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.
President, Barnard College
President, Bryn Mawr College
Acting President, Mount Holyoke College
Dean, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
President, Smith College
Interim President, Vassar College
President, Wellesley College