The Sporting Life

Courtesy Biff Barnard

Margaret Barnard--known to everyone as Peg--was the ultimate sportswoman. Long before Title IX gave women their rightful place in the sun by prohibiting gender discrimination in sport, Barnard was promoting young, female athletes on the Farm. She was an ardent fan of golf and volleyball but was a booster for all women's athletics. In 1978, she founded and served as the first president of the Cardinal Club, which was dedicated to providing scholarships for outstanding women student athletes. "She just had the perseverance and self-confidence to get into the men's arena," says her son, Bailey "Biff" Barnard, '67, "and that was part of the reason for the success of the Cardinal club and women's athletics."

Barnard, who died in her Menlo park home in August at 75, raised more than $5 million for the fund in its first 10 years. Now a joint fund for both men and women athletes at Stanford, the Buck/Cardinal Athletic Scholarship Fund provides roughly half of the 275 full scholarships Stanford offers every year in 31 varsity sports.

Barnard was a keen golfer and loved playing tennis and riding horses. In 1969, when she was 48, she earned her single-engine pilot's license and flew regularly until she was in her 60s. She was also an active member of the Fear of Flying Club, which helps people confront their anxiety about flight.

But her enduring legacy is her work in support of women's athletics. "Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of women athletes have been helped by the fund that she created," says Kim Carlisle, '83, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic swimming team who now works as director of development communications at the Athletics Department. "I really credit her and that small group of women as the reason I was able to come to Stanford in 1979. She had a huge impact on my life."

Barnard is survived by her brother, Rupert Andrews Jr., '50, of San Diego; son, Biff, and daughter-in-law, Connie Barnard, of Healdsburg; daughter, Leigh and son-in-law, Greg Furda, of Barrington, Ill.; and grandchildren Maggie and Barney Barnard, and Buddy and Emilie Furda.

Contributions can be made to the Peg Barnard Scholarship Fund for Women Athletes, c/o Department of Athletics, Stanford 94305.