It is with great pleasure that we share the news that Barnard College is creating the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being. This will ensure that the Barnard community and surrounding neighborhood have access to comprehensive physical and mental health, holistic wellness, and financial literacy support services. They will be empowered with the knowledge and tools needed to thrive at Barnard and beyond.

The Francine LeFrak Center, which will be located on the first floor of Barnard Hall, will provide both a centralized hub and an umbrella organization for the College’s many wellness initiatives, including financial fluency, the Feel Well, Do Well @ Barnard campaign, Well Woman, and Being Barnard. It will also include state-of-the-art spaces for well-being programming, including financial fluency workshops, a fitness center, and dance spaces.

Francine and the LeFrak family are longtime members and supporters of the Barnard community. Francine’s mother, Ethel Stone LeFrak, graduated from Barnard in 1941. Ethel was a true trailblazer and served as an example for her daughters to follow.

Empowering women is a priority for Francine and the new Francine A. LeFrak Center for Well-Being will strengthen the empowerment of women through a three-pillar approach to wellness. Francine’s passion around strengthening women’s financial muscles has led to this innovative three pillar approach, which we anticipate will be replicated on college campuses throughout the country.

While the Center is being constructed within the walls of Barnard Hall, the College’s wellness programs have already begun under the Francine A. LeFrak Center for Well-Being umbrella. As more programs are developed, they will be available to Barnard and Columbia students, Barnard Alumnae, and the local community. The programs will be delivered through a hybrid model of virtual and in-person sessions.  

Francine and the president of Barnard, Sian Beilock have already begun identifying an advisory board and working with experts in financial, physical, and emotional wellness. The physical center is expected to be fully operational by September 2023.