head shot photo of Andi Richardson

Photo of Andi Richardson

As I prepared this letter, I reflected on my time with the Newcomb Alumnae Association and how the connections I have made have impacted my life. I arrived at my first board meeting in 2019, filled with nostalgia for Newcomb, but nervous and unsure of my role. I was instantly impressed by the care and compassion that this diverse and talented group showed for each other. Members were checking in about both joyful and difficult circumstances: weddings, job changes, moves, caring for family members. There was hugging I knew I was in the right place.

We later endured the pandemic and separation. We pivoted to meeting online, always leaving time to check in on each other. This deep connection and shared concern for alums, current Newcomb students, and each other helped us weather that difficult time. When it was safe, we were elated to be together again. There was so much hugging.

While recently at a garden, I noticed a display about “Companion Planting- the close planting of different plants that enhance each other’s growth or protect each other.” Our Association is like a garden filled with graduates from different backgrounds and experiences that both enhance and protect each other.

In 1893, a group of Newcomb women challenged the contemporary gender stereotypes by studying physics and physiology, and learning to support themselves independently in careers. Moreover, they recognized the need to form an association that would forever connect and support them after graduation. We are thrilled to celebrate the 130th anniversary of this Newcomb Alumnae Association, a verdant garden which now includes 30,000 alums from around the globe.

Lift a glass at our 130th anniversary Champagne Reception on Friday, October 20th in Malkin Sacks Commons, Newcomb’s gorgeous space in the heart of campus!

The celebration continues with this commemorative anniversary edition of the Newcomb Alumnae Magazine. We bring together the past, present, and future of our Association by honoring trailblazing alums whose work and lives have lifted the generations of Newcomb grads. We will also reflect on the annual events that connect alumnae to each other and to current students.

Throughout the year, we are digging into our artistic and thought-provoking traditions like Book Club and cultivating new virtual events like Newcomb Networking Night, which will be held for the second time on November 8th. In March, Newcomb co-sponsored Women Making Waves, Tulane’s in-person networking event. The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee has been finding opportunities to make our events more accessible, like offering free childcare at a recent New Orleans event. In addition, we will be e-mailing a survey to all members of the NAA this fall to further evaluate how we can best serve you as we develop our strategic plan.

In May, I was honored to participate in Newcomb’s Under the Oaks ceremony during Commencement Weekend. The class of 2023 received distinctions and awards. The accomplished class of 1973 celebrated the 50th anniversary of their Newcomb College graduation. Moreover, the staff and students’ behind-the-scenes care and dedication to maintaining Newcomb’s heritage left me feeling certain about the future of our beloved alma mater.

We are also overjoyed to welcome Dr. Anita Raj, a fellow Newcomb aluma, as the new Executive Director of the Newcomb Institute. While she completed her degree at another university, she experienced the transformational experience that is Newcomb, and we are confident we’ll see the next generation of Newcomb students flourish under her joyful tutelage.

Please know that whatever level of involvement you had while in school at Newcomb or even in the years since graduation, the Newcomb Alumnae Association is your garden, filled with encouragement and resources. We urge you to seek us out at every stage of your life.

Andi Schippert Richardson (NC ’99)
President, Newcomb Alumnae Association

The Newcomb Alumnae Association Board of Directors

Immediate Past President
Helene Sheena, M.D. (NC ’87, M*91)

Vice President of Alumnae
Lauren Lee Pettiette Schewel (NC ’09)

Vice President of Students
Maggie Herman (PH ’15)

Emily Greenfield (NC ’98, L*03)

Ashley L. J. Smith (LA ’10)

130th Anniversary Chair
Heather Yanak (NC ’97)

Julia Broussard (LA ’10)

Jasmine Brown (SE ’09, CS*11)

Chelsea Cipriano (LA ’10, PH*11)

Kim Frusciante (NC ’05)

Samantha Goldstein (NC ’04)

Laurel Hanson (LA ’11)

Rachael Kuntz (NC ’98)

Sarah Jones (LA ’20)

Sharan Lieberman (NC ’99)

Betsy Lopez (LA ’10, PA *18)

Robin Lovell, Ph.D. (NC ’03)

Allyson Mackay (NC ’08)

Helen Marsh (LA ’19)

Robyn Mazur (NC ’92)

Tina Nguyen (LA ’18)

Tammy Thaggert, M.D. (NC ’91)

Janice Killebrew VandenBrink (NC ’74)