare form of education going and see that others have the same opportunity I did."
Golan's support of the College was uniquely inspired by her studies with Joe Papaleo '49, Charlotte Doyle, and Joyce Riegelhaupt. Many of the lessons she learned from them are still with her today. For example, Golan cites Papaleo, who was Professor Emeritus of Writing and Literature, with instilling the importance of cultivating creativity. That valuable paradigm informs her work today as executive editor at Harlequin Enterprises Limited. "When speaking with writers, I always begin with the positive aspects of the work," she explains. "That's something I learned at Sarah Lawrence."
A student of creative writing, literature, French, and anthropology, Golan went straight from Sarah Lawrence to Harvard, earning her Ph.D. in English in 1976. While her experiences at Harvard were also enriching, one of the first things she noticed was that there were no women on the English faculty. This observation made her even more appreciative of Doyle and Grace Paley, Sarah Lawrence faculty members whom she sees as models of empowerment. Golan credits these generous educators, among other faculty, with helping her develop a strong sense of self.
"I want to keep this rare form of education going and see that others have the same opportunity
"I felt very privileged to have a Sarah Lawrence education. Long after graduation, there continue to be opportunities to learn and grow," says Golan, whose son, Kit, graduated in 2008. "Sarah Lawrence is true to its founding principles."
Golan's consistent pattern of giving automatically made her eligible for membership in the Ruth Wilmot Anderson '29 Society (RWAS), which is named for the College's first graduate. Anderson established the Fund for Sarah Lawrence in 1930 with a contribution of $25 – and subsequently gave every year until her death in 1992. The society recognizes donors who follow in her footsteps, making consecutive FSL gifts for five years or more.