Newcomb 'sisters' meet in person for the first time

August 26, 2013 11:00 AM

Aidan Smith

The first few weeks away from home can be challenging for any new college student, but Tulane’s first-year women have a built-in support system, thanks to the Newcomb College Institute’s Big Sis/Little Sis program. Matched during the summer, almost 400 pairs of women have been in communication via email and phone, discussing all the inside information about the Tulane experience. On Sunday, Aug. 25, they finally had the opportunity to meet in person at the pinning ceremony that officially links the two as Newcomb sisters.  


Big sister Kate McCurdy (right) pins her little sister Siena Farrar during a ceremony on Sunday (Aug. 25).

In addition to the official pinning, the event allowed women to learn about opportunities to get involved in student organizations at the Newcomb College Institute, as well as learn about the rich traditions of the historic women’s college, culminating in the singing of Newcomb’s alma mater.

Big Sister Kate McCurdy wanted to help out a new student after a rough transition into college, while freshman Siena Farrar of Oak Park, Ill., was looking for ways to get involved and wasn't sure she'd fit in. She says the Big Sister program helped ease the way. "I really wanted to be involved with NCI, because the focus is on women being supportive to other women," she said.

“The Big Sis/Little Sis program often serves as the first introduction to NCI and to the Newcomb Alumnae Association,” said Sarah McAllister (SW ’11), director of Newcomb Alumnae Relations. “We want them to understand that they are now part of a network of over 25,000 women around the world who are ready to welcome them to the Tulane community.”

According to Newcomb Archivist Susan Tucker (NC ’72), this year’s crop of Newcomb Sisters are part of a tradition that’s been in place for more than a hundred years. Since 1909, there has been a variety of programs that have linked incoming students with more experienced counterparts. The Big Sis/Little Sis program in its current form has existed since 1975.

Aidan Smith is external affairs officer for the Newcomb College Institute.

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