Barnard President Debora Spar added an unexpected element to the usually routine First Year Welcome ceremony: a bucket of ice.
After the Barnard Honor Code was recited and fake candles were waved, Spar traded the podium for a plastic bin and tarp and accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to loud cheers from Barnard’s newest students.
Spar took a moment before being doused to nominate University President Lee Bollinger, Dean of Columbia College James Valentini, and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science Mary Boyce for the challenge, though there was no mention of ALS or the ALS Association, the nonprofit dedicated to fighting the disease.
Students crowded to the front of LeFrak Gymnasium with phone cameras to capture the unexpected moment.
“It was definitely out of the blue. I recorded it and I’m going to send it to my family.” Gabrielle Bullard, BC ’18, said.
Defne Erdinc, BC ’18, agreed.
“That was very exciting,” she said. “‘Unexpected’ is definitely the word.”
Students filed out of the gymnasium minutes after the challenge, many still chanting “DSpar.”