An Open Letter to Stephen Bannon From the Seven Sisters Presidents

Following the disparaging remarks about students of the Seven Sisters colleges made by Steve Bannon, president-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Chief Strategist, the presidents of the colleges collectively wrote an open letter addressed to him. Below is the original text of the letter which President McCartney speaks about in the above interview.

November 21, 2016

Mr. Stephen K. Bannon

Presidential Transition Office

1800 F Street NW

Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. Bannon:

Given your appointment as Senior Counselor by President-elect Donald Trump, a number of your comments have been scrutinized by the press. As has been widely reported, in a 2011 interview with Political Vindication Radio, you disparaged lesbians, feminists and alumnae of the historic Seven Sisters Colleges, all in one statement that we deliberately choose not to repeat here. Other reported comments by you reflect other forms of bias, including racism, anti-Semitism and more. As the leaders of the Seven Sisters Colleges, we take deep exception to these comments and ask that you take a more expansive, informed and tolerant world view in your leadership role.

We are proud of our alumnae and students, who represent the spectrum of sexual orientation, race, class and religion as well as political party. Our alumnae are accomplished leaders in all spheres of public and professional life; they are committed to their work, their families and their countries. Now more than ever, we look to those who would lead the United States of America for a message of inclusion, respect and unity.

Debora Spar

President, Barnard College

Kim Cassidy

President, Bryn Mawr College

Sonya Stephens

Acting President, Mount Holyoke College

Lizabeth Cohen

Dean, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Kathleen McCartney

President, Smith College

Jonathan Chenette

Interim President, Vassar College

Paula Johnson

President, Wellesley College