40th Anniversary Opens With 'Women Who Inspire' Exhibition

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On September 27th the celebrations to mark the 40th Anniversary of Webster Geneva Campus began with a welcome by campus director Clementina Acedo to a special exhibition by artist Sema Jonsson titled '100 Portraits of Women Who Inspire'. Curated by Julianna Sandholm-Bark, the exhibition showcases 100 portraits of women who have changed the world, including artists, activists, writers, singers, scientists, politicians, businesswomen, humanitarians, and philanthropists.

Dr. Sandholm-Bark explained, "Our hope is that the stories of the women in the portraits will inspire the students and push them towards their own voyage of self-discovery."

Among the portraits on exhibit are Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai, (born in 1997); British model, anti-bullying and body positive activist Harnaam Kaur (born in 1990); North Korean defector and human rights activist, Yeon-mi Park (born in 1993); and Dutch sailor and youngest person to circumnavigate the globe single-handedly, Laura Dekker (born in 1995). The installation was conducted with the assistance of Francesco Arese Visconti and a team of undergraduate students (Elisa Honegger, Puja Schroth, Fernanda Faria Zagato and Claire Vasiloglou), and students enrolled in First-Year Seminar class helped select portraits for the Student Lounge.

On the day after the vernissage, approximately a third of the portraits were moved from the east wall of the Student Lounge into the office spaces of staff and faculty, who volunteered to “host” a portrait in their office for a temporary time. Testimonials will be collected from staff and faculty on the reasons why they chose a particular portrait, and these will be published in a commemorative catalog.

This event marked the beginning of a year of celebrations which will culminate with a gala event in April. More images from the event can be found on Instagram.