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The Women's Leadership Council

The Women's Leadership Council


The women stakeholders of Columbia Athletics-Columbia and Barnard athletic alumnae, parents and friends, administrators, coaches and student-athletes-are committed to sustaining Columbia Athletics' standards of excellence. Through leadership gifts, these women are making their voices heard and their influence known in the athletics program.


Support from women, not only for women's sports programs but also for the athletics program as a whole, makes a statement. Women are and will continue to be significant investors in the present and future of Columbia's Athletics.


The Women's Leadership Council strengthens ties in three important ways: within the athletic alumnae community, among alumnae and student-athletes, and between student-athletes. Together, these women enhance the experience of being part of Columbia Athletics for our entire constituency.

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"The Women's Leadership Council embodies the lasting legacy of our female student-athletes. The community created by the Council transcends our individual sports and affords our student-athletes, alumnae, parents, and friends exposure to a diverse network of female leaders."
— Head Soccer Coach Tracey Bartholomew


The Women's Leadership Council, founded in 2007 by Lisa Carnoy'89CC, Donna MacPhee'89CC, and Philippa Portnoy'86BC, '90BUS, is a leadership giving recognition society for women. This year, Columbia Athletics celebrated the 10th anniversary of The Women's Leadership Council.

Since its inception, The Women's Leadership Council members have contributed almost $4.5 million in leadership support to the Athletics annual funds.

In Fiscal Year 2018, The Women's Leadership Council comprised 162 members who contributed more than $829,000, making it the most successful year to date.

In Fiscal Year 2015, new levels of membership within the Council were rolled out: Silver membership, marked by cumulative annual gifts of $2,500 or more to The Fund for Excellence and/or Columbia Athletics' 31 varsity sports programs over the course of the fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), and Blue & White membership, marked by cumulative annual gifts of $1,000.

Through a special challenge match made possible by Helene Halperin Tagliaferri '83SEAS and Bill '81SEAS and Carolyn Epling, 135 women joined the Council on Giving Day. For the fourth consecutive year, all fifteen women's sports had representation on the Council.

Gatherings throughout Fiscal Year 2018 included a fall reception at Barneys New York, a winter gathering to cheer on our Women's Basketball team, and a massive showing at the University's inaugural women's conference: She Opened the Door.

2017-18 Women's Leadership Council Members


Silver Members

Blue & White

Blue & White Members